How is the new maid you have engaged? Asked my husband as we were having dinner.
Quite pleased at his concern I said, “she appears to be o.k. but….”
Before I could complete, Kirtana, my college going daughter butted in saying
Mamma, I am glad hereafter you will not ask me to help you with the dishes.
Nor me, with the vacuum cleaner, piped in my husband.
Don’t be so sure you folks, for all I know we may all have to help her by way of adjusting to her timings, I quipped.
What do you mean? Literally screamed both annoyed.
Well you see, it’s like this. This maid works as a house keeper full time in a nearby office, I said.
But how on earth can she work for us mamma when she has a full time job ? Kirtana asked in surprise even as she was taking a second helping of fried rice.
She said she would work for us during her lunch break when she is free to do what she wished, I reassured Kirtana who appeared relieved.
But mamma, you should have thought twice before employing her because as you said it requires a great deal of adjusting on our part, more so on mine, which means I can’t do things at my own pace, complained Kirtana.
She is right, it looks like we have to abide by the maid’s timings instead of the other way round, grumbled my husband.
Not that I didn’t think of the hassles involved. I yielded to her pleas considering that she had to support three young daughters and a drunkard of a husband, I said with a slight sense of guilt.
The usual story perhaps and you seem to have fallen for it. . By the way I wonder what she does by way of housekeeping? Asked my husband more out of curiousity
It appears she has to serve coffee and biscuits to visitors dropping in at the office, wash the crockery and place it back on the shelf and keep the premises clean, I replied.
Quite an easy going job. I wonder how much she gets paid for it, he said.
A couple of thousands I believe but not enough to satisfy the needs of three school going children. What I paid would take care of their growing wants besides paying a part of her house rent, she said.
Must be a smart chic to have taken advantage of your gullibility, reiterated my husband.
By the way I haven’t still told you people anything about the conversation we both had, I said dying to relate all that had transpired between me and my new maid.
She wanted to know whether I was a working woman, I said.
What cheek! Mamma, you should have told her it was none of her business, said Kirtana irritated.
I don’t think there is anything wrong in the query. I am sure she would not have understood if you said you were a journalist and a writer , said my husband.
You are right pappa, it wouldn’t have made any sense to her, concurred Kirtana.
Infact, you will be surprised to know she has a smattering knowledge of English which, it appears has helped her in getting the job of a house keeper.
Anyway, what did you say? Enquired my husband.
I said I was not a working woman in the real sense, in that I did not have a nine to five job but I worked all the same.
Then what do you do amma? she asked.
I said that I was a journalist and that “I worked from home.”
Interestingly, just then the two visitors who had an appointment with me dropped in. As usual I offered them some refreshments.
You know what the maid said after they had left? I said recalling her words and trying to control my laughter.
What did she say? Both asked in unison leaning forward.
Amma, you said you “worked” from home, does it mean that you too are a house keeper like me?
N. Meera Raghavendra Rao