Maids – those powerful women who can get away with pretty much everything! You can’t live with them, their attitudes, their non-existent leave plans, their tardiness, their sorry tales and all their drama! Yet, you can’t live without them! A slice of Indian life from the town of Chennai 🙂
Sunita looked visibly annoyed as she listened to the yarn trailing out of the her maid Anu’s mouth. The woman had disappeared for 3 days in a row without any prior notification, leaving Sunita to handle a house full of guests, the resulting loads of laundry and the never ending piles of dishes along with a full time job!
This was not the first time that Anu, who had received several warnings from Sunita in the past about being fired had gone AWOL*. And yet, here they were again, listening to the tall tales that Anu spun about how her daughter had eloped to get married, while her son was ill from an infection on his foot!
Sunita was exhausted and Anu’s high pitched voice with dramatic undertones irritated her more than usual. She cut Anu off mid way…
“So, is your daughter married now?”
“No amma, she has run away with that useless boyfriend of hers and we are still looking for her!”, responded Anu
“Who is we?”, questioned Sunita
“My son and me, amma!”
” I thought your son was ill when all this happened! You said he cut his leg on some pieces of stray glass and his feet have been bandaged! How exactly is he helping you? I am getting sick of your lies…why can’t you just let me know before you take off? What good is your phone if you don’t answer it?”
“He hurt his feet while we were looking for her!”
Anu was trying hard to patch the gaps in her story. Pushing her luck she continued, “Please don’t fire me amma, I need to take my son to the doctor again and I need more money. Would you consider giving me an advance?”
“What?? You still owe me thousands of rupees in back loans! I am not giving you any more money!”
“But, I need to buy my daughter a new saree and some jewellery….”
“I thought you were angry with her because she ran away with a man you did not approve of! Now, you want to buy her gifts?”, exclaimed a confused Sunita
“I still need to give her dowry…what will my son-in-law’s parents think of me?”
Mindful of being dragged into Anu’s family drama, Sunita raised her voice and ended the conversation “Just get back to work and next time you do this, I WILL fire you!”
Anu scampered away as fast as she could while flipping out her cell phone to call her son and remind him not to show up around “amma’s” house as his feet were supposed to be bandaged!
Sunita heard her and sighed! This would happen again, maybe when Anu’s daughter returned (if had she run off in the first place) and she would still not fire Anu. She would probably loan Anu more money to throw a feast for her daughter and new son-in-law.
Finding a maid was the hardest thing to do in the city of Chennai! Yes, the relationship between the lady of the house and her maid could be best described as complicated!
*AWOL – Absent without leave.