Never having experienced any myself for the decades I have been married, I had until the other not been able to understand what it meant. Then the...
Never having experienced any myself for the decades I have been married, I had until the other not been able to understand what it meant. Then the apocalypse came last week.A I had gone to the house of my only friend of whom I have written in this column. Since I was feeling bored, I had visited his house in the hope of spending some hours in his company and returning refreshed.
Suddenly, the landlady of my friend's house entered his drawing room where, as usual, my friend, his college-going son and I were relaxing. She had known all three of us for some months and seemed to have a good opinion about us. Apropos of nothing, she told us: "Today all three of you are going to have lunch at my house." That did not make sense to us; after all, Ugadi was over and Sri Rama Navami was still a couple of days away. Then what could be the occasion for the lunch?
I whispered into my friend's ear that day could be her birthday; and since she was a widow whose children were all abroad she might have thought of inviting us over to her place for lunch.A My friend whispered into my ear: "For the past 10 years that I have been here and known her she did not once celebrate her birthday."
Since there was no point in our demanding the reason for the invitation, we quietly walked into her house after half an hour, and were treated to typical and appetizing Telugu food. That instant my friend discovered the reason for the hospitality, and told me that since she had found a maidservant she was in a mood to celebrate, and since we were the only three that she thought highly off she had invited us.
Once through with the meal, we congratulated her on having found a domestic and left her place. A The following day my friend rang me up: "Our hostess of yesterday wants to know if she could have her lunch at my place today; her maidservant had not turned up. Worse, she had rung up her employer to settle her account as she would never again be working in that house."
Whatever could have happened within 24 hours? I could not figure out the answer. Therefore, I went again to my friend's house; the landlady was already there. "What was her grievance?" I asked the landlady.A "She told me that there was no incentive for her to work in my house"
What incentive could she be talking about? The landlady replied: "I appreciate her frankness. She said my house had a TV set without a set top box; a couple of sofas, and a double-bed. There was nothing portable."
"Portable? What portable things had she expected to find in her house, and how could their absence be a reason for her refusing to work?" I demanded rather worked up. A "Yes, I asked her the same questions. She said she could not carry the TV set, the sofas or the double-bed," the landlady explained!