Monday, July 31, 2006

Hell hath no fury like a Bai scorned

Anybody who has ever felt the need to employ a house help will support me in this piece of wisdom.
You may think you’ve seen it all- a dhobi who never remembers to return the clothes (and when he does, it invariably turns out to be the neighbor’s children’s uniforms), a watchman who’s never on the watch (what is he supposed to do, it is you who keeps checking at odd hours), a newspaper boy who delivers your favorite English daily to someone else (leaving you to grapple with the marathi news in Maharashtra Times) etc. etc. but your list is always incomplete without a mention of the Bai.

There is no telling what may befall you if you ever make the gravest mistake of displeasing your bai, and unfortunately, there are uncountable ways to do so. You cannot bargain with her on her wages, you can’t ask her to follow a particular timing, you may not object if she takes too many daandi leaves (after all, it isn’t her fault if someone or the other keeps getting married in her unusually vast family), and most importantly, you must never, ever, criticize the way she does her job (you may as well do it yourself if you know it so well!). what happens if you break anyone of these golden rules? May God help you in your eternal quest for another bai…