A Housewife and A Maid by Laveena Dhamija, as the name suggests, is an inspiring short story about a housewife, a homemaker rather, and her house help. It follows the journey of them both, from being disappointed in their respective lives to achieving their wishes together.
Maya is a homemaker with two kids. While she used to be an ambitious girl before her marriage, the family was her only priority now. With the arrival of her second child, Maya started becoming cranky and depressed over her lost career and the inability to do anything apart from managing her household. This problem of hers took a massive turn when her relationship with her husband Mohit, too came under the radar. Unable to bear the tiffs and Maya’s irritable behavior all the time, Mohit distanced himself from her, which turned to be a boon in disguise. With all the time to herself in the darkness of night, Maya introspected on her own life which showed her the way ahead. Putting her thoughts to words, Maya soared with her newfound passion of writing and with the motivation Mohit provided her, zoomed into the professional space of paid writings. It was then that Maya realized the need for help with her housework and the kids that brought the 12 yo Pooja into her life.
Pooja, the young niece of Maya’s maid, agreed to help her by staying at her place for 12 hours and helping her taking the load off to do what she had put her mind to – a masterpiece. Maya, being the woman she was, immediately formed a bond with her young help and together they embarked on a journey which happened to change their lives forever.
While the author insisted I review the original Hindi version of the book, I feel I should have insisted back on having the English version, for it would have helped me, and the review, far better than the one I read. Though I am not a Hindi literature or grammar graduate and have a fairly basic knowledge of the language’s nitty-gritty, I do know when things get messed up for me as a reader. Though the story is an inspiration to those going through the same situation, and to others who need to be more compassionate towards people, for all are humans, there was a confusion in terms of language for me. First-person, third-person… the narrative was being switched continuously, along with no clear demarcations of the speaker (in terms of highlights or punctuations) And to top it, my slow reading of the language didn’t help either. I wouldn’t say I loved this book, but what I liked the most about it, was it’s simplicity and the manner in which such a strong message is sent to the reader. A lot is said about life after marriage, relationship with husband and kids, the inner turmoil of a homemaker in dealing with her identity, and ultimately the peace. The author definitely needs a clap to have incorporated such sensitive subjects in a mere 30 pages! I don’t know if the author has penned a fictional story or a real-life incident, but it would be great to see, and of course, be a part myself, of such a worthwhile deed.
Suggested to all the homemakers out there, you are not just born to manage your home, because you are worth even more and because it is only you who can achieve both, the coveted balance between being a wife and mother and being an independent woman.