The rays usually come knocking at 6 am in the form of Roshni. Well, today the bell did not ring. Roshni, befitting her name,the panacea for all ailments did not bless the front door.
Chain of reactions unfolded, Junior was tossed a slice of cheese shyly peeking out unsure whether to stay within the comfort of the bread or explorethetiffin box. Junior suddenly remembered to take a chart paper for the bespectacled Ma’am of seriousness, he decided to bear the brunt of seriousness not the barrage of ‘how many times …..” from Mommy dear.
Senior gulped the eggs thanking the good lord that he is still in shape which enabled him to grab the bouncer before Leo took the catch. The butter arrived eventually, but the bread earner shyly kissed the lady goodbye and breezed away to earn more bread.
Then the pandemonium set in. Leo yelped and dashed under the dining table. The pots and pans cowered in utter fear, the broom prayed for a witch of any sorts to fly away with. The dirty clothes wished they were never worn the day before. Save a prayer for Mrs Smith because Roshni the maid decided to take a break. Now she has to cancel yoga class doing dishes, clothes and the floor is crowned the undisputed queen of all exercises. The plumber has to be told to wait. He cannot work when the sink has dirty dishes. Mrs Kumar coming for tea has to be postponed.
Mrs smith decided to call her darling friend and neighbour Mrs Jones and borrow her maid for the day.
“Totally ungrateful.She has forgotten Diwali is around the corner, Christmas follows then. I was just planning to go shopping and buy hergifts, big bazaar sale is on. Now she should be happy with the old saree I am going to give her, undeserving woman. Last month she took two days leave I still paid her full,even yesterday I gave her half day for some work she had,almost all Sundays are half day. How dare she take leave without informing me…JUST LIKE THAT”
‘Calm down, Calm down…. Now tell me what can I do? I can send you my maid, Hold the line let me ask her” Rani …
Do you have time to go to Smith Madam’s house after the chores here are done?
“O-ho..tsk..tsk… ok,sorry, MrsSmith, Both the kids of Rani and Roshni are down with fever after the vaccination”.
“kindly ask her… at least the dishes, I’ll pay her full” (more mumbles exchanged)or maybe just the pressure cooker and the milk pot”? But Rani the Brave did not succumb to the generous payment for cleaning just a pressure cooker and a milk pan.
Mrs smith paced up and down simmering further thinking even Rani’s son had fever, yet she came, why couldn’t Roshni.“Now she doesn’t even deserve the hand me down saree”.If I had known, I wouldn’t have gone for the manicure yesterday’
O woe betide! Fie Roshni Fie ! for ruining my day’
“Good morning (too cheerful) Hi! Mrs kumar Hi!…I was really looking forward to our tea and gossip,Oh gosh ! I have so much to tell you, but something unforeseen has come up,the bank called up, there seems to be some problem with the adhaar card,a letter of my name should have been i note”.So after a happy discussion on demonetisation, hundred-rupee coin and bank rules, next tea date was fixed. First battle won,now how to go about the day. Mrs Smith developed the sudden urge to release a few colourful vocabulary she heard while watching some movies, but good upbringing forbade her.
Anyway she decided to calm down, wash the required pots herself and order food for lunch. “let me have a quiet day, enjoy being alone”on second thoughts” should I go for the bath now, but if that woman decides to come, opportunist that she is, will ring the bell once twice and go back happily”Nothing happened, tea over with, newspaper read, replied a few whtsapp and supplied a kind word for the friend who send broadcast messages every day. Then she bared her sweet fangs, released her much required boiling steam, the words flew in torrents, very colourful which may even make a truck driver cringe. Then she realised with pride as well as with dismay that she has ample knowledge of the world.
Then she turned into a merry young lady again….
“What the heck!” Might as well as enjoy the solitude, either way the condition of her house, clothes and the dishes remains the same. Sing loudly, make some forbidden noises in the house, watch romedy or go, walk the mall and get packed lunch.
Senior and Junior gingerly came home, “mamma! see A+in Hindi” followed by a hug and a happy smile. Suddenly, spurt of light erupted and the darkness dissipated caused by the eclipse of Planet Roshni
Darling! Give yourself a break, let us go for dinner”. The day ended on a happy note.
6 am, the bell pealed a little louder than usual and Roshni waltzed in.
Beforethe Perfunctory Namaste madam,Kya hua!Madam? Came from the madam herself. Both hands comfortably placed on the hips,Roshni went about her work calmly as she has been doing for the last four years. Peace reigned in Smith’s home, Senior and Junior left for the day humming…’if you are happy and you know it, clap your hands’, beautiful song on a beautiful day…
“Chai banao” rather sharply and “tell me what happened”.
When Roshni left at after her chores were done, she got what she deserved. A new pink suit, a saree which still smells of her beloved madam, a new pant shirt for her boy, some fever control medicine, multi vitamins and a big smile. After all festivals are meant for peace and love. Madam even hinted she may be given a mobile if leave of absence is informed in advance.
“My madam is the best” Roshni sighed and entered her one room home.


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