Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's Bai-logical!

Those who know me well, know that I am dominating (I don't really agree, but yes, can get some times). I (allegedly) dominate my brother, my husband and the list goes on and on. But apparently there is one person that can't (now couldn't) dominate! No brownie points to guess (refer title)…it’s the Bai..!

With the working women juggling to balance (or rather control) family and work, the Bai becomes an absolute necessity. My sob story will be shared by many such 'working' women. When my husband and I moved to our house in Bandra, we didn't know that finding a suitable Bai would be so difficult! I haven't faced so many problems even I was searching a suitable match for myself!

We had many conditions such as the maid should come before 8am and blah and blah. In Mumbai, maids are the one who have conditions not the maid-employers. So we finally got a Bai after much pleading, seducing (with money of course!) and protesting (why don't you want to work here!!). But the tryst with the Sakhu-Bai lasted only for a couple of months.

Parting from a Bai could very well be more difficult than parting from a partner of a couple of years! Dealing with a Bai is like dealing with a relationship. She pampers you but at the same time throws tantrums. She wants her space too, so she doesn't turn up for 3-4 days! She wants to be disconnected from you, so doesn't even call to inform you about her leave plans.

But like a so-much-in-love lover, you overlook all these things. You give her the brand of detergent she wants to use, you give her the best cleaning soap, you give her your much treasured old clothes, but she could care less! But you continue, because you know you cannot do without her. Or else you'll be the one cleaning the floors, washing the utensils! Not less than a nighmare, no?

Yet, that much pending separation happens. Yes, it does. You have showed much patience till now, but now her behaviour is out of your bounds. Her no-show, her coming late, her never ending demands take a toll on you. So with much planning you decide to fire her, separate from her. You rehearse in your minds ten times what you ought to tell her. What she may feel about it. You sum up all the courage.

The moment arrives. She finishes her day's work. You go to her with a stern face. You say, "Look Bai, we can't put up with your behaviors and whims, you don't come from tomorrow." And all she says is "Okay" and goes away quietly. So many things play in your mind, just like a jilted ex-lover. "Why was she so cool about it. Has she found someone else?" or "Didn't she like me enough anyway?"

Hmm…bai bai…so many thoughts…all for a Bai.

Coz it was, after all, time to say (laughing cheesily) GOOD-BAI! ;)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Childhoods wanted!

The other day, when I saw a new building complex being built in Kalanagar, it made me think about the 'changing nature of childhoods'. The cleverly advertised billboard said "Childhoods available". It showed a picture of children playing on green grass and building mud castles. It shouted, "Do your stories start with, 'remember the last time we were at the mall'?". Made me think.

Childhoods and the very definition of the word 'childhood' have changed beyond doubt over the past few years. My cousin has had a mobile phone from the age of ten. She practically grew up playing games on the computer. Last week, my four-year old niece was gifted an i-Pad by her dad to 'learn to write alphabets and learn to identify colours'. Just for fun, I call it i-Pati (i-Slate).

I don’t remember being dependent on any kind of gadget when I grew up (except may be the television). But still, I had a great and fun-filled childhood, so did my peers! There were no mobiles to text friends to meet-up, no Whats app on smartphones, no Facebook to hang out on, yet we would meet at a given point of time at a given place. Being lost and getting lost was fun those days. But with so much advanced technology at our disposal, it is virtually impossible to 'get lost'.

When I see city kids around me, I find their childhoods to be too techy and boring. May be they perceive mine to be boring. But open spaces and picking fruits from trees, seem to be unheard off. Playing 'bhatukli' with a chulha made of bricks and wood seems distant. Waiting for a particular cartoon to be aired on the TV, well, a test of patience! Our grandparents would come at the end of our annual exams and chug us to Mumbai in a train or a semi-luxury bus. We would wait with bated breath for this annual fare! Going to grandparents' place for a two month vacation now seems like a long bygone era.

What has happened to our childhoods? Do we want such a future for our kids? Lot of thinking for your grey cells!