Monday, March 26, 2012

Multiple Murders

Furious with my carpenter for taking a sizeable advance and then disappearing for a fortnight, I could do nothing but bubble and boil when he said, ‘Sorry, Madam – my aunty died.’
Nevertheless, I tried: “Why didn’t you send your assistant?”
“His uncle died.”
It’s a wonder our population is still growing so heartily when everyone is being killed off with such rapidity!
My cook kills off relatives with cheerful abandon each time she absents herself.
After the last 3 days off, she offered, “My mother’s poor mother died.”
“But she died last year in November,” I protested, checking the calendar.

“That was my mother’s other mother. My mother has 2 mothers,” she persisted in her biological illogic, fervently digging her own grave, along with her 2 dead grandmothers’.
Those of us who ponder over the unpredictability of Death, should take consolation. These deaths have perfect timing. After a dinner party, when the house is covered in crumbs and stains and dishes are piled high – grandparents instantly fall dead. Closer relatives like sisters and brothers reserve their own demise for longer spells of absence. A driver once landed up stinking like a brewery, red-eyes and all – after a week of mourning for his dead brother who the next day was mentioned as his dead brother-in-law, and the day after as his dead brother’s brother-in-law. The dead obviously do not take relationships as seriously as we do.
Sicknesses too strike with utter accuracy. Leave is taken for colds, coughs, ingrown toenails, raging fever, bordering cancer, expected AIDS, confirmed swine flu, galloping gangrene – and other ailments – which fade off after the excuse is accepted. 
I can’t really reject the excuse, can I? How cold-hearted can I be to the cause of dearly departed family members? I need to offer tea and sympathy and a few days’ leave at least. I can hardly say, on Pay Day: “My great-grand-mother’s second cousin died. Rituals do not allow me to go to the bank for a month. So sorry!”

So I really do need help here.
We need to curtail these multiple murders immediately. At the rate everyone’s dying, there soon won’t be anyone left to kill off!

16 comments:

  1. Lets make a maid kee satai huyi aurtaon ka union :) :) waise my maid is very good...but my cook is the one that gives me perennial headaches.

    Such interesting people in life Jane...I tell you...and what do you do with the relatives of the people of everyone who comes to work in your house...some kala jadoo...poor chaps..die without a reason :P :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes.... puja, my fault entirely... grrrr...

      Delete
  2. Hahhaha!! Died laughing!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. not you too, seema - please - don't die on me yet! :)

      Delete
  3. he he... what timing as usual Jandy... I was just pondering how relationships die sudden deaths. I navigated my way to ur blog and puuurrrfect rememdy in the form of Jandy humour. Thank you for the laughter always and always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. relationships dying? i think this needs more in-depth thinking/ talking about, wot?

      Delete
  4. What timing as usal Jandy.. I was just pondering on how relationships die sudden deaths. Navigated my way to your blog to snap out of morbid thoughts and puuurrrfect - both the subject and the much needed dose of hearty laughter. Thank ye m'dear

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very tickled by your line "The dead obviously do not take relationships as seriously as we do." and very inspired too ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. inspired to be a free spirit and go with the flow - to let things go and not ponder on people's reasons... after all, we each are justified in our own eyes for our words / actions..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. love that, hathi patani. an understanding that came to me too - late in life.

      Delete
  7. and yes, we gotta catch up soon - seems like ages

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ok jane, so true man. Its not just yours, but many helps of mine did that as well. Now I dont even talk to them. All I tell them is, you have to call me if you take leave, i will ask no quesstions what so ever. But i need to be informed.

    I take care of them - hand cooked food by me, with all the milk, multivitamin tonics for her and her family, bananas, food and more extra food and not to mention i pay Rs. 3000 for 3 hours of jadu, pocha, barthan. So her days are super mechanical with me not uttering a word for those 3 hours with her :).

    But the killings are a menace. The first three months she cribbed about husband beating (which is a fact), then children sick because of no food and malnutrition. Which is when i decided to tell her not to tell me reasons for leave. I decided to act to help in small ways.

    Jane, at the fading light of the tunnel, i care for them. So poor, so beaten, so over worked (working at 5 different homes), with each home shouting at them as they could not eat breakfast because the help did not land up on time to cut vegetables. Gosh!!

    They are illiterate, poor and poorer than we think they are. My wish (past 20 years), slowing coming to reality is to help them at grass roots, they need our help to think better, not lie better.

    As I read through the problems we face with them, let us for a moment reflect the home they come from. They no better, now that we know better we need to move forward to help our help.

    Sorry to get emotionally, on your witty blog, i decided to blog here than at my own :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Glad you vented, Archana. I do feel the same - and do pamper my help too :) but I can't let it be known here - it would spoil my cribby-crabby image on the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Guess, like us, everyone needs the weekly 2 days off.

    ReplyDelete
  11. am thinking by the last 2 comments that this has come across as a rather insensitive post. apologies to every one who i've offended. and assuring you that i am not being as mean as all that - given that my help refuses to leave even when i urgently beg them to.

    ReplyDelete