A nation of over a billion people, and half of them are in my kitchen.

by Pam

Before we arrived a little more than a month ago, I heard over and over again that there is no such thing as privacy in India. I am a social creature by nature but I’m easily exhausted by humanity.

Turns out, those people were right: there is no such thing as privacy in India. We have Rathnama, our delightful maid/cook who came with the house; her husband, Amitabh; her nephew, Venu; Venu’s adorable baby girl Lakshimi and his adorable baby wife Manisha as well as his brother Tusshar; our driver/nanny/translator Bhaskar; and Shankar who shows up at the house randomly and fixes random things; plus our landlord Satish and his restless five-year old who keep trying to get the pool to stop being green. And these are just the regular players! On any given day, at any given time, you can look up from whatever you are doing and find one or more of these people in your line of sight.

After less than two weeks this parade has come to feel normal. People interact with us and each other with ease, and don’t demand a lot of our attention. There seems to be a built-in respect for humanity, if not space. It might be a function of the necessity for such a large population to get along, or simply the fact that we can barely understand each other; either way the population boom in our lives is surprisingly comfortable.

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Tags: Amitabh, Bangalore, Bhaskar, India, Lakshimi, landlord, Manisha, privacy, Rathnama, Satish, Tusshar, Venu

2 Responses to “A nation of over a billion people, and half of them are in my kitchen.”

  1. caterwauler says:

    “There seems to be a built-in respect for humanity, if not space.” Love this line! I suppose there is a certain intensity-bordering-on-invasiveness sometimes when it comes to the conversations we have here in the Bay Area.

  2. womannextdoor says:

    You are so right – it is very tough to have privacy in India. Most people would feel hurt and excluded if you wanted to have your space. I can understand how traumatic it must be for you.