One of the major changes in my life after getting married is having to deal with maids, plumbers, electricians. I interact more with my maid than I do with my husband. My maid also notices little changes in me more than my husband does.
“Bhabhi aapke baal bahut jhad rahe hai,” she reminds me every morning that I’m losing my hair faster than Kejriwal lost respect. I KNOW! I AM STRESSED OUT AND NUTRITION CONTENT IN MY FOOD IS LOWER THAN IQ OF AN AVERAGE AAP SUPPORTER. I tell myself to calm down because it will only worsen my hair fall and didi, as we respectfully call her, will be even more upset. “Ab aap 30 ki ho gayi ho to Olay cream laga dijiye, bahut badhiya hai. Woh 263 mein bhabhi kehti hai,” maid even has beauty tips now that I have crossed 30.
She also makes it a point to remind me my eyebrows have outgrown themselves. The other day she told me how I need to get my legs waxed now that summer is here and I’ll wear shorts. A second after she told me I need to get my legs waxed, she showed off her own legs. “Humne to kabhi karwayein hi nahin hai,” she said displaying her own hairless legs. SOME PEOPLE ARE LUCKY WITH BODY HAIR!
Didi also likes to remind me how I am constantly being looted by the sabziwala, Ramesh. Some times, Ramesh comes in our lane to sell vegetables around the same time as Didi is home, cleaning. “2 kilo aloo, 2 kilo pyaaz, 250 gms tamatar, 1 jhudi palak, 100 gm adarak aur ek gobhi de dijiye,” I’d shout from my third floor apartment and he would come to deliver the potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, cauliflower and ginger.
As someone who never really bothered buying vegetables till little over a year ago, I don’t know the fair market price of vegetables. I also do not know how to negotiate with vegetable vendors for vegetables. I pay whatever is asked. “190 rupees,” Ramesh announced. As soon as he leaves, Didi is upset. “Loot ta hai yeh Ramesh. Hamare wahan yehi cheez aadhe daam mein milti hai,” she would tell me. Ramesh is looting you, we get it at half the rates at our place. Incidentally, Ramesh was the one who got her the job at our place a year back.
But it is not just me didi triggers depression on to. She doesn’t even spare the guests. A friend visited our place with her baby who was a little over a year old. The kid, who has developed a fascination for spoons, was just running around the house with a spoon in each hand, happy. Didi immediately sent my friend into depression, “Ek saal ho gaya, kuch bolti nahin hai? Daaktar ko dikhao.” My friend only recently got back to normalcy after the baby uttered her first words, “daddi.” Now the father and grandmother of the child are fighting who she was calling out to in her first word ever.
What if maids are a conspiracy? What if they are planted in our lives by the Royal Family and/or the CIA to spy on us and make us so dependent on them that they get powers to manipulate our mind enough to send us into depression? Or what if they are actually planted by psychiatrists to send us into a depression so they could cure us with happy drugs?
Disclaimer: I know the politically correct word is house help, domestic help. But this article in no way means any disrespect to anyone, especially to the ones who clean up after us. It is a light-hearted article and I insist it is taken as one.