“What sin did I commit to be born a woman?” Lakshmi wonders, a 21-year-old maid in Mumbai. She works ten hours a day, seven days a week. One of her employers is Nishtha Jain, the director of this documentary.
Lakshmi and Me addresses Jain’s relationship with her maid; a relationship that is at once affable and complicated. Century-old class and cultural divides stand between them. The fact that these factors are still decisive at all levels of contemporary Indian society becomes clear in this documentary. Jain films Lakshmi at home and while working for other people. Through observations in the voice-over, she examines their increasingly personal bond.
When Lakshmi falls ill and turns out to be pregnant, Jain is at her side. But what kind of relationship do they have? Lakshmi considers her boss as white and herself as black. The tentative beginnings of a friendship also raise questions about how far this equality can go, both on the personal front and in terms of the larger social context.