Peripheral Vision: An 18‑Year‑Old Nanny from Aurangabad
Our series, Peripheral Vision, explores the untold stories of people we encounter on a daily basis.
When I left home at 14, I didn’t know what was in store for me. I knew I’d do something, but wasn’t sure what. I came to Mumbai from Aurangabad and started living with my aunt. For the first few years, I attended school, helped my aunt with chores and took care of her babies. At that point, I started liking babies. So, my aunt suggested I take up baby-sitting somewhere, and I liked the idea. I thought it’d be an easy and fun job playing with babies and taking care of them; luckily, I had turned 18 by then.
I spoke to a few people around to ask if anyone needed a baby-sitter. One family asked me to visit their home and instantly liked me. I started work the next day and, for the first few days, things were difficult. The baby was just three months old; I’d never been with babies that small. Her mother was around the first month and that helped me a lot. The next month onward, since her mother had her own business, she had to resume work, and I had to do things on my own.
A few days were difficult; I had no idea why the baby was crying or when she was hungry. But I got into the groove quick enough and started realizing her timings. Soon, we got into a routine, and I saw that the baby was also getting used to me. There were days when I couldn’t make it, when I was sick or had some other work, and her mother would tell me that the baby missed me. That made me feel very nice.
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I had to bathe the baby, feed her, take her for a stroll and do the usual, but I’m glad that I’ve never been bored. Every day is a new day with something new to learn about babies and life. They are so innocent, unaffected by anything, yet so loving and have the ability to spread happiness. As grown-ups, it’s difficult to do all of this; I try and imbibe this from the baby.
I hope there never comes a day when I have to leave them, or they have to leave me, because I’m so used to them that one day without them feels like I’ve been away from my own family. And one day away from the baby feels like I’ve not seen my own baby.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. As told to Anubhuti Matta.