I was born and raised in Mumbai and have been living in Australia for nearly two decades now. Last evening, I saw some photos of my earlier life proudly posing with a newly constructed IKEA table.
The table was my Taj Mahal. I had put it together with the instructions sheet and the famous Allen key. I was jubilant! Surely, some of you share those feelings with me.
Growing up in the 90s in Mumbai we had help with everything. I was mollycoddled in a sense. We outsourced what we could and that was quite a bit -our istriwala (Iron man or ironing man – Tony StarCH) took our crumpled clothes away and brought back ironed uniforms, pants and saris, the local grocery store delivered groceries to our doorstep, our order of steaming idlis or naan and korma arrived from the local restaurant and of course we had house help to clean floors and wash dishes.
Services were offered by the poor and uneducated for a fee and these services were used by those who could afford them. This cycle continued. Supply was high and demand higher… soon it became a way of life. I will take a moment to mention the impeccable customer service – I had to only mention my name at the grocery store and Pappu knew what my family needed. Not very different from my barista Joel here who sees me and my espresso is in motion.
So, one of the big adjustments for me when I started living here was having to do everything myself from shopping to cooking, dusting and cleaning to washing and ironing . Iron man was expensive! My husband and I did it all. I felt overburdened at first but over time and with the help of ABBA and some others I began to enjoy the entire process- from going to the hardware store to picking up the right cleaning products to actually cleaning the house. It was therapeutic. I felt joy. I felt capable. I felt peaceful. And of course lesser external help also meant lesser doorbells to be answered:-).
Today, these services have taken the new avatar of start ups offering their services for “our convenience.” Right from cleaning services to the delivery of one ladoo in Mumbai and food delivery in Melbourne our life is managed with a scroll, swipe and click
In two decades life seems to have come a full circle.
I was calling using a landline phone now I can use an app on my smartphone to avail of any service including services to help put DIY stuff together for busy folks.
But this girl from Mumbai will continue with her new found joy and therapy for as long as possible…
Check this out- IKEA Museum