Friday, March 11, 2011

Alpa Viraam - Part 3

She opened the door to find a woman.

"What do you want?" She was annoyed. Who is this now?
"Amma.... I want some job. Give me anything, any kind of work. Just anything will do. You can trust me. I am very reliable; no cheating, no stealing. With me around, you can relax. Everything will be taken care of. I work at..."

"Stop now, will you!" Gauri interrupted. This woman wasn't allowing her to even interject. Yapping away, as if the train of her tongue was let loose to create havoc. "I don't have any job to offer. You may go. Why did you come? I take care of my house and I don't need a servant."

"Amma, this is such a big house, and look at the courtyard and premises. I am sure you are finding it hard to keep up. Besides, I can do all the washing, sweeping, cleaning and mopping. Just give me a chance Amma. Don't say no...."

As much as she didn't want to, she was actually falling for the offer. Indeed, the house was big and she was finding it difficult to manage everything on her own. Besides, her health and age were not keeping up with her desire of managing it all alone. She did feel the need for a domestic help. But she didn't want to give in so easily. She had to play tough.

"I am not one of those fragile 'madams' you might be working for - women who have never done a good day's work of managing a house. I've been taking care of my house for quite a few years now. And I am doing very well too. And in any case, who asked you to come here?"

"Amma, the thing husband is a loafer of a man. Whatever little he earns, is duly presented at the toddy shop or wasted in gambling. I have to make ends meet and so, I am trying my hand at being a maid. For now, I am going to 3 houses in this neighbourhood. You can ask Malathi Amma, Soundarya akka or Paula Madam. They will vouch for me. In fact, Malathi Amma told me that in most households there are servants, except yours. That's how I landed up at your doorstep. Please help this poor lady make a living..." As much as Gauri felt it was a clever ploy to tug at her heart, she also felt sincerity and a tinge of pain in what she said.

Gauri softened her stance. "What is your name?"

"My name is Chinnamma", she said.

"Tell me, how much do you expect as salary? You will have to sweep and mop the house daily, sweep the courtyards and premises and occasionally help me in washing clothes and other things. I will provide breakfast, provided you come in the mornings."

"I won't quote a salary Amma. Do one thing, put me on service for a month and you can decide how much to pay me, depending on how I do my work. Is that fine?"

Gauri was amused, for a second. Most servants haggle on the money and quote the rates of other households, in their defense. This was interesting indeed.

"Okay then, let me try you for a month. You can start coming from tomorrow, if it's possible for you. What time can you come?"

"Sure Amma. How does 7:30 sound?"

"That will be fine. But be on time, I don't like to keep waiting."

"Okay Amma.... Err, there's one more thing"... Chinamma paused. "I will be bringing my daughter along. She's almost three years old. Since I've to come here early morning, I can't leave her at home. Usually my sister takes care of her....but that ok?"

Gauri didn't know what to say. A child in this house...she shook herself from her thoughts and said, "Okay. You may go now. Come tomorrow."


"I hired a maid today."


That was their conversation for today. Ravi covered himelf with the blanket. Gauri followed suit.

She thought again, like all nights. One bed. One blanket. And yet worlds apart. She let out a gentle sigh, prayed to the Almighty and tried to sleep. No nightmares tonight. Please.



  1. Hmm.. now I see the opportunity for the story to unfold in different ways..
    Waiting to see which direction you take it in.

  2. Nice writing :)
    Waiting for the rest of it..
    Seems that there are multiple ways that it could turn !

  3. Good oen Vini... evn I am curious to know the rest... nd for a change.. no trace of cynicism or sarcasm in this one :)

  4. @ Preethi: Thanks. As for how it steers, watch out here ;)

    @Parvathy: Ahem, it still ain't over. So you never know :D

  5. vini,unlimited patience for ur piece meal can go in many directions.....but dont tell that kid was her husband's :-P

  6. @ Mridu: Hehehe.... NO! That's DEFINITELY not where it's going :)

    Shall try to make each part longer so that the story moves faster. I am kinda lazy and that's why it's coming out in so many parts. I shouldn't be testing people's patience, I know :D



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...