Thursday, 24 December 2015

HELP - LESS

It is an ongoing tussle between my domestic help Saroja and me.

I have told her to inform me if she is going to take a day off, so I am prepared mentally and somehow find the physical drive to do her chores. I never mind her taking the day off, (with her however it is invariably five days running) since she too has problems and may fall ill. It is just that she should let me know first thing in the morning.

 She always says yes, but from the time of the landline and 25 paise  per call from the public phone booth to now the days of the cell - she also has one  -  she never does. Giving her the telephone money to make calls never worked – she probably found a better use for it. Threats of cutting off the day’s wages never work either, she knows I won’t.
So there I remain, waiting till 8 am, and then going to our first floor balcony to check if she has cleaned the front gate and drawn the kolam – at which she is a champ. And if I see her kolam there or in our neigbour’s house, I relax and continue with my work in my office  - kitchen, that is.

But if she doesn’t then I have to start doing the vessels, clothes et al. And I do so with great energy and scolding her mentally for not calling early to let me know. Sometimes I have to fit the chores in to the schedule the days’ programme, like visits to the doctor, cooking for visitors and so on. My scoldings are no less vigorous than my hands as I scrub the vessels. And I tell myself, “Just wait till she comes, I’ll give her a piece of my mind for not calling me.”

On the second day, I am a little more prepared, for I have done the dishes the previous night, thinking if she comes she can do the rest of the work. No call, and she isn’t coming either. The clothes are scrubbed a little less vehemently, though the scoldings continue.

The third day I begin to wonder, while doing the floor, if the poor woman is very ill and can’t come to the phone, but then I tell myself, why can’t she ask someone else in the family to call. Her useless son is always hanging around outside our gate when she is working, instead of going about his job. Why can’t he come and tell me why his mother is absent, I grumble. High time I looked for another maid, I feel.

The fourth day comes but she doesn’t, and now I am weary with the chores, mine and hers, and begin to feel sorry for her, working here and in other homes, just doing the same tiresome chores to make enough money for her livelihood.

By the fifth day I am ready to fall on her neck and welcome her back.

No reprimands, no recriminations…..





14 comments:

GVK said...

When it comes to mastering your mind, it is perhaps, the domestic help who masters it - your mind. If she doesn't turn up without notice, you tend to have little else on mind, other than her absence.

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Thanks GVK

Unknown said...

They are likes cats are as pets... you think you are the master....

Maiji said...

That is Saroja!!!

ER Ramachandran said...

No problems with link! Easily opened. It's a daily wait in most homes; will she? or won't she?' this is like 'waiting for Godot'! Nice build-up of waiting, tension etc and finally ready for anything!

Nice to see you come back. It's a comeback post. Waiting for more and more.Thanks indeed.
ERR

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Yes, Maiji.
Thank you ERR. So relieved that you had no problem with the page.

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Unknown comment-er. So true.

Kamini said...

Oh Raji, far too many people have the same problem of being help-less. How well you have put it, the frustration, the ebb and flow of hope, the resignation to another day of helplessness.
So happy to read something on your blog again - hope to read many more in the new year!

Anonymous said...

Used to follow your posts very diligently and eagerly wait for the next one!

Glad to see you back
Anya Padyam

Trendsetters HR said...

Raji.. enjoyed your blog..the ultimate taming of the mind!!!!
Also the Unknown Comment... is very very down to earth and amusing..
like cats are as pets... you think you are the master....

ronit lal said...

I think you shouldn't be so mean to her. they say serving the old is equal to serving ishvarar. i think you were wrong. im glad you relised your mistake.

Meera's World said...

Mine took a month 's leave and somehow we found that things are the same and we can continue to have a normal life with help from other parties at home. I learned this is a lesson for us to survive without her and a lesson for her to know we can survive without her too. :). One thing my husband said was she is doing this boring work for the past eight years,if she feels like going little slow let her be. But I get no more threatening of ' I Wil take leave for a week':). Take care:)

sunaina sharma said...

I know this feeling although living in US has made me do all the work on my own.....When in India, the eye is on the clock and the mind asks, will she come, won't she come.....!!!....:)....Please check out the blogging contest at http://funkaar.in/contest.html and do participate if interested....It is a verified contest, prompts are music based. Also, share with your friends. Thanks.

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