M – Maid for each other
The living room at The JP house is spick and span – Furniture all dusted, cushions propped up, fresh flowers on the centre table. The Aunt, neatly dressed with pinned up hair and pinned up sari, arranges the two boys on the sofa.
She tells them sternly, “You two sit there quietly till I say so. Keep your mouths shut and your feet off the sofa.”
JayPrakash Uncle enters and makes a quick survey of the room. “What’s all the excitement? And who are these two boys? Oh they’re our sons!! He He He! Never seen them so neat before!!” He chuckles merrily at his little joke.
“Stop laughing.” says The Aunt. “You should be sitting like that too.”
“Why what’s the occasion? Your Kitty party?”
“More important than that. My friend Asha is sending a new maid over to be interviewed. Apparently she’s a no-nonsense woman. So see that you don’t get in the way.”
The door bell rings. The Aunt opens the door. Framed in the doorway is a strapping woman with a stern face, hair in a tight bun, mobile in hand.
“I’m Gowri,” she says. “Asha Madam sent me. It seems you’re looking for a maid?”
“Yes, yes” says The Aunt, almost tripping over the side table in her haste. “Come in, come in.”
The woman enters looking around critically. And the interview begins. Obviously Gowriamma is the interviewer.
“Total how many rooms? Bathrooms? Sinks?” she begins without preamble. “Do you get water 24 hours? I’ll do the sweeping, swabbing and vessels.”
“Er… dusting?” asks the Aunt tentatively.
The maid sniffs. “You empty the shelves first. I dust.”
“Okay, Okay!” splutters The Aunt.
“No bending down for me. I need a mop on a stick. The twist & wring type.
“Sure, that can be arranged.” assures The Aunt.
“I don’t work on Sundays and festivals. I want a sari for Diwali – a new one. A raise every year. And a week’s break every six months!”
The female dragon looks disapprovingly at the pretty flowers on the table. “I can’t work with flowers in the house.” she states. ” I’m allergic to them.”
“No problem.” says The Aunt grabbing the vase on the centre table and thrusting it on The Uncle. “Go keep them in the verandah.” she hisses at him.
“And I don’t like little boys when I’m working.” she says glaring at Raju and Raghu. “Nor big men!” she says turning round and sniffing at The Uncle.
“Not a problem at all!” says The Aunt desperately. “They’ll all sit in the verandah with the flowers!”
The formidable and redoubtable woman inclines her head regally.
“I shall begin work from tomorrow!”
x —————————————— x
This is the 13th in the series – The Adventures of the JP Family as part of the A2Z Blog Challenge.
Alphabet Illustration – Sudarshan Rao.