Mumbai Diary

‘Help’less and Happy #MondayMusings

Helpless without help?

After three weeks of being almost completely ‘help’less, my home finally returned to normal this week.

My regular cook returned the middle of the week but there was no sign of the resident home help. I was happy that the cook was back. But I was disappointed that the resident home help didn’t return when she said she would.

Why are we so dependent on home help?

Isn’t it shameful that all over the world people manage without any help at all? And if there is anyone to do some household chores it is on a weekly or monthly basis only.

Speaking for myself, I am not ashamed to admit that I need help. This is because I live in a 4 generational household with different needs. Luckily there is no medical condition that needs attending. However, I need to be around to answer doorbells and phone calls. I also am a resident watchdog because of the gruesome attacks on senior citizens  left alone at home.

But that apart, my regular routine is quite complicated. Right from 6 am till 9 pm, I need to do numerous kitchen tasks to be done. There are breakfasts to make, lunches to pack, medicines to hand out and generally get the household moving.

Once they are up and out of my way, I have to tackle the laundry, do the dusting, make the beds and tidy up the house. Then I have to keep track of replenishments and order them in. Then open the door to delivery men and attend to any other jobs that can only be done by the SAHM.

If truth be told, I was actually happy doing all the work myself. After all, housework isn’t rocket science. It is mechanical and routine. It isn’t even too strenuous if you organise your household properly. Most of us have some level of automation with refrigerators, cooking gas, washing machines and electrical appliances to make working easier.

Working on my own I found many things that were superfluous in my home. I re-discovered many things at the back of the cupboard. I also found rearranging things strangely calming and peaceful.

Hey! I was actually happy. Surprisingly, my house was cleaner and my mood better.

Despite being Helpless, I was happy Click To Tweet

Why I really need help


My only grouse about being ‘help’less was the restriction on doing errands. I could only get out of the house when there was someone home to watch over my mom in law and my grandchildren. Being forced to do things from home can get stifling . Especially when it is wet and miserable outside.

I now understand what Farrokh Abdullah and the  Kashmiri leaders must be feeling.

Working doesn’t exhaust you as much as the thought of staying at home to answer doorbells and phone calls.

So as Monday comes to an end, I am happy that my household is back to normal.

But on the other hand, did I really need help?

Do you have home help? Do you feel helpless when you are ‘help’less?

Sharing these thoughts on #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne at The Frangipani Creative.

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Image for Unishta


p.s. Anna Shetty has a theory that when home help from the Konkan region go on leave for Ganpati, they almost always disappear forever. Of course, they do not languish in their village but use this break as an opportunity to break free from their present employer to find another. So till your help really returns to you, there is no guarantee that after Ganpati your life will return to normal.


Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!


  1. Honestly, I’m quite lost without house help. I don’t like cooking – except occasionally on the weekends and only in winter. I can’t be bothered with household chores. I would much rather use my time reading or painting. Self-centred? Maybe. But then, I think of it this way – I pay my help well. I treat them with kindness and respect. And through the wages they earn from me (and the other houses where they work), they can educate their children and give them a better life. Maybe a day will come when there will be no house help in India either. Until then, I’ll happily pay someone else to do these tasks so I can free up my time for other things.
    Modern Gypsy recently posted…Intuitive painting process: Into the stormMy Profile

    1. I completely agree with you . It is not that I enjoy doing housework but when you have to do it , you may as well enjoy it. I’d also love to spend more time doing stuff I like – like painting for instance or reading more . Or tramping around and taking photographs ….. meeting up with friends , watching movies or just going for long walks when the weather is good …..

  2. That’s good that you are enjoying your routine. We don’t have house help in USA. It is manageable when I stay at home but when I go to work, cooking, taking care of kids, laundry etc make me stressed. But, one good thing about not having any house help is that iam more organized and I plan well.

  3. I enjoyed reading this post Unishta. Honestly, I’ve grown up with house help. Both my maternal as well as paternal family were a huge family set and always had help. I’m pretty much used to having help for most things. Even at hubby’s place, it was a bit easier initially, because Hubby shares most work. It is only after the baby, I felt too much to handle. Now since it’s just the three of us for a while, it is like I am getting trained to handle things myself when I go back home. Being help less lets me use lesser things and stay prepared for things. However, back in India, I really need help. It’s a big household and more time gets spent on being the watchdog. I truly agree to that. I was laughing at the theory you’ve stated here. I must remind mom not to extend holidays especially during ganpati from the next time.
    Jayanthy G recently posted…7 Things to Consider Before Picking your Wedding VenueMy Profile

  4. Ha ha ha – this is such a catch22 situation na Sunita. When we dont have help, we finish our work faster and in a more efficient way. But as you said it, this work is tedious and laborious; so we end up having help for them. Then when the help disappears, we feel like our world has fallen apart till we get some semblance of sanity in our routine.

    I hope your help returns soonest and relieves you out of this – hugs!
    Shalzmojo recently posted…#ThursdayTreeLove- Umbrella treeMy Profile

    1. Yes ! Ganesha has gone and the help have returned. So also has my sanity . For the next few months I shall be extra nice to my help in the hope that they don’t disappear for Diwali.
      And just to ensure that I really value them, the cleaning lady is off now on sick leave 🙁 . So from pots and pans and watchkeeping , I switched to the broom and duster !

  5. I have a love-hate relationship with the househelp. Our Indian ways make us much more dependent on them – the amount of dust that floats in everyday, the elaborate meals we are used to and the stress on hot and freshly prepared food – all of that makes for a huge amount of work. If we don’t outsource that’s all what we’ll be doing all day.
    That said, the day my maid is on leave I fell a strange kind of freedom. My house is all clean and sorted early. But when the leave is long it is taxing.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Before You’re Not Little Anymore #BookReviewMy Profile

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