Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Bai Chronicles - I

Maids have been in the news recently, for all the wrong reasons! What started a couple of years ago with Shiney Ahuja in India, seemed to afflict even the ex-IMF chief, and our very own Terminator took the idiocy a step further, by literally 'keeping a house' with his housekeeper! So much for maids dictating people's lives! And I thought that I was the only one with the dubious honor of having allowed my maid to wrap my whole life around her little finger! I seem to have a horoscope that shuns hired help! If a maid so much as dares to agree to come work at my place, Rahu, Ketu, the maid's 'marad', the aunty who lives upstairs who incidentally was her ex-employer all wreak havoc with my peace and cruelly whisk her away. If I fight against my stars and manage to find someone (fight sounds nice, but plead with every maid who walks past my building gates is more like it) she ends up being someone with the work ethic of a vagabond!

So once this lady made bold and came home, with the intention of being employed by us. How my anti-maid track record went off unnoticed is beyond me. Praise be to the fact that she was just recently married and she'd only just come from her gaon! I explained everything to her and she said she'd work here! Yaaaaayyyyy, I almost screamed out loud. She then asked me to keep her number just in case. "Madam, aapka number do, mein meees call maarti hoon", she said, pulling out a swanky looking touch screen phone from a decrepit plastic bag. I thought back about my own strictly functional, terribly scratched, un-stealable brick phone and told her that my phone was in the other room, and that she should give me a call and I'd store the number when I next saw the phone! The next day, a Saturday, I got myself a hair appointment, having found a new found freedom from 'bhaandi ghaas' and 'jhaadu'! I walked over to the salon, and savored every moment of freedom. I had to spend a good 4 hours there, getting my hair straightened. I made the cautious, half-hopeful call back home and was very happy to know that the lady with shining cell phone had indeed turned up. I relaxed and went through the intense hair-straightening experience, at peace with the world!

The next day, while I was on a strict 'no water on your hair' and an even stricter 'no clips on your tresses' and the strictest 'no hair behind ears' routine, the morning was slipping by, and there was no sign of the woman of the moment! Fearing the worst, I made The Call! The call didn't go through. Thinking my dilapidated phone was perhaps to blame, I tried with another phone. Yet no luck. Frantic attempts later, amidst a massive cacophony that sounded more like a movie theater in the background, a voice answered. 'Haan, mein baahar hai. Kal aake baat karega'. And click. No explanations, whatsoever. Not even a courteous moment of conversation to a lady whose hair was saturated with chemicals! Anxious to know why she hadn't turned up, I tried calling her again. She cut my call. Not to be put off so easily, while feeling a little embarrassed myself, I decided to try one last time. And I was met with the dreaded 'Jya numbershi tumhi samparka saadhu icchitat, toh sadhya banda aahey'. I gave up. Wrapping a scarf around my chemically endowed tresses, I set to work. Hoping the few thousands I'd belted out on my hair wouldn't literally be washed down the sink.

The next day, the dame arrived and declared that her marad felt that she was working too much and hence she shouldn't come work here any more! Aaaaagh! "Tell your marad to talk to me!' I almost begged. I would have gladly bribed that marad fellow to just let my cellular maid stay! 'Nahin. Kal poora din mere peeth mein darad tha. Uthne ko hi nahin hua! Mera marad na bolta hai', she said. (Apparently her back was in agony all day yesterday and her husband told her no more working!) I was tempted to ask her whether her house was a movie theater and the seats there comprised of her bed, but I wanted to salvage the bai as much as I could! As it turned out, the love shove between them was too much to fall for bribes, increased pay, lesser work et al and I was left again with straight hair and no maid!

I have a billion such stories and I could write a whole book on my maidscapades! But so much for now!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey - I am really happy to find this. cool job!