Meet Deepika Mhatre, domestic help by day and stand-up comedian by night
A domestic help and jewellery seller by day and a stand-up comedian by night, Deepika Mhatre is not your usual housewife. Blessed with the innate ability to tickle your funny bone, she takes over the open mic events at the cafes and restaurants in Mumbai. Hailing from Nalasupara, Mumbai, she is a mother of three daughters and the only breadwinner of the house.
Deepika first started her comic journey at a talent show organised for “bai (Maid) log” by Sangeeta Das, for whom she works as a maid too. While most of the participants performed music, art and pantomime, Deepika performed comedy. Amongst the many in the audience who were enthralled by Deepika's comic sense and timing was Rachel Lopez, a journalist. Rachel wasted no time and connected comedian Aditi Mittal to her. During the course of the meeting, Aditi realised Deepika’s potential and immediately asked her if she is willing to move to a professional stage, reports Dailyhunt.
Since then, Deepika has come a long way as a stand-up comedian, and she has been shortlisted as a contestant of India’s Got Talent and appeared on a game show on Star Plus. In an interview with News 18 about the invitations she got to various shows, she says,
Now, I have also started getting offers from Colors and Star Plus. I have also been called for ZEE Awards, Marathi. If I get more offers, I will obviously take them.
When not grabbing eye-balls and eliciting laughs, the 43-year-old starts her day every morning at 4 am and heads towards the Nalasupara local trains and dawns her first hat of an imitation jewellery (bangles and earrings) salesperson. By 6.30 am she finishes her job and heads toward Malad, Mumbai, where she works as a cook for five houses. By the time she finishes the fifth household, it’s already 4 pm. The rest of the evening is the time when Deepika unveils her hidden talent of stand-up comedy.
In an interview with The Better India about how she manages her schedules, she says, "The gigs are usually in late evenings or nights. So I return home after 12-12:30 at night”. When asked about what inspires the content for her comedy, she says,
“I worked at a place where I was treated as a servant—an inferior. They asked me not to sit on chairs and only on floors. To drink water or tea from separate glasses. I speak about all of it—good and bad.”
The city's art scene is taken aback by her comic timing, which brings the perspective of her day job as a maid and makes it sound not as a complaint but as gossip for the rest of the maids to indulge in.