"Again?" asked my colleagues, in chorus, when I told them that I’ve asked my domestic help of five months, to leave. Now, please don’t freak out that I’m writing yet another column on the stress related to maids.
I know an obvious topical issue to write about would have been Board exam results but you know what, it’s been two days that the results of standard 12th are out. By now, all those who wanted to rejoice or cry would have done so. And I have anyway been crying hoarse for the last two years that marks really don’t matter in life. None of those who just got their exam results after fretting over every single mark gained or lost, would even remember their subject-wise marks ten years from now. Let alone that, take it from me that they wouldn’t even know where they’ve kept their marksheet.
So now, please let me crib about what’s been stressing the hell out of me for the past ten days. Not the fact that I’m spending my annual leave cleaning the house because the maid is gone. But because of the reason for which she had to leave. The story goes like this. Alpana (not her real name) was like any other domestic help… sometimes seemingly hard working, sometimes plain lazy.
Two weeks ago, her dedication levels suddenly rose, much to my delight. Every two hours of working in the kitchen, she would tell me that there’s something or the other that’s getting over and she’d be too happy to fetch it from the neighbourhood grocer. Considering that I live on the third floor and had yet to come across any living soul who would be happy hopping up and down the stairs, I was totally smitten by her willingness.
Till those visits to the grocer’s got longer and longer in duration, so much so that if she had gone to fetch eggs, we began to wonder if the hen was making her wait to lay the freshest ones. And then the bombshell dropped. One love letter, wrapped on a stone, in the balcony and some confessions later, it became clear that the maiden had fallen in love, with some neighbourhood guy who had clearly mastered the art of writing and wrapping love notes quite well.
Now as we got to know of the trysts behind the egg-fetching spree, it was an obvious concern as she, intentionally or otherwise, was vulnerable to giving our home’s access to an outsider in our absence. “But it’s her age to indulge into such things,” I tried to unconvincingly mumble once. “Oh, so shall we invite the guy over and give them an AC room to makeout?” thundered the man of my house and her fate was sealed. Come to think of it, he was absolutely right in ensuring our safety as the first priority. The love struck Alpana was given marching orders and we were maidless — yet again.
But my dilemma is, that the stress didn’t get over… it got worse when I told my colleagues about the incident the next day. “You are such an enemy of love. You broke a blooming love story,” blamed Neha. I wanted to tell her that she watches too many Hindi movies for her own good, but remembered well in time that she’s my Bollywood reporter and it’s her job. Anyhow, the same comment was echoed by a few other ‘young and romantic’ types in my team and now I truly feel like a villain.
Here’s a question. Have you ever been in a stressful dilemma because you discovered that your maid has got into an affair with someone? How did you deal with the struggle of allowing someone the freedom of a personal life while still ensuring the safety of your home and family? This time, I’m looking for calmness tips. Do share.
Sonal Kalra is now feeling exhausted… of work and guilt. To make it worse, Neha starts singing Tayyeb Ali pyaar ka dushman every time she passes by.
Mail your calmness tips to her at firstname.lastname@example.org