The ‘cleaning lady’


Friends have long been advising me to get someone to clean the house. Now I am not quite sure if they felt sorry for me, or if they were simply hinting that the house looked worse than a ‘badly maintained’ pig-sty!

Btw, the only other time I had tried having someone to clean, was when this Iranian woman (I think) was recommended by the building porter! Well, one look at her, and you would think she owned this entire apartment complex. Great clothes, nice handbag, stunning glasses.. she looked picture perfect.. sigh!!!! (Guys, don’t even think of it, she is married, and has 4 kids)

After that encounter, I resolved two things
(1) To get myself some smart clothes (which by the way, I have still not managed to do!)
and
(2) To never call her again, for fear of an increasing inferiority complex πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ (which I HAVE managed to do πŸ™‚ )

So, now you see why I am so nervous about meeting ‘cleaning ladies’ (as they are called by my friends!).

Recently, when a friend ‘firmly insisted’ that I try outsourcing the cleaning, I chose to ignore the growing anxiety pangs and increased heart rate, and give this one a chance.

First, this girl sent me ‘missed calls’. A typical Indian trait :-)) When I returned her call, she very briefly asked me to ‘text my post code!’ Wooa! This one seemed uber-cool.

At the appointed time, the door bell rang. It was not her, naturally. With all due respect to ‘Indian standard time’, she was here half hour late. No apology, ofcourse. We don’t believe in such formalities, do we?

I heard her voice through the intercom. She simply announced her name. Sounded extremely young. The sound of her heels doing a confident clickety-clack on the floor impressed me immensely. (Psst… this is something I’ve dreamed of doing for a long time now. Brr.. not cleaning, but wearing high-heels that go ‘tap tap tap’ on a shiny floor! Sigh! Some day… ) But I digress…

Finally, a confident knock on my front door. As I opened it, I saw this rather haepΒ young 20-something standing in front of me. Dressed in black. Smart summer jacket. Impressive calf-length leather boots. Stylish over-sized cooling glasses. Huge shiny handbag! Very much the accessories I had described here in this old post. (Guys, jaws closed, please!)

And then came the BIIIIIIIGGGGG surprise.

‘Heyyllow P baeeeen! Kyaa mein aundar aaaoounnn?’

??!!!!

Oh yes, my friend did mention she was from Gujarat!

Two hours of work later, the apartment was spic and span, my Hindi a wee bit improved, and her Inglis pretty much like my Hindi!

But I was happy!

So, after nearly six long years, I have finally decided to hire a maid (psst.. one hour every two weeks) !! Yippee!

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47 thoughts on “The ‘cleaning lady’

  1. This is interesting…! Just pamper her and hold on to her! We don’t get ‘cleaning ladies’ who are smart and sincere workers also!

    What irony! We have to do all the pampering!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™„

  2. Oh you woman ! you described her attire; we dont care. Is she cute, is she pretty, is she atleast beautiful ?????? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ and hold on to her, next time I make my visit to those places, I will surely come to your home, ok ? I know you are still angry with me because I didnt come over last time; I know, I know ! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Che che! First send me Lux’s tel.no! And yes, you must come over, when are u visiting? Tell me in advance so I can vacate by then πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ And WHAT EXACTLY DID YOU MEAN BY ‘…. Is she cute, is she pretty, is she atleast beautiful ?????? ….’ What do you mean, ‘ATLEAST’ beautiful?

  3. Lol! Congrats on overcoming that hesitation. You would not believe it, but cleaning ladies, as you delicately put it, are growing hepper, even here, in India :P!

    Glad to be back and reading from here again πŸ™‚ Missed the laughter I share in, in this space. jus a beginning here, will be back for more πŸ™‚

    Thanku πŸ™‚ Nice to see haep cleaning ladies πŸ™‚ And thank you for the lovely words, please do visit again, I got to be more regular at your blog too πŸ™‚

  4. As Usha says, cleaning ladies in India have become hep. They come to your house, change into some sad attire, do the cleaning and also text on their cellphones to other Maydams about their ETA (in vernacular as of now, Englis will soon come), and then change into their street attire before leaving

    LOL @ ‘sad attire’ πŸ™‚ I know even everyone has a cellphone in India. The last time I went, I got myelf a new LG cellphone, basic one, that I’d described here. The maid in my in-law’s house had the latest model! And she looks absolutely clean and rich infact πŸ™‚

  5. Ha ha congrats… so u finally a great maid!! πŸ˜€ that’s a boon these days…really!

    Yes I did, yippee πŸ™‚ But she say’s she’s busy and cannot come often! 😦

  6. My house is in a big mess. Sundays comes, sundays goes but my operation house-clean up never took off. *sighs* You reminded me again that I need to clean the house. One reason, why I am avoiding webcam talk with my wife when she asks me to πŸ˜‰
    LOL!! Avoiding webcam is not good πŸ™„ tell you what… place the webcam so it faces the wall, and then you won’t have to clean up at all :-))

  7. Lol, I liked the way you described her attire and then her opening lines. Congrats on the new maid. πŸ™‚

    Thank you πŸ™‚ I hope she comes again!!

  8. Hahahahahahahaha! That was some humourous post…

    And I thought such hip and happening ‘cleaning ladies’ are only found in the US of A… where they drive hip cars too. Looks like we are fast progressing towards becoming the 52nd state of the ‘land of the cowboys’.

    P.S. The icing on the cake with the red cherry on top is that… during corporation/municipal elections in namma Bengaluru… our leaders (who vow to serve the people and the nation)… recruit all domestic helps/servants, drivers, chaiwallahs, hotel boys, security guards, cleaning chaps, and everyone and anyone doing menial jobs… to ‘campaign’ for them. All these folks go on an extended ‘french leave’. Imagine the condition of the aam janta… ???

    That is why they say… “Government’s work is God’s work”.

    Thank you so much!! Maids drive hip cars? Whoa!! The icing on the cake was awesome! ‘French leave?’?!! Gosh!!

  9. hee hee ” and then she spoke..!!!!” :):):):)

    I dont believe this!! You actually have a cleaning lady!! And here I am, poor soul, dragging my fat a^%^# all over the house in a desperate attempt to clean!! Gah. Life can be so unfair! That said, I thought cleaning ladies are very expensive to afford! Are you super rich?? :):) tell, tell.. :):)

    Great to have you back, Pal!

    Aapke mooh mein ghee shakkar!! Waiting to become ‘super-rich’ πŸ™‚ Psst, don’t tell anyone, but the Indian maids here charge only half of what the others charge πŸ˜‰ Yahoo!!

  10. Ha ha, that was a good one. What an ending, after the build-up of ‘post-code’ and the “clickety-clack”. πŸ™‚

    You might enjoy reading this…something similar that happened to me years ago.

    http://quirkyindian.wordpress.com/2008/06/21/the-pros-and-cons-of-hitchhiking-part-1-of-2/

    Cheers,

    Quirky Indian

    Thank you πŸ™‚ Seriously, when she asked for post-code, I was sure she was going to Google the exact location! Cool huh? Btw, your post was AXXELANT!! I couldn’t find Part II, please can you share the link?

  11. Wow a hep ‘cleaning lady’ with hindi lessons free …. apni toh nikal padti agar hum wanha hote πŸ˜€ ….

    Exactly! But free Hindi-cum-Gujju lessons with a complete massacre of the little Inglis I know 😦

  12. Hahaha ! Pal that was great.

    Even in India now it is difficut to identify them in their street clothes. An my maid started wearing spex from yeserday .!!!

    Thank you πŸ™‚ Yeah true, everyone dresses well, so we really can’t tell one occupation from another! Which is a positive sign of things to come πŸ™‚

  13. LOL Pal .. the lady @ the new place was telling me she eats something only @ our place bcoz they dnt keep their house clean. Who is masca-maaring whom πŸ™„

    1. @ Hitchy – LOL! Tum sudharoge (is that the right spelling?) nahin!!

      @ Mandy – U ‘want’ a haep maid? Wow!!! They give me a complex πŸ™‚

      @ Kanagu – Yes I did.. yay!! Thanks a lot πŸ™‚

  14. My helpers don’t dress all that hep, they wear simple salwar kurtas, but they are both pretty hep, mentally πŸ™‚ And they both have cell phones, gifted to them by other employers and thank god for cell phones!!
    Maids are the best at teaching and learning new languages πŸ™‚ Yesterday mine said, “Unse discuss [*DISCUSS*] kar liya thaa…”

  15. Ah.. hold on to her!! πŸ˜‰
    my cleaning lady is also very “hep”!! πŸ˜€
    She would never bother coming without hair combed, flower in place and if you give a saree without “mathcing blouse” her wrath is there for all to see!!! πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

    Oh and if you want to cancel a day – you need to call them on their mobile phones!! πŸ˜‰

    1. @ IHM: Cellphones.. the ubiquitous and indispensable gadget!!!! Wah wah, ‘discuss’ and all.. too good πŸ™‚

      It actually makes me very happy, to see everyone prospering. You know, rather than seeing the poor getting poorer, you can actually see a marginal improvement in the way people life, no?

      @ Pixie: LOL @ ‘sari without matching blouse’.. same with the maid who works in my in-laws place. Every visit, I give her some really good sari.. with zari and all, and she looks at it so disdainfully!!!! And cancellation policy, that was classic πŸ™„ πŸ™„ πŸ™‚

  16. So glad 2 hear that..Here hiring a Manager is easier than getting a good maid
    Hope U will n’t not be allergic ( like me) to maids after some time..

    1. Anish: LOL!! Allergic to maids.. probably.. but this one, I better hold on to πŸ™‚ That’s the only way my house has a chance of being cleaned!!

  17. LOL! This so reminds me of the Gujarati cooks I had when I was in London πŸ™‚

    One of them was telling me how she has more than 60 sets of clothes – while I cringed! I am sure it was an subtle indication that my wardrobe needed improvement πŸ™‚ And she had the same click-clack shoes as well. If seen with me, I was far more likely to be assumed to be the ‘cook’ πŸ˜‰ She cooked ‘alright’ food – husband liked it – me not so much. The only problem with her was that she used to be on her mobile constantly and one day, when I returned from work,I found the flat full of fumes – she had left the hob on, and the cooker was reduced to char 😦 That was the end of her tenure at my place.

    1. Wow, Smitha, loved that anecdote!!! Gosh, just made me realise people must think I’m the maid in my maid’s house!! Brrr… πŸ™„ :mrgreen:

  18. Interesting MAID !!!

    You know, when the maid comes to my home, I’ll always look horrible in one horrid pyjama or track pants with faded t-shirt – sometimes, I do repeat my clothes. But this maid – I’ve never ever seen her repeat her dress and its in such vibrant colours. I feel embarrassed to stand in front of her sometimes, Pal. Then I realised that for them, its their work and so they dress well.

    Congrats to you, for getting a MAID !!! πŸ™‚

  19. Aiyyo!!! Such maids are injurous for your ego πŸ˜‰ But good u got one πŸ™‚

    Our first brush with well kept Maids was when we shifted to Gujarat!!! My Mom was never as regular in getting her eyebrows done as was the maid πŸ˜‰

    1. * Uma: You’re right.. this is their work so they take care to look good πŸ™‚ Am very impressed by your analysis πŸ™‚

      * Smita: LOL! ‘eyebrows done’ – what does that mean? πŸ™„ πŸ™‚ So now you know how much I take care of ‘looks’. Infact that reminds me, this new girl asked me if I wanted her to do my eyebrows, and I very naively said ‘no thanks’. Hmm… looks like she was hinting at something.. πŸ™„ πŸ™„

  20. Pallu, this is the post that you mentioned. hahahah you are good. That’s why I always ask you to write a fiction, you witty woman!

    God bless all cleaning ladies.

    1. @ Savvy: Absolutely!! After the post, I tried reaching her, but she doesn’t seem to respond. Do I see something jinxed??!!!

      @ Indy girl: Singal and Aappie πŸ™‚ Wowie πŸ™‚ But not for long, my girl… :mrgreen: :-))

      @ Sols: Yeah!! I’m working on some Fiction Sols, but I’m not applying myself enough 😦 ‘Hats off to cleaning ladies’ – ooh, I second that!!

  21. That was hilarious, Pals.The missed call syndrome is prevalent there too? And I thought it was confined to the ME only πŸ˜†

    So you finally decide to get yourself a cleaner after 6years..that too for one hour in 2weeks??? Score, Pals! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    1. @ Yuva: πŸ™„ Hindi lessons eh? Who’re you kidding?? πŸ™„ Ok, the next time you are here, we will arrange a session .. Hindi lessons ofcourse.. with our gal πŸ™‚

      @ Deeps: Thanku thankuji πŸ™‚ Missed calls are only and ONLY left by our fellowmen/women. Wottodo, ve are like that vonly!!

  22. Wow… a cleaning lady seems like an Oasis to me in this part of the world πŸ˜₯ Congrats to you. Btw I think you better take some lessons from her on how to do the catwalk :mrgreen: and then when hubby comes home…you can woo him with high heels and clickety-clack :mrgreen:

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