The morning had been quite peaceful, till hubby declared “I am not feeling very well, will stay at home today”. “Ayyo, if he stays at home, he will watch news all the time and won’t allow me to watch cartoons. What should I do,” exclaimed Beti in shock. “We will see, first let Mangamma come, the house is a mess.” I replied.
An hour passes by, no sign of Mangamma, the news is in full blast and Mr. Murugan calls out from the flat below “Mrs. BB, can you please get the water connection in your house repaired today? I have complained so many times now and you have done nothing about it. You are storing all the water, while it flows as a mere trickle in my home.” “Mr. Murugan, I am facing a severe domestic crisis. My maid has not turned up, hubby is not well, Beti is in a nagging mood and you are asking me to repair the water pipe? Let me sort things here and will then look into your request” I shouted back from the balcony. “That’s your personal issue. I am going to complain to the association secretary.”he called back.
The door bell rings and I rush to open it. “Why are you so late, if you continue like this I have to look for a replacement…” I was cut short by Mangamma who replied “Don’t bother, I am quitting…the next door lady has offered me double the salary you pay.” “But, how can you do that, after all that I have done for you,” I exclaimed indignantly. “All @#$%^&* idiots, must have left their brains behind while taking such an important decision !” an angry voice interrupted from the TV room, startling us. “Is he referring to me?” asked Mangamma, getting ready for the fight. “No, no…it’s something else, you get to work and we will continue our discussion a little later.” I said hastily, handing her the broom.
“I am so bored, Amma, what do I play with” Beti cries out. “oh, don’t bother me, find yourself something to do” I retort as I heard the doorbell ring again.
“Where is Dasji, I have to see him urgently,” MotaBhai gushed with a wide grin, as he waddled into the home, “Oh there he is, Dasji, AAP kaise hain?”
“What do you mean by that? How can I be, if not sick after seeing all this @!~%^ news” growled Dasji at MotaBhai. “I knew you would not be well, that’s why I got you this Shudh Desi Cows milk, topped with saffron. I had this made specially for you” said Motabhai holding out a glass and showing all 32 gleamy whites. “My stomach can’t digest this milk, you drink it yourself. Better still, use it for pouring over the head of your big boss, whom you regard as god”, said Dasji effortlessly working up a temper. But, MotaBhai continued unruffled, “AAP simply getting angry, Dasji. I was only trying to help you.” “You help yourself, I am off to support Janata’s Progress” said Dasji, storming out of the house. “AAP should take your cap Dasji, matters are too hot outside. And also the broom, you could use it to clean the place…hehehe”, chuckled MotaBhai. “You first make your team Swachch, then tell me. I will use the broom for better purposes” growled back Dasji, coming back to pick up his cap and snatch the broom from a surprised Mangamma. “Ramji ki nikli sawari, Ramji ki leela hai nyaari” sang MotaBhai merrily as he followed suit.
“I will also leave now Madam, you have not told me what you can give me” said Mangamma. “Wait, wait, let’s discuss. We had renewed our agreement only recently and now you say you will work with the neighbor, that’s so unethical.” I exclaimed. “Madam, all is fair in our society. You tell me if you can give me more, else I am out of your house” she said with one leg out of the house. “I am bored, what do I do” Beti shouted from behind again. “Oh, go to the balcony and observe what’s happening below. Mangamma, you stay back I will pay you 5% more than what the other lady offered” I said pulling her back in.
“I have got the association order. You have to repair your pipe today and let me have water properly” Mr. Murugan called out wielding a sheet of paper. “You have got a one-sided verdict. I need time to present my case to the association. Let me do that and then only can we settle this matter” I replied back. “But, I have no water in my house. What will I do till then” cried out Murugan. “Really Mr. Murugan, you cannot depend on me alone to sort all your problems. Be innovative and try to get water by some other means. Let me sort things here first” I said fast losing patience and poise. “Rang de tu mohe geruaaaaaa” blared a song on a loudspeaker outside suddenly. “What fun, MotaBhai is playing songs and distributing orange sweets outside to his friends, he offered Appa and his friends also, but they refused” shouted Beti, dancing in the balcony.
Hoping for some peace, I settled down in the lazyboy and had barely closed my eyes when I realized that a different kind of song was playing outside now. They seemed more rustic, folk type now. “Ammaaa, come here quickly, MotaBhai has become silent now and AAPpa and his friends are dancing now. Look, it’s so funny…one uncle has lifted another on his shoulder. Some are showing their hands as a blessing and others are dancing with a bundle of grass on their heads. AAPpa is wielding the broom like a sword in front of MotaBhai who looks very angry…hehehe”. So finally hubby is feeling better, I thought, settling down for a nap. I must have barely slept for a few minutes, when Beti roused me again, shouting excitedly “Ammaaa, do come here… AAPpa and these uncles are playing so many good games. First, they played catch-catch, with MotaBhai running after appa’s friends. Then when he could not, he started playing Crocodile-Crocodile. He has brought out many big suitcases and is showing them something that he wants to give. But, AAPpa and friends did not take it. But wait, few of their friends are hiding and indicating to MotaBhai that they can cross the river. Ooooh…now they are planning to play Chor-Police also. The policeman has also come to join them…I am also going down to play with them…”Beti said excitedly, trying to rush out.
“Quick, get ready, we are resorting to 5 Star strategy. You and beti can also join us for free.” hubby shouted from below. As I jumped up to make ready, Mangamma said “let me also join, I will sell them the firecrackers for their celebration.” “But, what if MotaBhai has the last word?” I asked. “No worries madam, how does it matter to us? If he wins, I will sell him the crackers. After all, both teams are going to be close to each other.” laughed Mangamma.
“What about the water pipe?” cried Mr. Murugan outside the door again. This time he was accompanied by Mr. Nair and Mr. Selvaraghavan who lived below his flat and were also impacted.
“Don’t worry. We will settle this in a couple of months. Till then, why don’t you join us in the resort. I heard it has a big swimming pool with plenty of water.” I offered graciously, signing off finally.