26 December, 2012

The Bai-wars

Indian urban working couples are oh so dependent on the bai brigade. Yes, they are the crucial part of our lives, the pillars that support in running our homes successfully. And would you ever dare upset them? I think not, or else the whole system will come down crashing. And what happens, if you hire two or three different Bais to take care of different responsibilities? A silent war, where in either one of your hired ones goes down or it’s you who suffers in the bargain. They take it to their heart to out-do each other. One way it is good, if it improves the quality of work or their punctuality. But what if it results in unhealthy and negative competition? ‘Madam, usko chai ka cup diya, mujhe saucer hi de do.’ Yes, you get to hear these rants almost every day. They eye on every disposable item you have in your household and then throw in a bid, ‘Madam, woh pink wala kurta mujhe hi dena, I will make your exercise cycle shine with metal cleaner.’ Woah! And the other one will caution, ‘Last time she spoilt your non-stick cookware, what if she scrubs off the top coat of your exercise cycle the same way.’ And then this war reaches its epitome when they start bidding on your new items. ‘Madam, yeh TV purana ho jayega toh mujhe hi dena, doosri ko nahin’. Well, excuse me, but I can get a good exchange offer. My only advice on keeping multiple bais; call them at different times so that they never meet each other and discuss what was their gain, salary, roles, etc. Life was never meant to be easy dealing with bai brigade anyway; the difficulties we face almost every day are absenteeism, sluggishness, unpunctuality and destructive nature (dinner set usually doesn’t stay as a set for long, they invariably break something or the other) to name a few. And on top of it, if you have to deal with bai wars, then even god cannot help you.

Parimita Chakravorty

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