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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Maid during Day, Stand–Up Comedian during Night – Deepika Mahtre

Life is not a bed of roses. It depends on us how we shape it. We can either choose what we are getting in plate, or can step out of our comfort zone to achieve what we desire. Deepika Mahtre is a common citizen just like us, yet she stands out from all of us for what she has chosen to do in her life. She is just living an ordinary life, yet she makes a little effort to live up to her dreams.

43-year-old Deepika is a Mumbai based Domestic helper whose day starts at 4 in the morning. On her way to work, she sells imitation jewellery to passengers in the Local Train. After doing her train rounds, she heads to the first home at 6.30 am to do the daily chores. After working in 5 households, she gets free by 4 pm.

That seems a dull life for all of us, but she knows how to add colours to it. After a long and tiring working day, she turns up to stage to spread happiness by participating in comedy shows.

Her jokes are a sharp critique on people’s apathy towards their domestic help and workforce, while also taking subtle digs at patriarchal practices like observing Karva Chauth. “I write my own jokes based on personal experiences and I want to continue creating content that the public can relate to. I have had people tell me after a show that they realised how insensitive they were at times towards their house help and have consciously tried to improve their attitude,” says Mahtre, who feels she hasn’t really ruffled too many feathers by her candid sketches.

Sweetly smiling at her audience throughout the act, waiting for the applause to die down after every punchline (which happens quite often, honestly) and dropping truth bombs like second nature, Deepika effortlessly wins the hearts of her audience right from the first minute.

It is a fact that today Deepika performs quite often, but it is also a fact that she hasn’t forgotten her roots and where she started. She still cooks and sells jewellery and whenever she gets a gig, she performs after finishing her work.

Speaking about her transition Deepika said, “This started when Sangeeta madam (Sangeeta Das, at whose home Deepika works) arranged a talent show for us “Bai log.” No one usually does that, right? But she gave us a platform to showcase our talents—just as a fun activity. That’s where I decided to take my jokes to the stage.”


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