Advance through the times 26/09/2014

The other day my maid  began the day  doing all the jobs that were pending for a long time. She had one look at the large brass lamps  placed on my corner table in the sitting room, grabbed  them with a vengeance in one hand,  picked  up other brass curios from the  table  opposite and  promptly  applied soaked tamarind  and scrubbed them  with all her might  and made all my brass collection fit to be displayed at a shop window. Then she picked up the duster, literally thrashed  all the doors and windows  as though she would  an errant child, swept the floor with an extra effort even as she gave me a glance from the  corner of her eye as proof of  her sincerity towards her mistress.

Why don’t you  have coffee first before you can carry on with your chores, I said.

No amma, the coffee can wait, she  said  condescendingly and continued   her  spring cleaning.

I knew  what  I was in for and chose to disappear  from the scene.

Amma, will you be going out? She said following me.

Why do you ask? I said.

Just like that. You know  tomorrow is my grand son’s first birthday and I would like to gift him with a small gold ring,  for which I need  atleast 10,000 rs.

Why  do you need that much for a ring? I said shocked.

Not just the ring, I have to buy a dress for him also, she said.

But why do you want to buy a ring for a boy?I can understand if it is a girl, I tried to reason.

No, amma, my daughter’s inlaws would expect me to  giftatleast a small piece of gold irrespective of the gender of the child, she explained. ‘Just this once, please give me an advance of rs.10,000, you can cut  from my salary every month’ she pleaded.

Her  ‘request’  reminded me of the times when  I first moved to the city. There was this milk man who would bring his buffalo to milk our day’s requirement and every second day would request  for an advance to buy it’s fodder saying ‘just this once’  which we could not refuse. After a time  the advance money would exceed  the amount we paid for our monthly supply of milk like deficit budget.

Later it was our driver who would perpetually  ‘demand’ an advance  to meet his wife’s  habit of  compulsive shopping  using the refrain.

At the end of it all, I learnt  ‘just this once’ had  ceased to make sense!

n.meeraraghavendra rao


2 thoughts on “Advance through the times 26/09/2014

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