Thursday, March 8, 2007

Mera Bai, Hai Hai

I have rented an apartment by myself for the past 9 months and it’s been really great. For the record (in case they read it), I have stayed with some great guys and had really unforgettable times. However, staying alone has many perks. The space is absolutely yours. No one interferes with your morning schedule, as you are king of the loo. You can blast music, watch your favourite channels and keep the house as clean or as dirty as you want. There is a whole list of stuff I can talk about but that’s not what this article is about. It’s about the most painful aspect of my solitary existence – my bai (this creature is also referred to as maid)

She looks like a harmless thing – thin, dark and mousy but people with inferiority complexes can take attitude lessons from her. I must have told her a million times to come at 8.30 a.m. but she is never here before 9.00 a.m. Her first task is to wash the dishes. Along with this, she carries on a self-imposed task of arranging my kitchen. It’s almost like arranging a doll-house. This takes her about 20 minutes by which time my BP has already gone up. After this, she sweeps and mops the floor. She does a good job but seems to have been traumatized in childhood of dark corners and spaces under the furniture and doesn’t touch these areas. I have to remind her once in three days that 1) Dust does collect at these places and b) she bloody well clean it or else….

Earlier, she was accompanied by her two daughters – about 15 and 13 year olds who amazingly had more cheek than their mom!!! They would all come home in the morning and suddenly I felt like a guest. While their mother would do the work, one daughter would make coffee while the other loitered in my balcony and hummed Tamil songs. Then, they would watch TV till I was ready to leave. Luckily, it never came to the point where I had to drop them on my way to office ;-) I put a brake to this when she pissed me off on a hung-over morning and I told her to clear out with her children and never bring them back.

She has an uncanny knack of taking leave whenever there are guests at home. I guess her internal radar sets off when my guests set foot in Chennai and she takes leave on that very day. Therefore, in addition to picking up my guest, I also have to wash the dishes and set the house straight. The best part is that I end up defending her when my guest tells me that she is no good and that I should get rid of her. This is because I am a nice guy/I don’t like admitting to mistakes/Who the heck is going to find a new bai and get adjusted to her?

In all fairness, she works hard, straightens the house out on her initiative and doesn’t steal anything - except Surf, I think but don’t have proof so don’t show her this or she may sue ;-) So, if you guys know some super bais here in Chennai, please recommend ASAP. Please use the comment space to vent your frustrations and suggest innovative ideas (barring maiming/torture/murder). Let us unite and present a joint front against the Big Bad Bais of this world.