Dear Working Women of Bombay

I must admit I salute you. Honestly. I personally think each one of you is a rockstar. I admire the fact you do the same tiresome routine day in and day out without a break, for 30-40 years not changing anything about it.

And I wonder how. In six years, I think I am close to exhaustion!

You get up early in the morning, manage to cook hot breakfast and lunch for the family. Get ready to go to work. and getting ready is not only wearing a Tee and a jeans. Getting ready means draping a saree, combing your hair to ensure you can put up the gajra which your husband got for you the previous night, matching bangles, earrings, necklace, lipstick.

And then you rush to catch a bus to go to the nearest station. There you rush to get into a train saving a seat not only for yourself but also for your group. You sometimes celebrate birthdays in the group, have group breakfasts where each of you get something extra for everyone else. It could be hot vadas or hot poha. I remember I stood against one of you in a crowded train and the hot dabba in your bag practically scalded my back. Ouch I went and you apologised saying that sorry nastha ka dabba thoda garam hai. Imagine making garam garam nastha early in the morning.

And then you discuss your life in general whether its home or work or children with your train friends, asking for opinions, making everyone laugh, and ensuring everyone is happy generally.

You get off to go to work and then catch the train back in the evening. Sometimes, you pod peas or clean the methi leaves in the train. Sometimes you just nod off till you are woken up by your friend. And sometimes you just chit chat generally cribbing about something. But always, get off the extremely crowded train with an enchanting smile saying by to your friends and wishing to see them soon the next day morning. Often you spend more than 2 hours one way travelling. Sometimes you change two trains. Sometimes, you walk a bit extra to buy that fresh subji from the market near your office.

You buy stuff in the train where you get it cheaper than in the market. Trinklets, hairbands, kurtas, farsan, sukha bhel, ear rings, nose rings, leggings and what not!

You go home and make your cup of tea. Then get to making  your kids do their homework, give them something hot to eat, start preparing for the night’s dinner. Once the kids have eaten and gone to sleep, you watch a bit of TV waiting for your husband to get back who comes back tired by 10.30 or 11 in the night. You eat dinner, clean up prepare for the next morning and go to sleep only by about 12ish..and you are awake at 5 the next day morning to start the routine again.

Between all this, you also make out time to go to the parlour, shop for matching jewellery for the sarees you wear on festival days, check out the latest movies and ensure your kids have their projects done on time.

Sometimes you make some farsan at home, sometimes you make sweets, you take out time to go to Crawford market to get decorations for your child’s birthday party…

How do you do it? Day in and day out. Fighting the crowds of the trains, walking through the crowded traffic, waiting patiently for the bus, getting up early to ensure hot food for your family. You do it sometimes, with help from your spouse or sometimes with no help from any one. You pick up your kid from the babysitting and if your in laws are staying with you to help you take care of the kids, then you have to take care of their needs as well.

How exactly do you do it? dont you get frustrated? Everyday, same routine same work. I must admit, I am a fan of yours. A big big fan!

I think, you women rock big time!

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About R's Mom

Not-so-new-mom
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66 Responses to Dear Working Women of Bombay

  1. Arch says:

    True. True. Reading this by itself is so tiring 🙂 A big salute to working women, especially mom’s anywhere!

    Btw, i had to google gajra. so much for my hindi. sigh!

  2. Amit says:

    Yesterday I was telling Geet that I am so tired of my routine that I want to run away. I am out of my home for almost 13 hours everyday. By the time I reach home, I am usually on all fours.
    But, yes, I have seen people in worse conditions. Travelling in pathetic conditions and still happy.

  3. I remember those women from my college days. Don’t know how they do it. I thank my stars that I only have myself and 2 kitties to look after…no garam nashta for anyone! 😛

  4. Sujatha says:

    ah.. im feeling giddy on reading this… I donno hw cum they manage all these.. Luckily my in-laws are with me and they take care of my kids…I get exhausted when i reach home…
    Big salute to all these ladies… and yes big salute to u too coz u r also one amongst them 🙂

  5. Zephyr says:

    Tum bhi to kuch kam nahin ho, RM! I used to do it too long long ago, but now, when I think about it, I marvel at myself. It can really become tiresomely monotonous but the friends and the shared seat/nashta/farsan/stories more than make up for it.

  6. Phew! That does sound like a packed day, yet sounds like these ladies make time for themselves (most important) AND their families. A beautiful balance, I must say, but one which is definitely not easy to achieve. I don’t know if I can do that for a long time. I would break up and give up much before a year is up, in such a situation.

  7. OMG you tired me out RM!!! 😯 So much packed into one single day? I feel like Garfield the lazy cat now 😥

  8. kashlife says:

    Again wonderful post RM. Yes, Mumbai working women are real rock stars and you are also one of them. I admire the way you are balancing your routine. I remember reading your posts on getting up early in the morning, preparing breakfast/lunch, commuting to office by three (?) means of transport, dropping & picking up your daughter, writing blogs daily and what not. Big salute to you too 🙂
    Tell me
    * Do they really pod peas or clean the methi leaves in the train? I liked that 🙂
    * Do you get to buy things like kurtas, ear rings, nose rings, leggings in the train? I thought only eatables are sold.

    • R's Mom says:

      Nah Kashlife I dont do half of what they do..they are amazing women!

      1. Yes they do that…I have seen it a lot of times…its saves time at home na
      2. You can buy anything on the bombay trains…I saw a guy selling blankets once!

  9. garima says:

    My God even I would like to salute the women folks and all working people too.I am into job since 5 years and trust there are times when I feeling like quiting..Infact from past 2-3 weeks I am so irritated that I feel to say goodbye to my job…
    Btw RM I feel like saluting you too…job ,travel,kid,paininting T’s and kerchief,home made food all throughout the day,sweety you rock 🙂

  10. meeta says:

    a very heartfelt one. lovely post RM. its truly commendable how they manage everything.

  11. Bhagyashree says:

    Yes, how do you do it. I stayed for a very short time in Mumbai and I ran from there. Not for me the garam khana and the locals

  12. Sumana says:

    They must be some angels doing all that and much more. I have my inlaws with me, office cab comes in front of our complex to pick up and drop and i crib. Definitely a lesson to be learnt.

  13. ashreyamom says:

    seriously we have to salute re.. its the smile on the face which doesn’t fade makes life interesting na.. this is inspiring me RM.. i was complaining to my hubby saying i cant do it all alone with u, i am tired of this life and cant take anymore.. but looks like people are living in worse conditions too.. so let me stop complaining about my routine.. 🙂

  14. My Era says:

    So much to learn from these very hard-working ladies and you dear RM 🙂

  15. meenamenon says:

    Errr.. arre i guess u need to salute urself first! Don u manage to pack in so much as welll?

  16. Mathangi Vijay says:

    Seriously RM, I really admire these ladies who have such a packed day but do not complain. Whose job might be physically more taxing than mine but dont crib. Whose traveling conditions are worse than mine but they still smile. I have been working for only 7 years now and 4 years with a kid and it has becoming extremely tiring for me and I crib almost every single day and say I need a break.
    I wonder how they are able to balance all these things. I used to ask my Amma how she managed to work for more than 25 years when 7 years has become too taxing for me. Hats off to these women.
    Talking about it, I should say you are doing most of these things RM and that too without anyone else to support you. So Hats Off to you as well 🙂

  17. Deepsu says:

    Its awesome post which just simply refelcts our working MOM s daily routine life ……njoyed reading thru it….keep blogging

  18. Ashwathy says:

    I agree with Zephyr…. you are not doing too badly yourself. You do a lot more than a lot of women I know, including myself. 🙂

    I find it difficult to hold it all together in spite of having part-time help to both cook and clean. And that too without having any kids at home. I feel like falling at the feet of women who manage everything single-handed, with a beaming smile on their face and tireless energy pushing them ahead. How on earth do they manage this?? I have no frigging clue!

    I can tell you a different example. You must be familiar with Kerala terrain, right? I have heard of women who live in Trivandrum (mostly because their husband must be based there, and also have kids studying there), who catch the morning train to Ernakulam/Cochin because that is where they work, and also return home the same day!! The journey between Tvm and Cochin is 4.5 hours by train ONE WAY. The train starts at 5.30am, so the women must be waking up atleast by 4am to finish household work by then! They catch the train, reach by 9.30-10am, go to office, finish office work by 5.30pm, board the return train by 6pm, reach home by 10pm and then sit with their family. On the way to-and-fro, they chop veggies, sew and knit and generally use their time wisely. I am in TOTAL AWE!! I sure as hell know I couldn’t do half as much….

  19. Smita says:

    God… seriously they are super-women… you included… u do all this and I know much more…

  20. SJ says:

    RM – What a timing..do u have special powers to read what is going on in my mind –
    For the past week..I’ve been cribbing about waking at 6+, settling breakfast (sandwiches or something…) getting ready, getting the brat ready…dropping him in child care..travelling to work and getting back home after 11 hrs and cooking dinner..and then keeping the home..How tiring RM ! I’m like a dead log as i hit the bed !
    Was seriously looking to downgrade to part time jobs and even started the search for that…Salute these women – RM ! How do they multitask – without getting tired and that too with a Smile ! Amazing RM –
    Not forgetting – A working woman in mumbai ? Are’nt you one too..Salute you for that !

    • R's Mom says:

      Awww! big hugs rey…I can definitely understand the getting tired part…like I said, this is not a post to compare, we cant compare our schedules with theirs..its definitely tiring for us as well 🙂

      and you dont have to be sorry rey…I love getting comments 🙂

  21. SJ says:

    RM – sorry to invade your comment section again – I’m gonna print this blog of yours and paste it on my kitchen counter – looking at it over and over again will truly inspire me to work harder and that too with a smile 🙂

  22. metherebel says:

    Wow these ladies are inspiring. Aren’t they??? They work round the clock with a smile on their face! Kudos to them 🙂

  23. Sreetama says:

    Totally agree! Salute to them! I can’t stop wondering how they manage to do so many things & still retain the energy and be happy without much complain. I wish I could be half as efficient! Kudos to you too RM for being so active and managing your tasks so efficiently!

  24. chattywren says:

    Well said RM, these women deserve a big salute! To do all this is no mean task, and then to do it with a smile – respect indeed! They ought to hold time-management sessions in corporates and b-schools. Actually, I would go on to say I respect all those who do what they have to do – tasks however big, small or insignificant, without a gripe or a frown! Great post!

  25. anisnest says:

    I would ask these same exact questions to you RM.. you rocking lady how do you manage to get up at 4am every single day? You know after reading about your daily routine I STOPPED I mean literally stopped cribbing and started appreciating all that extra time I get in a day…

    Btw, why don’t you also join one of that group and expand your friends circle 🙂 do you see same people often in the train? Have you made attempts to be friends with them? Just curious 🙂

    • R's Mom says:

      I dont do as much as they do honestly Ani 🙂

      I dont travel by the same train everyday na..also now that R’s school has started, I can get my office bus so its a bit better and thirdly, I travel only 5 stations…most of the groups are formed when people travel for an hour or so together

  26. So much to learn from these hard working women, I salute their spirit and looking life so positively. I so wish I had that much energy 🙂

  27. Jazz says:

    Wow it is really marvelling, I salute them and you (one among them), those stolen moments for self must be meaning so much for them. Super women for sure. And leggings are sold on mumbai local trains ?? I have only seen the fruits/vegetables and junk jewellery on the chennai local trains.

  28. nodieting says:

    Hi R’s Mom, I have been reading your blog for quite sometime but taking the time to comment on it today.
    Very inspiring post. I work full time and have a 3.5 year old and I crib every single day about the routine. Infact just today I was telling my hubby that I want to quit and stay at home. But I know that I will not be happy if I quit and stay at hom.
    So just dragging my feet.
    I need to bookmark this and read this post everytime I crib.Thanks for posting this.
    And BTW, love ur posts.

    • R's Mom says:

      Welcome here 🙂

      I can totally understand the cribbing process rey..even I do it day in and day out 🙂

      so its fine….anyways some advantages of getting married 🙂

  29. Smitha says:

    Wow! They are true inspirations! And so are you! I am in awe when I read your posts about your routine – you pack in so so much! I would be dead by the end of the day if I tried even half of what you do!

  30. mamta says:

    R’s mom, I am so glad I stumbled upon yr blog, I enjoy reading all your posts, infact I like the way you thank each and every person who just go unnoticed in our daily life . Though sometimes I feel the same way for the people I come across but never got a chance to express my views (was bit scared will be stamped as crazy) but hats off to you young lady for being who you are.

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