People inherit a lot of things from their parents. These can range from facial features to diamonds and emeralds; I have apparently inherited a splendid member of my mother's trusted staff.
His uncle works for my mother, his brother works for my grandmother and he used to work for my aunt, but is now all mine.
Let me make it clear right at the beginning that he is the most honest, loyal person I know. I am just not sure if he is Robin to my Batman or if he is Mogambo to my Mr India.
Incident 1: It is Sunday evening, the deadline for my weekly column is looming and as I am sitting in front of my computer and frantically typing away, he tip-toes around me and then calls out 'Didi! Didi!' I look up, my chain of thought all broken and ask him what happened. He replies, 'Do you want your shoes?' Grr.. For God's sake, why would I want my shoes? Does he think I can simultaneously jog on the spot while typing? I take a deep breath and ask him to lend his invaluable assistance to some other member of the family.
Incident 2: It has been an exhausting day and all I want to do is eat some good food and crash. I change into my pretty pink kaftan and sit at the dining table. I have made chicken tikka, salad and mutton seekh kebab. I ask my man Friday to put some kebab in my plate and he very enthusiastically scoops up two. I turn my head to see what the man of the house is trying to show me on his iPad and plonk! I feel something in my lap. With mounting horror, I look down only to see the inevitable. There, in my lap, on my pretty pink kaftan are two enormous pieces of kebab, two phallic-shaped massive bits of meat. I proceed to bang my head on the chair repeatedly till I calm down before asking him to lend his invaluable assistance to some other member of the family.
He will set off our alarm system repeatedly while doing mundane chores, he will knock me on the head with a cup of tea when I am sitting on my swing, he will ask me seven questions when one would be sufficient so at the end of six months when he asks for a three-week holiday to go to the village, I am rather happy to give it to him.
Three weeks pass and he doesn't come back. The man of the house starts asking about him and accuses me of driving him away. He gives me a big lecture about how having a person with a good heart in our household is more important than having someone who will iron shirts immaculately, but can never be trusted. The man of the house is right and I am also beginning to miss my man Friday's bumbling presence in our home. I sit down to think if I have said anything to him that has made him want to leave us and feeling decidedly guilty, I call him. He picks up and says, 'Namaste Didi, I got on the train four days late, but now I am at Sholapur. When I ask him why he is in Sholapur and not in Mumbai, he replies, 'Didi, I wanted to buy shenga chutney for you at Sholapur station, but the train was only stopping for one minute, so I pulled the alarm chain. Didi, the train people tore my shirt and made me get down but don't worry I am reaching Mumbai very soon. ' I put the phone down, take a deep breath and immediately start doing my pranayam as I will need all the patience in the world when he finally arrives to once again lend me his invaluable assistance.