Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
What is the most important thing a woman needs in Mumbai? It’s not a car, it’s not a job, it’s not even a boyfriend. The most important thing to have in Mumbai is a Bai! To my non desi friends, a bai is a housekeeper/maid/lifeline/an evil overlord who knows that she rules the house. Without her life is a standstill, time just seems to stop. Then there are bais that stay 24/7 if needed and that’s the situation I am in.
I live with two bais - one is my right hand and the other is my henchman. Now I don't want to rant about the bais like an old Parsi maaiji but I say "OH MY GAAAWD!" at least 50 times a day (and not in the way I'd rather say which would involve a member of the opposite sex... are you listening/reading Johnny Depp?)
The bai has some kind of weird power over you and she knows that if you fire her, it's not going to be easy finding a replacement.
What is the weird part is that back in Dubai, we never had a stay at home bai. We have a Bangladeshi fellow who comes to clean the house twice a week and we soooo have a communication problem because all I hear from his mouth is "mashed potatoes mashed potatoes". But other than sweeping and mopping, we pretty much do everything else... wash clothes, do the dishes, dust... etc.
Somehow in Mumbai since I have two bais, I sooo don't want to even wash my coffee cup. I have a reason... don't think I'm getting lazy here. The reason is that 80% of the time they are just chillin' in front of the TV. (I don't bother watching my own TV in my own home because I don't want to disturb the bais programs... believe me... serials are like crack to them) and I want them to get off their asses and do some work!
I have seen lots of bais in my lifetime but the one I have right now... lets call her the Wicked Witch of the West or W3... is the biggest pain in the ass. Her life's mission is to meddle in all of my business, bully/boss/police me. Even my mom does not do that. And the only reason I am keeping my mouth shut is because what will I do if she leaves?? lolz
The other one... lets call her Mute Button, hardly speaks. Both the bais take care of my grandma and both are supposed to equally share the work but W3 after cooking and usual grandma duties, sits in front of the TV, remote in hand like she owns the house. And her voice... is like the love child of a loudspeaker and a home theater system had "relations" with a parrot! There is one advantage of that... it's the best alarm clock if I need to wake up early. "FARAH FARAH FARAH!"
Anyways... more on bais in another post. I might have created a butt groove in the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf couch and the waiters are looking at me like, "Go away lady." So till next time... I will bring you another experience from Mumbai - The City of bais, bhais and surnames like karhai! (Will be posting a detailed entry about Parsi surnames soon!)
Welcome to the latest version of Fat Girl Follies live from Mumbai, India. Yes, it’s official. I have moved to Mumbai, hopefully permanently. I say hopefully because every day the city gives me reminders of why my parents moved to Dubai in the first place.
I had always wanted to move back here since the past couple of years now and every time I made plans to come down to Mumbai on vacation, I would tell myself that I will stay back this time. But that never happened and I would come back to Dubai/Sharjah and crib how miserable my life is.
But come September 2011, one morning at 5 am, I woke up and thought, that’s it… I’m outta here. I told mom that for me to make my move to Mumbai the first I need to do is book my flight. If a flight is booked there is no going back (well there is but cancellation charges are so not worth it lolz). So around the second week of September, my mom booked our flight for 13th October and I broke the news to my friends.
Some reacted like I was going to die and that it was an end of an era but they were happy for me because they agreed that Mumbai is what I really needed.
The last three weeks in Dubai were crawling by so slow even snails seemed to zip past me. My last weekend there was fun because my girls threw me a surprise farewell and I told them that it’s not goodbye because I anyway have to come back every six months to keep my residence visa. Besides, even living there I was seeing them every couple of months anyway. And how far is Mumbai really? I’ve been stuck in traffic longer than the 2.5 hour flight.
Do I miss my friends? Sure I do. But it’s not that I don’t have any out here. The misfit bunch I hang out with here in Mumbai can put every college movie character to shame. And I love the fact that in such a short time they accepted me into their world.
So this post is dedicated to my friends in Mumbai. Thank you for accepting this crazy, junglee bawi.
See you on the flip side.