Every morning, at around 4:30 am, Deepika Mhatre boards the first local train from Nala Sopara. For the next three hours, she selling imitation jewellery to commuters. The 43-year-old deboards around 10.45 am from the local, and sets off to work as domestic help and cook in five households in a residential complex in the area.
It was a talent show held last year on Women’s Day that turned Mhatre’s life around. Organised by a woman in whose house Mhatre cooks, she was coaxed into performing in the show. Her impromptu act was one of the most well-received acts of the night.
After her performance went viral, she was introduced to comedian Aditi Mittal who asked her to perform on a professional platform. Aditi gave Deepika a chance to showcase her talent on her show ‘Bad Girls With Aditi Mittal’, where Mhatre’s astute maid-employer punchlines left the audience applauding. Deepika finds humour in her daily travel and work, which she presents on stage.
The newfound fame hasn’t really changed things much for her. Deepika’s routine remains the same. She still sells jewellery on local trains, and then goes off to work as a cook. However, she has reduced the number of homes she visits. Deepika is now looking for more shows which will not only help to showcase her talent but will also help her financially.