I am a woman with no super powers. Like million others, my life is molded in a simple schedule. The mornings comprise of the completion of some mandatory tasks with feverish haste before I leave the house to earn my daily bread. The appointed maid has vowed to share a part of the task and take charge of the cleaning chores daily. Hence, the part played by my eccentric maid holds a great importance in both my life and schedule.
(Few days before Halloween)
7.45 am: I am restlessly waiting for my maid to arrive to start off the daily chores. I have absolutely no information so far if she is has chalked some evil plans to ditch me at work or if she is running late. Honestly, I hate it when she makes me wait. This might sound like a rant coming a from a vexed boyfriend who is waiting for her tardy girlfriend at the park. But this is a complain coming from a woman who is solely dependent on her eccentric maid to finish the cleaning chores so that the woman can reach office on time. Suddenly, the morning silence in the house cracks with my glass-shattering ringtone playing loud, heavy strumming of electric guitar with lyrics from Rajinikanth’s super-hit movie, Kabali, ‘Nerrupu da, Nerungu da, Mudiyuma…’. It is a call from the eccentric maid to inform, at such sarcastically early hours, that she won’t be coming for work. Now, I will have to do mine as well as her tasks before I leave for work. Sometimes, I wish I had no phone to be the bearer of such horrible news.
9.00 am: Still in the process of completing the regular tasks, I complained to my husband how unfair life is with us, the corporate people. Taking in consideration the monstrous lay-offs happenings in the corporate world, somewhere deep inside the heart, everyone is skeptical about their jobs. Dare we behave like these eccentric maids and blatantly declare about our absence from work, the possibility of one final mail or a warning letter is inevitable. Some great men invented the ‘loss of pay’ concept that is used as a master weapon by the companies to make people avail their leaves at the cost of their salary (a part of it). I grudged that if we dare to use either of these punishment tactics: termination mail, warning letter, or worse, loss-of-pay concept, on these eccentric maids, more difficult and cursed days (to find a maid replacement) would befall upon us. Such is the irony of fate! His intermittent laughter echoed in the hall.
5.30 pm: The bearer of bad news beeps again. I have received a message from the bank stating that my beloved salary is credited in the account. It is true when the husband says that I wait for my salary more than I’ve ever waited for him. But wait, there has been some heavy deductions from the salary that I know nothing of. I approach the finance department, and after long hours of discussions, mail-checking and verifying, they confirmed the calculation mistake from their end, and assured that the balance would be credited with the next month’s salary. I silently wondered what mayhem the eccentric maid would have created had I done this to her even with valid reasons, smiled at the finance department personnel, thanked him for this wonderful Halloween gift and left the room.
8.30 pm: While baking some chocolate cakes for dessert, I informed the husband about the Halloween gift I received from office. To regale myself, I googled and read out about Halloween’s ‘trick or treat’ game. As the bright screen flashed in my eyes, I read out loud to make sure the husband listens to me, “Wikipedia states, the word ‘trick’ implies a ‘threat’ to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no ‘treat’ is given.”, to which I immediately blurted out, “I was tricked by all despite giving all sort of treats. My salary got deducted despite me working hard. The eccentric maid skipped work despite getting so many leaves a month.”
9.00 pm: While putting up the decorative pumpkin lanterns, fake cobwebs, and rubber spiders, the husband recites a small poem he’d learnt in his primary school, “When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, it’s near Halloween.”
With the husband satirizing my situation with such heart-warming poems, the finance department of my office deducting a substantial part of the salary, and the eccentric maid evading daily work, looks like this year Halloween has started early for me.