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!)