“What? Your ring is missing? Well, I kept warning you about the maid!” Most of you must have heard something similar at least once in your life. How many of your households have been guilty of keeping separate utensils for domestic helpers and constantly look at them as potential criminals who would steal from you? And let’s not even get started on how some people misbehave and talk rudely to them just because they feel that they are superior to them.
Then there are those affluent Indian families who leisurely shop and eat while maids take care of their children or belongings. And while most of these people claim that they treat their maids like “families,” more often than not this compounds for a rather pitiable sight and situation.
Well, blame it on our internalised classism and castism sprouting from the age-old caste system and the master-servant divide. So deeply ingrained are they in our very ideologies that we warrant rewards to ourselves for the most basic humanity meted to our maids and house helps. This explains why we tend to put ourselves on pedestals every time we give our maids a piece of second-hand clothing or dinner party leftovers.
But sadly, it doesn’t end there. In lieu of these most basic acts of “kindness” and “humanity”, we seek absolute loyalty from these house helps. And loyalty in these cases often translates to dutifully obeying commands and being eternally grateful for that one good act that they were treated with on that one fine day of that one fine year. Recently, something similar was brought to light after writer Veenu Venugopal shared a screenshot of a Gurgaon woman complaining about her maid on a Facebook group. Take a look:
Today in Gurgaon. “Maids will always be maids” and other classisms pic.twitter.com/0Wezz0aoUg
— Veena Venugopal (@veenavenugopal) July 27, 2020
Well, as apparent from the screenshot, it was the demand for a pay raise that became a matter of great disappointment for this woman. I mean, of course, if she is being “treated like family” then why is she even asking for a raise in exchange for the services that she is providing her with? How dare she! *eye roll*
But wait, there’s more. After posting the screenshot, Veenu further shared that 90 per cent of the people in this group happened to sympathize and agree with this woman. Wow! Well thankfully for us there still exist some reasoning, thinking individuals who promptly called out the bullshit on this woman right after the screenshot got posted on Twitter. Here’s what they had to say:
Well, here’s something that might help this woman and those who supported her with a perspective: imagine you go to our boss for an appraisal and are promptly asked to FO just because you have been ‘treated like family’ all this while! Suddenly the world seems unfair, right?
Lastly, with the impact of lockdown manifesting on household finances, it’s getting rather difficult for so many people to make ends meet. Let’s try to be kind, compassionate, and support each other however we can through this tough time.
Featured Image: Twitter