One Phone Call

The phone call most dreaded in most of the Indian households is the call from their maid’s daughter/ son, saying ‘Mother won’t be able to come to work today.’ The morning, that would have otherwise fleeted by comfortably with just enough time to fill, is suddenly doomed.

Indian working women are the greatest victims of such sudden telephonic intimations. They usually realize that just when they wanted to have that extra cup of tea or iron that new saree to wear to work, the phone call strikes. And then, most of these women tuck up their gowns, tie up their hair, and hit the kitchen to do the dishes.

And in a country like India, where we express love by cooking, serving, re-serving and eating, and repeating the cycle at least two times a day, the dishes to be done are almost never ‘only few’.

Next. Sweeping the floor. Here, mothers with daughters are lucky. If their daughters are not lazy, moody, married or do not live in another city, that is. Dutiful daughters will take over at this point, and save their moms of a potential back-ache.

But nonetheless, the morning is doomed. Too much hustle, combined with its ugly and contagious side effect ‘irritation’, and if things are bad enough, an entire moody day to follow. See, the disastrous impact of that one phone call?

So what do we do? Well, if the phone call is a regularly recurring syndrome, we fire the maid. Without feeling bad about her familial condition and all that, because ultimately we’re firing her not because we do not like her kids going to school, but because of her lack of dedication to work. Hell, even we’d get fired if we started to take days off like her! Then find another maid, someone you can trust (now that usually takes painfully long). And until then, we continue to be honorary multi-tasking perfectionist superwomen in our own small but incredibly backbreaking worlds!


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