It will be a foolish DINK (Double Income no Kid) or SINOS (Single Income no Spouse) that will deny the importance of a bai – the ubiquitous maid – who dominates our very lives. More so in a place like Mumbai where the local train jostles to dominate your life and very being, thus adding to your woes.
The bai determines what you wear (or do not wear!), when you wake up and when you leave for work. The bai who does the cleaning and washing at my place – an otherwise efficient lady – suddenly decided to absent herself for two straight days. Result: a distraught me had to do the clothes and dishes myself. To my great relief, she reappeared after two days. Noticing that I had done the clothes, she asked incredulously “tum kapda dhoya?” Yes ma’am, I prefer to use as little deo as possible, thank you!
Being fascinated by figures the way I am, here is a bit of statistical trivia: there is a 1.0 correlation between the time my bai comes in to work and the time that I reach office. Sample this: the bai ten minutes late to work, I get delayed to work by ten minutes. The bai decides to skip work, I get delayed by anywhere from one to three hours for work. [Author’s observation: that’s because I oversleep, not because I am doing the work myself]
That brings me to the topic of the importance of local trains in a Mumbaikar’s life. But that’s another story, and another blog. Watch this space.