I saw this on someone's blog today and remembered an article (true story, yes!) that I had written based on my flatmate's and my experiences with domestic help in the city-that-never-sleeps. It has languished in my drafts folder forever....
My mother often says that she'd like to write a book on her experiences with different maids over the years. From the one that bit my sister to the one who chased me around the house trying to break my skull with a butter-churn, to the one who had the bigamous husband (who was married to her sister, no less!!), they're all worth a lot of page space.
Having moved out with a fellow designer from the dry state and having polished off the better part of a bottle of very pricey scotch that a friend had gifted me, I was rather alarmed to see the remaining alcohol's level dip rapidly in the bottle. Does Scotch evaporate?, I wondered. I checked and rechecked that the bottle was closed tightly, but lo and behold! the next time I checked on it, the level had dipped alarmingly AGAIN!
Having come to the conclusion that flatmate had been having a night-cap to relieve work-pressure, I did not spare it a second thought, though I had assumed upto this point that she was strictly a wine drinker, while she assumed that I had been imbibing copious amounts of scotch!
It turns out that we were subjected to a rather one-of-a-kind specimen of the house help category. Let's call her Urvashi. Let it be known that Urvashi was a silent shadow upto this point, who came, did her bit and disappeared, with little conversation exchanged with either of us. And then one evening, came a phone-call that rattled us both!
It was our house-broker, who happened to be in the area while we were both at work, to register a tremendous ruckus ensuing from our humble abode. Initial suspicion that it was the TV was quickly dispelled when he, and a LOT of other people came upon Urvashi, who was not just a wee bit tipsy, but completely SMASHED!
So much so, that she could barely stand, and so was sitting there wailing her head off!
But wait, it gets better!!
Not content with the level of inebriation she was at, Urvashi had evidently intended to continue the party, because a search of her possessions revealed not one, but TWO bottles of country liquor that she presumably brought along to supplement my (now meagre!) quantity of hooch!
The little to-do involved her screeching, building people assembling, many tries to bring her to her senses (including water being flung at her through the balcony grill - we were on the ground floor), and finally ended in our broker taking away her keys, getting the woman into an auto and in both of us receiving calls from him, informing us of the exciting activities of the evening!! Since our building society mainly comprises of senior citizens, we were a little apprehensive and wondering when the eviction notice would come! But methinks, that this being SUCH an unusual situation, they figured it was really not something we could have predicted.
So now, we're looking for house help again... and this time the main question in the
interview is "Have you or any member of your family been prone to bingeing on alcohol?
If yes, then how many drinks can you take before getting completely wasted?"