One month back when she shifted from Bangalore to Mumbai, one thing which she missed the most was her ‘Maid’. Setting up the house, cooking, cleaning, and work load in new office, was making life difficult for her. That time the only thing she needed was a maid. She asked her neighbors, colleagues and googled for a maid. She contacted some consultancies for house maid. Searching for job was not as difficult as looking out for a maid in that city.
One fine day, by god’s grace she found one maid through her colleague. Maid was supposed to visit her place on Sunday. She got up early, cleaned the room and arranged everything.
“How come you are so active on Sunday? Someone special is coming?” her husband asked her with a smile.
“Of course… this person is very important” She replied while giving a cup of tea to him.
“It is 11:30 now. She was supposed to come at 11. Why she didn’t come yet” frustration in her voice.
“I have never seen you waiting like this for me” her husband made fun of her.
She gave him keep-your-mouth-shut look and looked at her wrist watch again.
“Relax dear, you will get the maid this time. I have some pending work from office. I am going in the study room.” He said and went. She was still waiting in the hall. After some 20 minutes the door bell rang, she ran to open the door.
Shanta Bai looked over the house to estimate the area she needs to clean every day. She specifically asked, if they have automatic washing machine, because she doesn’t like to waste her time with semiautomatic machine. She checked all the kitchen appliances and inspected the bathroom.
Shanta Bai liked her house and the work she was supposed to do. Now they were negotiating on her salary.
Shanta Bai: Itna kit-kit nako karo memsaab… 7000 fix karo aab, nai tho main jati… khali pili time waste nako karo mera. (Madam, don’t argue so much. Let us fix it for 7000 rupees, else I will leave. Don’t waste my time simply)
She had no other choice but to pay Shanta Bai whatever she asked for, because she badly needed a maid. “Okay, fine I am ready to pay you 7000. But be regular and start working from tomorrow.” She told her.
“Oh so you guys fixed your terms and conditions.” Her husband came in hall to take some book. He smiled and said ‘Hi’ to Shanta Bai. He went back to his room, she turned to Shanta Bai “Fine then, see you tomorrow morning”.
Shanta Bai: Mere ko yaha kaam nako karneka… (I won’t work here)
She: What? But why? I am paying you whatever you asked for. Now don’t do any drama to get more money.
Shanta Bai: Tumhara pati aaise smart ban ke, body deekha ke ghar me ghumega tho mere ko yaha kaam nako karna… Waaise bhi aaj kal hum maid logo kaa hero logo se bahut problem hai. (If your husband will roam around, showing his body like this, I won’t work in your house. Now a days there are many problems going on between maids and heroes.)
She: But my husband is not an actor. He just forgot to wear his shirt and came out. I will tell him to take care. You don’t leave the job.
But shanta bai left.
She was fuming with anger. She ran to her husband.
“What happened? Are you angry?” he suspected.
She: If I had any clue that marrying a handsome guy will cost me so much, I would have never said yes to you…
He: What? What are you talking about?
She: Do you have any idea, what is the value of a maid in woman’s life? If husband leaves us, we can survive, but how can we lead a good life without a maid? My life is finished….
If We Were Having Coffee… 4th December
4 days ago