If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Jan 7, 2010

Pretty maids all in a row.

Baba is running out of control once again. She runs behind him . Re setting shop displays that have tumbled in his path. She can't keep up. A second to do what takes a million to redo. She can’t chastise him. The memsaab has said no shouting at him. Definitely no hitting him. He hits her.
“ arre he’s so small how hard can he hit you”. The other customers glare at her. She’s supposed to keep the brat under control. Something his own parents can’t do. Not that they’re trying, with cell phones in hand, beauty parlour appointments to keep, kitty parties to attend.
At the restaurant they order for her. While she sits at a tale with the other maids. And the children. At least here she does’nt have to do the dishes at the end of a long day. Baba is winding down. He wants to be carried. 26 kgs. In the car later she’s asked how she liked it. Very nice, very nice. Very nice that they ordered the cheapest dish on the menu for her. Very nice that she sat at a table where she had to ask three times for a glass of water.
Did she mind sacrificing her Sunday afternoon off. Baba had to be taken for his cousins birthday tea party ?
Did she mind not having her friends visit her in the building?
”But they meet me down stairs Madam.”
“Yes but the committee says they don’t want strangers coming in and out.”
Did she mind staying up late Saab was going to be late today and you know how he likes his parathas hot.
There was a scene at the club because they now charged even domestics the guest fee.
“How can you ? It’s like they’re not even there.”
“Sorry Madam secretary’s orders.”
A thousand square feet of living space. All she gets is space for her trunk. Tin. With a mirror on the inside of the lid. So that the mirrors in the house don’t wear out if she uses them?
“ Madam I’ll be leaving in three days.”
“For how long ?”

“For how long I said.”
“ Madam my father has a cataract and needs me in the village.”
Later the saab comes home.
“ I told you, you were spoiling her. The more you do for them the more they sit on your head. Ungrateful wretches.”


mentalie said...

i always wondered about the quiet maid sitting at the end of the table, bullied by the brat and his high maintenance mum...tough life.

agent green glass said...

brilliant. really is.

Shrinivas Krishnamurthy said...

Please continue holding up your mirror to society, perhaps we will then realize how ugly we truly are. Kudos...a very well written post.

Cal said...

Great post. And so true

clemde@gmail.com said...

mentalie:- It is. Imagine being at your office 24x7. With a bad boss.
AGG:-Thk you.
Shrininvas:- Thk you too.
Cal:- welcome to BB.

anna maria said...

powerful perspective there...

Floyd said...

the sounds of silence

dropzofjupiter said...

Awesome post!

Flaming Carrot said...

Great blog! Found it through Colins facebook page...

Ah if only you knew the beginning of how maids are treated in Kuwait......

日月神教-任我行 said...


Anonymous said...

dats why i hate kids..they wer made to be spanked black and blue............ps - a salute to the working women of Bombay...maid or MD theyre a phenomenon

Roland said...

Why do Bombaykars (see I refuse to call Bombay Mumbai)still see fit to hire domestic workers. Will their bones break or their spirits flag if they wash their own bathrooms or take care of the children they have spawned om their own loins? No they won't. I can vouch for it. From a lifestyle like yours to one that required total reliance on oneself, was not that much of a change. Work up to it folks and give the money you would have paid your maid, to someone equally poor like her.
Roland. Toronto.