What a perfect way to wake up every morning… the melodious voice, the gentle nudge, the glowing face.. the romantic notion of the aaya in every Ruskin Bond story that I grew up on…. NOT!
In this quaint little city of Mumbai, my room-mate and I cower under our blankets every night, terrified of what might await us the following morning.
For every morning, the door of our small damp room is kicked open with a bang that resounds throughout the bungalow, and thus enters a woman who has sent many a wrestler scurrying away with their tails between their legs. Her palloo is tucked away somewhere on her frame, I dare not peek out from under my blanket to actually figure out where…her muscular legs partly revealed from under her fisherwoman type sari…her face contorted into an expression of pure loathing and rage. And I swear to God I have seen what I truly believe to be smoke coming out from her nostrils at times.
Some facts about our maid:
She comes from a lost land unknown to man. No one in the entire house, the neighbourhood, and I suspect even this city has any idea what language she speaks. Its not Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bhojpuri or even Bengali. It is absolutely impossible to understand what she says. So everyone gave up listening to her a long time ago. That of course didn’t deter her from screaming even more in her sacred language.
She has magical powers. No really, she does. She manages to make clothes that go into the laundry clean, come out dirty. Oooh, she even manages to make all my underwear magically disappear. And some do come back, torn. Hmm. I think she’s still perfecting that part of her act.
She has visions. One day, she suddenly realized that the best way of drying our clothes was to hang them out on the terrace, while it was still raining. She put herself in danger, got drenched in the downpour, but came back a valiant hero, finally solving the dilemma of drying space that us mere mortals had been struggling with for days.
She has follow up visions. When the mere mortals fail to understand the brilliance of her initial visions, they tend to wake up to wet clothes drying on top of themselves.
She’s an expert in magical maths. She expects her salary to magically increase my 33.33% every month. Then she lets out a blood curdling scream and stomps her feet, promptly causing the ceiling in the next room to collapse, when the mere mortals fail to understand her enchanting calculations.
She is adamant. She fails to understand when she’s fired, and promptly turns up again the next morning. The mere mortals are of course too scared to make her understand.
So every night, my roomie and I climb into bed, curl up into tiny balls under our blankets, and tremble with fear as we anticipate the Return of Godzilla.
Please note: This blog does NOT exaggerate. I DO firmly believe it was her stomping which led to the ceiling collapse.