The ubiquitous maid who makes your life worth living and also turns into a hell. The maid who is more precious than friends and family, and sometimes husband too. Once you see her face in the morning, you are instantly charged up and put in a better mood for the rest of the day.
Over the past few years, I have had an opportunity to observe the maids in action. It has also helped me in categorizing them.
The ‘maska’ maid: She has a way with words. And she knows your weak point. A dangerous combination. She weaves sometimes funny and sometimes sad stories about her drunken husband, naughty gang of kids and Lalita Pawar-esque mother-in-law. You are so moved by them, that you end up giving her ‘extra’ money, clothes and what-nots.
The silent one: She doesn’t speak much, nor makes much noise. You don’t realize when she enters the house and leaves it. They are a rare find. But again silence can be suspicious.
The compulsive talker: This one doesn’t know when to talk or when to stop. She loves to gossip. She can give you all the insider information on your neighbours. But remember; what comes in goes out too.
The ‘I-want-more’: She is never satisfied. And she makes you feel ‘inferior’ and even insults you in a roundabout way. Don’t believe me? She tells you the stuff that she regularly receives from the other ‘bhabhis’, how they take care of her and give her things when in need. Her words are like barbed wire. They hurt you where it hurts the most. She forgets quite conveniently what you have been giving her.
The ‘tempest’: She comes like a breeze and leaves like a storm. If you dare to complain about her work, she roars and breathes fire. She doesn’t quit, nor do you fire her. But day after day, she sulks and sulks till the time you are convinced that somehow it was your fault. After all, the poor woman has so many difficulties in her sad and sordid life. And then you take out an almost new sari, clothes for her kids or some money. Truce called and peace restored.
The roving eye: Ah, the dangerous of them all. Her sari is always tied a little low and her hair always sports a scented jasmine ‘gajra’. You keep a watch on her the moment she enters the house. And also on your husband like a ferocious tigress. You wouldn’t think of ever leaving your husband alone in the house while she is there. So you cancel your kitty party or postpone your spa appointment. After all, what happened with Shiney Ahuja, can happen with anyone, right?
The ‘pop, it goes in’ maid: One day you realize you are missing those imported chocolates kept in the cupboard. Your kids couldn’t have eaten them. Then who else? Hmmm, it must be the maid. She has a sweet tooth. So the moment you are out of sight, the pop goes in one chocolate, or a mithai or those cream-filled biscuits. What do you do? You keep those goodies under lock and key.
The ‘sympathetic ear’: She is the one who doesn’t talk much but listen and hang onto your every word as you are the God Herself giving sermons. That makes you feel good, isn’t it? Of course it does, with a husband who is well caught up in making millions or making two ends meet and kids who barely listen to you, such a maid is truly heaven-sent.
Every household has one of these maids. Which one do you have?