Vrinda Loiwal

Worth It All

The groceries are bought, and the daal is cooked,
your baby asleep, I cradle his head.
… I must be a mother.

The salary is here, my children are fed.
The work hours are long, the payments are made.
… Am I a father?

I’ve played peek-a-boo, I’ve made homes from clay,
I’ve babbled with Baby, giggled and cooed.
… I must be a toddler.

I’ve listened intently, the same story again,
I’ve located the walking stick, I certainly care.
… Am I her son?

I’ve heard you vent, you do yell sometimes.
I’ve poured you a drink and turned down the lights.
… I must be a friend.

I’ve made a mistake, but I learn real fast.
I learn how it’s done, this way and that.
… Student, am I?

It’s now past midnight, I wind up the kitchen.
“The party was great”, then they said good night.
I must be well-liked.

I’ve stitched that button,
the shoes sure shine.
Your socks need a wash.
They’ll be ready in time.

The balance ran out,
what was that last word?
She’s started to talk!!
That makes me so glad.

It’s been 14 months.
I soon shall go home.
6000/- a month
is sure worth it all.


Chetan Bhaiya has been with us for nine years.He visits his own home in eastern UP once a year, where he meets his wife and four little children.No monetary compensation is commensurate to the many roles he plays in our family.

This blog post is dedicated to Chetan Bhaiya and the million others like him, who make our homes functional and put our lives so much more at ease.


Article by Vrinda Loiwal

6 thoughts on “Worth It All”

  1. I wish ‘I’ was acknowledged for his/her efforts. I cannot say if ‘I’ is a man or woman, but definitely a victim of exploitation. I wish every life had equal value. Good piece!


    1. Dear Sa,

      Thank you for expressing your thoughts. I too wish that we accorded every life equal value.
      I would like to hear your thoughts on the ‘exploitation’ that you term here. Who/ what is responsible for the exploitation, according to you?


  2. The most heartbreaking yet heartwarming thing is that they become family to us even though they know that will never truly happen. They will never quite be looked at as equals and their acceptance is solely based on the services they provide. Yet they love and nurture us much like our own.


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