Book Review: Author Payal Kapadia’s comical ode to the house help of our dreams

The cover of author Payal Kapadia’s Maidless in Mumbai.

This book is a tale of every middle- and upper-middle class woman. Why? Because it tells a universal tale. Isn’t it a truth universally acknowledged that an urban woman with a dream of a peaceful life must be in want of a suitable maid? If you are a career-oriented, ambitious women living in a nuclear family, your freedom to pursue it depends on a maid even more.

This leads to maidomania — the obsession to find that ever elusive perfect house help. In her comical-yet- relatable book, Maidless in Mumbai, Payal Kapadia narrates the tale of a journalist, also a new mom. As she manages to not buckle under the work pressure, life pressure and the pressure of being a new mom, she pins her hopes on the maid who will salvage her from the chaotic life. Kapadia’s witty writing is also a satire on our dangerously maid-dependent condition, as well as the luxury that is available only to men —the luxury of not getting affected. The book is light- hearted, relatable and a quick read, for the most part, though it drags a bit at points.

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