Sunday, October 30, 2016

Maid in India

Citizens of other nations often read up about India on Wikipedia, Travel Guides, Lonely Planet and whatever other sources that offer information about India. The supply of information is humungous in today’s digital world.

But no repository can provide you with the following information, which can only be provided by someone from within, the one who has first-hand experience of having lived there.

Who is the most important person in an Indian family?

Not the grandfather; not the great grandmother; surely not the parents; not any of the uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews; certainly not the kids.

It is the maid.

She is omnipresent and omnipotent.

Contrary to what people may think, the household revolves around her and not the other way about.

A clear case of the tail wagging the dog!

The mother rushes to finish her cooking, constantly looking at the clock, with panic overtaking her composure, while the minute hand travels inexorably to the destined hour.

The dishes will not be washed if they arrive at the sink after the appointed hour. No amount of cajoling, appealing, emotional blackmailing will ever work.

The coffee has to be ready at the right temperature and of the correct consistency and quantity and served in her favorite piece of chinaware.

The furniture that can be moved, and are often moved around, to accommodate a visitor or previous night’s game of cricket, would better to be relocated to their original position.

The maid is not expected to manipulate her ways around minefields of repositioned furniture. Her cleaning routine is as precise as a programmed laser cutting device that follows a pattern to the tune of a nanometer.

The washing cycle should end precisely halfway through her allotted hour. Else you better manage the clothes to the clothesline.

The mopping of the house is a weekly affair. Not convertible to 4 times a month! Weekly as in once in 7 days. Usually on the agreed day at the time of entering into a contract. If you want an out of the schedule mopping of the household, maybe you had a party the previous night, better do it yourself. It is not the maid’s fault that you could not arrange to have your child’s birthday on the eve of her weekly mopping date.

For some strange reasons, not yet fully deciphered, the maid is liked by everyone in the house other than the mother.

The children obediently vacate their positions when she comes sweeping. She is no-nonsense personified. The mother, on the other hand, can never dislodge them from their positions. 


Her absence, even for a day, throws the whole household into sheer pandemonium.

And they leave at the drop of a hat. You never know what might upset them. Their profession is that where there is always a demand-supply gap. And their union (and unity) is pretty strong.

You can’t afford to displease one of them with your arrogance or high-handedness. Do that and you may be cursed with a spell deadlier than “Avada kedavra” or “Crucio” – the strong sorority of the maids banish you, for life. 

You can’t hire another maid as your “reputation” would spread. No one would work for you. There have been instances in recorded history of families leaving the city and move to another for such rash acts.

And for reasons unknown the profession is entirely run by women. Another well-known profession runs only by women, no, not that you pervert, that of the  nurse is also populated with men but the “maid” belongs only to women.

I can hear my wife shouting “Close the blasted laptop and go for your shower! SHE will be here any minute now!!!!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


An old proverb
Suggests that our lives should be
Like water on lotus leaf!

The water droplets skim off the leaf
The leaf remains unaffected by the water.

We are expected to
Live our lives the same way

Anger management suggests the
Same mantra , a bit differently

Events will happen
Let it not affect you
Events are powerless if you
Do not react
Attain nirvana, they say.

Do not react
But put into action
What needs to be done

Worrying does not improve
The situation

Sounds good

But, is it practical?

Is it possible for me to
Remain unmoved

If there is a death in the family.

If I miss my flight.

When my children grow up and move away.

If my bike is stolen.

When I find my friend is diagnosed with cancer.

If Trump becomes president.

When I understand the unspoken words
and the anguish beneath.

When immigrants are mere numbers.

When nations are decimated, in pursuit of oil.

I see merit in

Lotus leaf

And I try with
All my might to practice

But at times I question if
This is truly the panacea

And the more I question
The more restless I become

And I realize I am not
Supposed to react
So I try to be the lotus leaf

And I fail more often
That I would like to

Did I raise a question
Or provide an answer

I am not sure anymore !!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pale Blue Dot

Where are you from?
A fairly simple question
But the answers vary
Depending on the location.

When asked, while in Europe
I say – India

When I reach Pune
My current home
I answer – South India

When traveling to Southern part of India
I answer –  Tamilnadu

When I reach Madras
I answer – Dharmapuri

In Dharmapuri
I answer – near Railway Station

On my street
I point to my home

If I were to be an astronaut
I would probably answer – Earth

The only time
The answers tell me the real answer.

Or should I say
The real problem?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Humans - most advanced life form !!

A and B are in conversation:

A : He drinks like there is no tomorrow
                B : His face reveals that

A : He cheats on his wife
                B : I am not surprised

A : He is a chain smoker
                B : Only a logical extension

A : He abuses official facilities for personal use
                B : Tell me something new

A : He donates regularly to charity

                B : Are you sure ; Did you cross check !!