Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Woman Friday

Happy times are here again! Smiley, our maid-cum-cook-cum-therapy-cum-positive energy potion-cum resident mummy is back! It has just been a week, but it assumed a proportion that even transcended to my status message on Facebook (yes, I am guilty), and for the millionth time, I thanked my stars that I live in India and not anywhere else in the world where I can be blessed with such divinity.

May be I just have good karma as far as domestic helps are concerned. There was Pushpa, who was a terrible cook, but excelled in all other departments. She was part decorator, part candle-maker and full enterprise—she had a little stall around the corner where she sold everything from beedis to beads. Then there was Lata, who got along fabulously with my felines Lupooh Singh and Millie Kutty, to the point that they began ignoring me. And Shankaran, from my childhood who taught me how to cook when mom and dad were away and sometimes absolved me of my task of combing and plaiting my baby sister’s hair to get her ready for school. Never mind if he had the habit of humming really bad tunes or combing his hair repeatedly or not bathing for days.

Back to Smiley. I tried very hard to make the house not look like it was struck by a tsunami upon her return, but after three days of washing clothes (me) and cleaning dishes (the husband)… we pretty much gave up, as whatever we did, it still didn’t add up to even 50% of what Smiley did. Also, every spoon, fork, plate or bowl I used was increasingly feeling guilt ridden as was every piece of paper or towel I flung (more about that disorder later)

She was our best housewarming gift from our neighbours Geetu and Namit, and the most generous ever. Her real name is Lakshmi but both me and the beau decided to ignore it and christened her Smiley. She is not just a help—she is the positive energy you so badly need when you are sucked into the world of jobs that sometimes leave very little of you at the end of the day. She is what makes coming home fun. What’s Smiley cooked today? What twist has she added to the d├ęcor? Will she reprimand us for not finishing her palak parathas?

Not that she is a terribly happy person with no worries—she has the usual—a husband who is a wastrel, a daughter who won’t study, a son who spends more time falling off bikes than staying on them, a municipality who is threatening to mow her house down that she has to routinely bribe, relatives who descend in droves and add to her ‘mouths to be fed’… the works. But she leaves it all at home and always comes to us 100% frown-proofed. Unlike her predecessor Sulky, who was surrounded by an all-pervasive gloom, and caused much grievance to the beau with her chronic absenteeism and skulking-away-when-door-not-opened-on-one-ring-syndrome.

Smiley, I hereupon salute theee!

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