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Delhiwale: Enter the life of a longtime doorwoman

Private Capital: The 10-year-old work journey of a woman that has just entered a new stage

delhi Updated: Jul 10, 2017 15:15 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Geeta Devi, works at a luxury home decor store in Khan Market.
Geeta Devi, works at a luxury home decor store in Khan Market. (Mayank Austen Soofi)

“Hello sir,” she greets the man as he steps into the showroom.

Geeta Devi is a female doorman. Or should that be doorwoman? Doorperson? We meet her one afternoon during her duty hours at a luxury home décor store in Khan Market.

In her 40s, she travels daily to work from her home in faraway Seelampur — she has to change three Metro trains to get there.

A foreign woman in a long cotton skirt enters the showroom. Ms Devi instantly opens the door, saying, “Hello ma’am.” The woman has three handbags. Ms Devi keeps them in the rack behind her. She tells us she has been working in the store for ten years. “I started as a sales person in a shop in Mehrauli… today my son, Rahul, is studying to be an engineer and my daughter, Bhavna, recently got married to an engineer.”

A customer prepares to leave the shop. Ms Devi opens the door saying, “Goodbye sir.” The customer gives her a hurried smile and goes away.

Doesn’t she get bored of opening and closing the door hour after hour every day?

Ms Devi smiles, and says, “That is not possible. I see such good people here daily… I sit down on this (wooden) stool for rest when I feel tired.”

A famous novelist enters. Ms Devi gives a cry of great happiness and hugs her. They both beam at each other.

Ms Devi says that her husband left her a few years ago. “Now I feel it was a good thing,” she says. “He was a problem. Life became better when he went away….”

[Last week Ms Devi was promoted to ‘shop assistant’, she says. No more opening and closing the door for her now. A new doorman has taken her place. Her name is Pushpanjali.]