For expats coming from a Western society, full-time household help sounds like a fantasy come true. But in Mumbai, domestic help is almost more of a necessity than a luxury. You'll quickly discover the constant presence of dirt and dust in your home. And you'll be surprised how often workmen come and go because everything (air conditioners, fans, Internet, TV, water pipes) has a tendency to break down, no matter how new your place is. If you expect to maintain the same standards of order and cleanliness that you are used to, then you should consider hiring an extra set (or two) of hands.
Maids: Called bais in Hindi, maids help with a variety of chores. They are mainly responsible for cleaning and laundry but may also do some light cooking and some child-minding. They usually work part-time or full-time. Live-in maids are not the norm since most have families of their own to care for, but they do exist.
Nannies: Nannies who solely care for children are called ayas. They usually work full-time.
Cooks: Cooks prepare food and can also help with shopping. Some can cook Western style meals and are willing to try new recipes. They can work either full or part-time.
Other: There are workers with very specific jobs, so you could hire a part-time ironer, window cleaner, fan cleaner, sweeper, or gardener if you wish.
The salary for full-time domestic help ranges from Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 per month. Salaries are usually lower, about Rs 5,000, for live-in maids sin…