Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Wonly in Mumbai I say"

Some vignettes from my life in Mumbai (amusing in retrospect of course, never at that moment!)

My maid-in-waiting: She is one helluva confident person (all public speakers and esteem building courses should use her as a role model!) She can browbeat anyone into submission (incl the sometimes aggressive me!)even if she knows she is in the wrong! One fine morning last week, she wanted a salary raise. Now, I was surprised and refused immediately because it had only been 4 months since she had started working for me... then I wanted to "dig deeper" (as my B school profs had taught us) to arrive at the root cause of the issue.. so I asked her why she wanted a raise so soon in her 'career with me'... she answers "Oh! I have given my maid a raise, so I figured I deserve one!!" Maid employing maid? First time I've heard!Howzzat??

South-Western: I was at a hospital(not one of the biggies, a gujju stronghold hospital at Charni Road) a few days back for a medical test. I had to register a file in my name. This bored looking clerk asked for my "Name" and I replied "ABC" (FYI, my name starts with 'Sri'), then he wanted to know my surname. Now I am a 'southern Indian' and I don't have a surname. I gave my dad's name, which I continue to use as my 'sir'name! He then asked me, "are you married"?(Given that I was wearing no 'traditional' marks of marriage)I replied in the affirmative. Next was husband's name. I replied in full. Obviously it is different from my dad's. This chap was perplexed and laboriously wrote out my name on the file which finally reads Srimati "second half of my name" "Sri" "husband's name" "father's name" "husband's father's name". And he grins and remarks "I thought you were a Marathi person, you don't look Gujarati, but you turned out to be a Madrasi, what a strange world". Geez, I know am strange(sometimes), but to the world?!

Drive away: The driver that we are 'testing' now asked me where I wanted to go. I replied that I wanted to go to a couple of shops near Breach Candy hospital on Bhulabai Desai road. He shot past the turning then remarks "Madam, you did not remind me that I have to turn right here!!" Wow, an assistant to the driver?!

Rubbished: The garbage disposal lady came to me one day and said "Madam, you throw away a lot of useful things. You should'nt waste so much money". Naturally, I was taken aback and for a day, stewed over thoughts of my hard earned money being squandered away, berated my lack of sense of planning or saving and killed myself for being financially unsound. Obviously my husband also faced my 'cribbing'. The next day, I met the 'kacchrawali' again and asked her "Why she thought I was irresponsible" (root causes again!). So she said "you throw away milk packets after you use them, also cereal boxes and sometimes soiled newspapers and/or disposable cups after use. You should store them and sell them to a ragpicker!" When I retorted that "it was my rubbish after all, and she was free to pick these up and sell them if she wanted", she replied "But bhabhi, I don't have time"! My new worry.. do I look that jobless?

Funny people... how do they all find ME? :)


  1. Tang yu for stopping by... Dont women hate it when we generalise??

    Amchi Mumbai i guess... Well dear Southern person, things are changing fast and chennai is no better either. If you had to be the assistant driver here you'd have to know KungFu to get a cheaper Auto ride...

  2. awesome post!
    maza aa gaya, I can so link to it during my stay in Bombay.
    I remember there was this time my maid calls me and says she wants some money; I thought hoga kuchch Rs 500/1000; turned out to be 50K! and what was surprising was that when I gave a surprised reaction she was like, dont worry I will return it... I didnt even bother asking how.

  3. LOL!!

    O you poor thing!!!

    It still amazes me how much India has changed in the last few years!

    Lovely post! And you totally have all my sympathies!

  4. hahahahahaha!!! encore Srimati "second half of your name" "Sri" "husband's name" "father's name" "husband's father's name"! may u continue to stay in bombay and churn out such hilarious stories!!!

  5. "Funny people... how do they all find ME? :)" LOL... I can imagine them saying the same..

  6. I'm guessing your maid,driver and kachraawaali lady all got the sack in the same week?

  7. :) enjoyed this post...seriously people in Mumbai are so interesting and crazy!!!

  8. Mr.P: I agree. Chennai auto drivers are a menace sometimes. But the city is a joy if you have your own car.

    B: Keep dropping by!

    Anshul: They have their own investment strategies!

    Nutty: Yup. Sometimes it changes too fast in a negative way, and you are not happy about that.

    Zee: Stories follow me... I feel like a songbird or something, in the midst of entertainment always! Am guessing, you do too :)

    Bullshee: Nope, there is an unspoken union here.. i DARE NOT sack my maid!

    Chaits: Yes, I have really mixed feelings about the city. Not at all sure if I like it. Sigh!