Today a friend’s status message on FB read: Just fired my bai and feels terrible. Replying in a few seconds to this, she said: Yes, and now I am the bai till I find one. That is a married woman’s reality. Doing the house chores without a bai at hand, is like living in a country whose economy just blew up to pieces.
Bai. Mai. Maid. We can’t do with them and cannot do without them. Yeah, go ahead and call this post an exaggeration but for most women (married or not) this is a home truth which dawns on us very soon. Whatever one wishes to say, they have some hypnotic power over us. We are always around them or pouring over their work at home. We are never happy and they don’t give a damn. Yet we are afraid to utter the ‘F’ word (in this case – FIRED). Wish we could have that kind of attitude towards our employers. Unlike bais, we are always worried of our job security, however much we slog our asses.
We could still be fired but we cannot fire our bais for their tardiness.
With a regular maid, life is cool. She washes, mops, swabs, cleans and you supervise. You crib about her tardiness and she continues to give you that: “Itna paise mein itna hee milega look!” Yet, she is integral part of your domestic life. Without her, the dishes lay waiting in the sink till you find time or are forcibly compelled to roll your sleeves up and do the washing. Arrrgghhhh...what a chore! But when she is around you don’t mind rolling out the entire bunch of spoons into the sink! You hate her one day, reprimand her, yet you sweet talk to her every time she threatens to leave you.
She knows more about you and your house than the male members at home might ever know. She is your source of neighborhood gossip too. Sigh…it’s a vicious circle (that is moving anti clockwise!). First she comes to you for work. You hire her. She works and bears all your natak. Then she threatens to leave. You sweet talk to her. Try other methods to cajole her. Finally pay her more so that she stays.
In an instant, she, who was the maid turns into the one who can pull all the strings. And all this while I thought I make the rules…okay I do but then she makes some too.
Women spend hours over the phone, complaining, comparing and crying their hearts out to other women about how their bais are torturing them.
In the very recent past, our old maid, who was on a long holiday, turned up on a rainy afternoon. I must tell you, her appearing out of the blue was nothing short of a jubilant moment. Gone for a month, she was badly missed. Three maids had come and gone. Each one was compared to the old one. Mummyjee cribbed, sighed; unsatisfied, she continued to let the new ones complete the chores. But now that the old one was here, her problems were sorted.