Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Of maids and earrings

Has it ever happened to you? That nagging guilt. You cannot find a costly earring, or think some cash is missing from your wallet. Zoooppp--- you lose no second in doubting the maid. In a second, guilt envelopes you. It makes you feel low and mean. And yet, doubt stands by stubbornly. You are crushed with two opposite, very strong emotions. The maid comes and goes and you eye her each moment, guiltily, stealthily, nervously. You think you are a bitch to do what you are doing and yet you can't decide whether to doubt, feel guilty or ask. What adds to the trouble is that you are no great sharp head yourself. You must have lost the earring or spent the cash on a glass of cold drink. You spend the rest of the day brooding over the loss. More so, you spend the rest of the day over loss of faith and plunge into complicated realms of morality. The next day, you try to ease your guilt by asking the maid to leave the clothes and just do the dishes. A bigger pile to wash the next day, you fool.

Or has it ever occurred to you that you are being used just like the rag she uses to mop the floor? You don't follow her about the house, watch her every move or nag her every other minute to wipe this corner or that. You believe she will do her work well and fair and don't interfere. And then you discover dusty corners, dishes not done well. You tell her gently to do things right and she doesn't reply back. She never does. She simply does what she feels like in one hour dot and leaves just as lazily and she came. And every few months a big tragedy falls on her house and you find yourself handing away one extra advance payment after the other. The work remains just as mediocre. Why should you ask work in return of help, you ask yourself. But why not, a more practical, slightly dark side instantly quips. Yes, why not. You are again down with two conflicting thoughts and end up feeling a perfect fool.

And scene no. 1 has many possible answers. After a fortnight, you find the earring from a forgotten box in the safe. Or, your maid comes wearing it absentmindedly and either owns up when you ask (if you ask) or cooks up a fabulous story that can put David Dhawan to shame...