The omnipresent ‘middle-class’ Indians like me worship this frame of flesh and bones more religiously than the divinely ubiquitous one. She epitomizes Krishna and we are like Arjuna in the war field called ‘Home chores’ wanting few more minutes of her saarathi-ness. Her magnanimous presence for 30 minutes is like you just finished the last gulp of the very tasty and mesmerizing Thayir Sadam (Curd Rice), after having a sumptuous Punjabi meal. She is the effervescent and the most inevitable part of our lives- The Bai (Housemaid).
That vibrant arrival of her through the society gate makes the ladies club of the society go cheering and their eyes sparkling with contentment, emoting ‘Haaash thank god Bai aa gayi’. Her energy and dedication towards her commitment is unbeatable. This can be experienced through the rattling sound of utensils while being flushed with stormy stream of water, causing your water tank go in a borderline drought-ridden state in such a manner, that even the society pump man would look at you like a convict. The swift touch-me-not sweep through so called corners of the home which honestly does not exist for these spinners, leading to abet a pile of dust camping secretly behind the almira, reassure us saying ‘do not worry, Diwali is yet to come‘. And her exit with the huge thud on the door proclaiming ‘Come back to reality Madam, the house is all yours and so the rest of the chores’, questions your personal capability and your pay scale thereby nearly traumatizing you with a much bigger question than why kattappa killed bahubali which is ‘why on earth can’t I afford to keep her with me 24X7?’
The life runs for a cover in ICU when the Bai politely announces ‘Madam, main kal nahi aayegi…Ram Navami ka chutti hai‘. This sweet announcement of hers not only raises your bhakti level for the 33 cr gods and goddesses, but also makes one realize that tomorrow is the D- day when suddenly all your near, dear and no where ones would be turning up and to make things more worse you would be expected to take ashtabhuja avatar. Some how regathering yourself, you humbly ask for the name, place, animal, thing of the cultural roots of your bai just to make sure she is entitled for this optional holiday as per the contract and if it turns out to be in her favor, one can watch the most accomplished ladies kneeling down in front of this god’s gift pleading for some daya and some karuna hoping the goddess would make her wish come true…
The scene is pristinely prevalent with full on melodramatic effect if you are in Metro Cities where you can find shrines at every nook and corner, but having the same Bai is no less than getting the extra squeezed toothpaste back into the tube. Thank God, I could manage to get mine in place just in time…😋