So I changed the lightbulbs in my unit on my own after struggling to do so for 4 weeks and after asking a friend (who also struggled with it). Mind you, these are not the ordinary kind of lightbulbs. They are a bit ‘fancier’ and therefore, were a bit harder to figure out. I managed to do it all by myself!!! (Persistence pays, people!! Now I just need to persist with my dining chairs which haven’t been completely put together yet.)

It made me realise just how much I’ve probably taken for granted.

Back in India, you don’t do any of these things by yourself. There’s always an electrician who will come and fit your lights, there’s the carpenter who will build/fix your stuff, there’s a maid who will clean your house (and in some people’s cases do your dishes, cook your meals…this was never in our case). In fact, a relative of mine has a live-in maid and so life’s easy for their family even if she works full-time.

On the other hand, here, unless you are very rich, you can’t afford to have someone clean your house, cook your meals, put your furniture together…

And over the past few years, I’ve learnt the following:

– To put furniture by myself (and the help of friends). Yes, the furniture I bought is a DIY style of furniture. I ended up putting together a coffee table, dining table, dining chairs, bed frame with the help of one other friend. In the past, I have put together a bookcase, study desk, and helped a mate with their house furniture.

– I have learnt how to screw on a lightbulb. And it’s not an easy straight-forward type. [Add my shortness to the picture and it makes it harder!]

– I have learnt to juggle work and cooking

– I have learnt to clean an entire house with the help of just a flatmate (Back home, I’d only clean my room)

– I have learnt to move…several times. This includes lifting heavy boxes, lifting furniture and climbing stairs. I’ve never used a mover…so it’s always been a mate and me.

Yes, it’s different from what it was before in India.

But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not even a maid to do all my housework while I just go to work.

And so, to those few people back in Bombay that turned up their noses at me not doing my dishes every single day or stacking up my laundry for a week (in a laundry basket, mind you) and doing it only on weekends or not cleaning the house every single day — try living by yourself, working full-time and not having a maid. Then comment.

For that matter, try changing a lightbulb on your own. 🙂

Until next time,


You Might Also Like

  • Nu
    20 September 2009 at 4:17 am

    Thank you thank you thank you :))) Labbbbu 🙂

  • Titaxy
    20 September 2009 at 4:38 am

    oh DIY is always fun and you learn so much :D…

    thanks for the award 🙂

  • indianhomemaker
    20 September 2009 at 5:33 am

    No doubt doing everything on your own is no joke. Hats off to you!! I can change a few kinds of bulbs and yesterday unscrewed and fixed my laptop cooling pad… was feeling good about it 🙂
    But I do need two maids at home, we ordered food yesterday when they weren’t there.

  • infracaninophile
    20 September 2009 at 5:35 am

    My passions include psychology, reading, writing and intruding.
    Aside from feeling sorry for cricket, i suppose we have common taste.


  • soin
    20 September 2009 at 6:33 am

    sugesting the unedcuated indian worker can still handle delicate stuff very well??free

  • G
    20 September 2009 at 6:35 am

    Hey I have changed a light bulb myself. Here in India 😛 Yay!
    BTW, I do wonder how people do up their houses on their own. Especially painting and stuff!
    Waiting to see your chairs. 🙂

  • Archana
    20 September 2009 at 8:03 am

    Oh yeah, life is always peachy when you’ve got ‘help’ around, or when everything comes to you in its completed form (ahem furniture, etc). When I bought IKEA furniture for my old apartment in Boston, my friends pretty much put it together for me because the screws were over my head. It’s just not my cup of tea, lol. I like being in this part of the world where I order furniture that arrives to my house with delivery men. Ahh, the good life. 😛

    Though you are right, I think when you’ve had the exposure to the DIY type of lifestyle, you really start to realize how much we take for granted in India (and other Eastern countries).

    And PS – Thanks for the lovely award! I just added your name onto my last blogpost, where I took some time out to thank people for giving me awards. 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    20 September 2009 at 10:10 am

    @ Nu: You are most welcome…

    @ Titaxy: Yep…I would never have thought I would be using a hand-drill one day! 😛 And you are welcome for the award….

    @ IHM: Changing the cooling pad for your laptop — what is that??? 😛 Sorry…technologically challenged. But that’s really cool too. Did you feel like you took your maid for granted when she didn’t turn up? Coz that’s what I feel like when I have to clean the house.

    @ Infracaninophile: Welcome to my blog! Re coffee… 🙂 Different continents mate.

    @ Soin: Sorry, I didn’t get what you were trying to say. Could you clarify?? Ta

    @ G: Y’know…after you mentioned that, I realised my dad’s changed some lightbulbs too. I guess I was thinking of the tubelights when I talked about electricians. But good on you!! The ppl that turned their noses up at me haven’t even done that…

    @ Archana: Hehe…so you’ve been there too! I also realised it when I was back in Bombay and mum cooked for me…
    And you are most welcome for the award! You do have a great blog!

  • ani_aset
    20 September 2009 at 5:37 pm

    wow thats cool 🙂 and congrats for the award…

  • sonu
    20 September 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Hmmm…well since I used to do most of your work for you here I must say I am very proud of you 🙂 I guess it just goes to show that if you’re left alone and just have to do things yourself you end up doin it…so keep up the good work sis!!!

  • Richa
    21 September 2009 at 6:30 am

    Yay! I love the D-I-Y s. It’s play time for me ( I used to love Lego sets as a child). I used to love to do all this stuff in India too, but unfortunately the raw materials and equipments are not as readily available there 🙁 . I had to suffice with the putting Diwali lights and decorations. That’s why Diwali is my favorite festival..

    Thanks for the award!! That’s my first ever award! I am very excited…

  • Psych Babbler
    21 September 2009 at 9:29 am

    @ Ani: 🙂 Thanks

    @ Sonu: Yeah yeah…you never really did my dishes or build furniture or fix lighbulbs. All I got you to do was bring stuff for me and put stuff away.. 😛

    @ Richa: Hehe…I never even did the Diwali lights…parents and sis did…but yeah…D-I-Ys are an adventure!!! And you are most welcome for the award…

  • Legal Alien
    21 September 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks so much Psych! 🙂 Methinks we might be psychic? I updated my blog and read your comment later… its not much, but I have a new post now 🙂

  • Footloose
    21 September 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Hey thanks for the award! Once again, you’re inspiring me to start writing again:) The problem is I don’t know where to start, perhaps I should start with day to day activities…hmm

    On DIY, seriously, isn’t the difference from India really astonishing? Maids, chauffeurs, handymen for everything…we were almost spoilt there! But, I wouldn’t exchange this life for anything . I love driving myself around, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I’ve scrubbed and bleached my kitchen floor, vacuumed the carpets, and put together IKEA furniture:) Though I must admit, living in a rented apartment complex means I can call a handyman to fix anything anytime for free and I make good use of that maintenance facility!

  • Reema
    21 September 2009 at 5:12 pm

    congrats for the award

  • Joel
    22 September 2009 at 6:39 am

    doing stuff on ur own .. is pretty empowering isnt it .. (well at least the times u do get it spot on) 😀

    Although i have a completely different story to share .. we never really had a maid .. coz mum hates the maids scratching her fine china hehe .. and she hates things being outta place .. couple with that my dad is a structural engineer on a ship .. meaning hes a electrician/ carpenter / plumber / mason ?? / plus i dont know what else .. so i have almost never seen any of them characters in my home unless if dad was away .. and me being the geek i am experimented with a lot of stuff .. (blew the fuse of the whole building .. u read it right .. the whole building .. not once but twice 😀 ) ..

    so it was lill trouble to get used to doing all the stuff on my own .. its fun .. 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    22 September 2009 at 9:32 am

    @ Legal Alien: There’s the telepathy again! 😛

    @ Footloose: I’m more than happy to provide you with extrinsic motivators…blog awards will come your way for blogging! 😛 And yeah…we really were spoilt there in India. When yo said driver, while we didn’t have one, it reminded me thta we never pumped our own petrol there…attendants were present. I like how we can pump petrol in our own cars!

    @ Reema: Thanks!

    @ Joel: Ah, that’s interesting. And I can believe you blowing the fuse of the entire building! 😛 By the way, my mum never let maids do the dishes because they would never clean it as well as her!

  • Smita
    22 September 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Ah!!! Staying alone makes us do so many things that we wouldn’t have thought off. Be in India or abroad!!!

    Thanks for the award 🙂