Helga Voci is the widow of internationally collected artist Diego Voci (1920-1985). What follows in Helga’s own words is the story for several years she was reluctant to publish about their cherished housemaid and nanny for Voci daughter Alessandra. It is a happy story with a sad ending.
Dear Kami and Coop, Lakshmi was a lady of about 40 when she came to us. We had contact to an Indian lawyer. When Diego told him that we would like to have an Indian housemaid, he sent her to us. This was in 1975 just before we moved to Wiesbaden; Alessandra at that time was about 1 year. We all liked Lakshmi very much, she was very quiet and modest and a fantastic cook, she cooked wonderful Indian food, very hot in the beginning until we were protesting. From time to time she would prepare Indian dinner for our guests, mostly cooking whole day long, everybody loved it. Later on she would also cook Italian and German food. She was mostly wearing her saris. She stayed with us about 4 years and then she flew back to India as she wanted to see her family and after a few months she came back. She stayed until October 1985. Lakshmi had saved every penny we paid her to take home to India. It was a pity she had to go, at the same time nobody knew that Diego would die 2 months later. I and Alessandra would have needed her so much. A few months later, we found out that Lakshmi had been killed by her husband who took her money. She traveled with him to South India to visit family there and during the trip on the train which took several days he would poison the food and she died. Lakshmi was a very good person.
Helga Voci took this photo of her mother Gertrud Brandl , Lakshmi and Alessandra.
AC DV History #200 6/10/2015