Song of the Indian maid | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Song of the Indian maid

When an Indian maid recently dug in her heels deepening the diplomatic chasm between India and the United States, it must have amused John Keats in his grave on the repeat of yet another misadventure down the lane. Ashok Kumar Yadav writes

chandigarh Updated: Mar 24, 2014 12:25 IST

When an Indian maid recently dug in her heels deepening the diplomatic chasm between India and the United States, it must have amused John Keats in his grave on the repeat of yet another misadventure down the lane. It instantly reminded me of the celestial commotion caused by the Greek goddess, Cynthia, deciding to incarnate as an Indian maid to marry Endymion in 'Song of the Indian Maid'. In both the cases, however, it was only the artful Indian maid who was perpetually on a song.


Similar to the simmering Indo-US ties, my relations too once curdled with our neighbours over issues so trite and personal to a maid. It gives me goosebumps when I recall how a minor girl from my Punjab counterpart's house had jumped from the roof inside our house. Finding her "in tatters, without shoes or socks" that chilly night, as depicted by Thomas Hardy in 'The Ruined Maid', my wife instantaneously took up cudgels in her defence to the chagrin of our neighbour. We continue to be in a perennial cold war ever since.

Once a colleague of mine cut short his tour to give his wife a surprise on her birthday. He almost fainted when he overheard her spilling nectar on the phone: "I'm waiting for you since long. Let's plan an outing." Carrying a cake and a bouquet in his hands, as he peeped into her eyes in disbelief, she got scared. His brewing suspicion cooled only after she assured him that she was, in fact, trying to woo a new maid.

Cute maids are always a master's pride and the wife's envy. They glide like songbirds in homes where philandering husbands voluntarily slide into their honey-trap. The most curious incident, however, is that of the British monarchy when King Henry VIII got his wife executed to marry Anne Boleyn, a royal maid. Even the church split in consequence thereof, turning the whole of England into Protestants in the king's favour. Their daughter was later enthroned as Queen Elizabeth I.

It would, however, be uncharitable to allege that all maids keep hunting. There is certainly no dearth of those who take pride in treasuring their virginity and snub their lewd employers. Lord Byron learnt this lesson the hard way when his advances were spurned by three minor Greek maids way back in 1810. Even an offer of £500 in those days could not buy him their silken touch. He penned his dejection thus in 'Maid of Athens': "...I am gone/Think of me, sweet! when alone/Can I cease to love thee? No!/ Maid of Athens, ere we part."

The moral of the story: One needs to handle maids with caution and care since they too are women after all. Beware, they can make men sing to their tune and even push friendly nations to the brink of war.

akyadavias@yahoo.com