Tuesday, January 21, 2014

MY MAID MEERA



 She looked efficient and dependable and did not ask me the usual questions others did. She did not want to know if I had a Tata sky connection with SUN TV channel..if my children ate more than 4 rotis each…if we had parties  3 days a week…if we had relatives dropping in every now and then. She had only one query: If I’d leave the house for her to mind while I’m at away at work!  When I said I’d prefer locking up, she gave a determined sigh and agreed to work for me.”  I don’t want the hassles of being responsible for your house.  I think I’ll work for you.”  Short of clutching her to my bosom, I was over-whelmed with gratitude. When we had moved into the new colony, I had been warned by the watchman that maids are very choosy and difficult to come by.
Meera moved into our service quarters with her husband, three sons and a huge portrait of Ganaeshji.Very garrulous, she reels off all her good qualities to me as she goes about her chores.  Not daring to shut her up,  I make suitable sounds of awe and let her go on. I’ve discovered that the more she brags about her prowess, the better my floors shine and vessels sparkle!  As for her, the only thing that impresses her about me is my pooja room.  While she is chopping onions, she spews her philosophy-about  her being dedicated to her work which is worship-about fulfilling her ‘karma’ of her previous birth,-of praying to God for health so  that she can please discerning home makers like me!
I can’t help admiring the woman who though uneducated, has worked out her own equations for happiness. I feel ashamed at my intolerance of a woman who does not shy away from washing my dinner plate, to keep her home and hearth, while I can pretend to listen intently to the meaningless chatter of my friends at a cocktail party!  Chastising my hollow values, I have become generous about lending my ear to Meera.
She is fascinated by my computer.  The only time she ceases her incessant chatter is when she sees me working on it.  For some reason, she finds it fascinating and dusts it with veneration. Discovering the secret of silencing her, I rush to my system every time she starts off!!
Imagine my chagrin when I realized the repercussions of Meera's weakness for my computer. At all odd hours, I found strangers at my door, wanting me to type 3 copies of an application form or 10 copies of a CV!  Puzzled by this, I asked one of them why they came to me.  “Your maid told us that you do typing work and very well too.  So instead of going to a roadside job typist, we decided to come to our colony typist!”  Thanks to Meera, a new business opportunity knocks at my door!