Monday, September 15, 2008

I dub thee Supandi!

As unwilling as I am to put behind my previous post written in a fit of morbid mood... I have to move on. If you haven't read my post on Is the world in wrong hands?, please do!

Moving on.. or moving back on to the humor in my life! I talked about how God thinks the purpose of my birth is so that he can have some fun with me! So I must not have set my hopes too high when I did a stint in India a couple of years back, but of course I did!
When I moved to India I was very excited by the prospect of finally having a maid! I pictured myself languishing in the lap of luxury while my maid waited on me hand and foot! Instead I was washing clothes and piles of dishes coated with grease in hot humid Chennai while my maid took yet another impromptu holiday!
And then Cheeky happened. My MIL had dropped her life to rush to our side to care for the baby! But knowing that no son of mine was going to be less than a handful I decided to get her a babysitter to help! So I called this agency and asked them to help me out! Sure enough they brought me a candidate. The first thing I noticed about her was her hair flying in all directions. But I was desperate by then (maid hunting is no fun I tell you) and returning to work in a week, so I hired her!
The hours she spent sleeping in the patio were far longer than the hours she spent working! And when we left the baby unattended for a minute in his cradle.. she would make a beeline to his side ... to ..... sing (of all things). I could not stop laughing unfortunately!
Then one afternoon we came home to find the carpet that adorned my living room in the parking lot. Wondering what prompted this flinging out of such a precious thing we dragged the heavy carpet home. To find out the lady had brushed it out and decided to put it out in the sun on the patio wall! So I told her, next time make sure you keep something on it so that it doesn't fall off!
The next day as I rushed home I was accosted by the security. He informed me that an aruvamanai had fallen off my patio and the maid had asked him not to tell me about it. Whats an aruvamanai? Its a huge sharp blade mounted on a wooden plank used in place of a knife. Kind of like the Veechu Aruval from all the morbid Tamil movies(very difficult to explain.. see the picture). I was shocked needless to say! Having images of all the tamil movies I had watched so far.. images of an actor flinging a aruvamanai at a villain to save the damsel in distress ran through my mind. Not to mention the pictures of cop cars that flit to my dazed and confused brain. I rushed home to question her. And guess what? The aruvamanai had been the weight to keep the carpet from falling off the patio wall!! The lady far from realizing the havoc she could have caused was worried about the broken aruvamanai! "I am sorry I will replace it" she kept saying! In her mind that was why I was yelling like a banshee? Because a 50 buck Aruvamani was broken? I was not sure whether to laugh or cry. I repeated this tale to a friend who aptly named my maid "Supandi". And that was how it came about that we started calling her Supandi. (A character in old Indian folk tales - is the basis of many jokes of instructions gone haywire in his foolish brain!)

For weeks I kept having dreams of being taken off by the police and languishing in the jail with Supandi by my side! Imagine that!

Still later (yes I let her keep her job, but couldn't get her to keep her wits), one afternoon my MIL called me and begged me to rush home. The apartment is flooded she claimed! On further inquiry I found that the Supandi had been cleaning the health faucet! If you are wondering how she managed to flood the apartment? She broke off the top of the faucet and the water came gushing out.. drenching her. Then she rushed out to get a mop to mop the mess (while the water still gushed). My MIL hearing the chaos rushed to the scene and asked her to turn off the valve. But the lady tripped and fell while trying to close that thereby breaking off the valve too! Sounds like a scene from a movie right? Needless to say I dropped my work and rushed home plumber in tow! Imagine what I told my colleagues "Supandi has hit again!"

A few weeks later sanity prevailed and the maid was let go (Finally I had decided to stop listening to her sob stories about how she needed the money and think about my freedom and sanity instead). She called my MIL a few weeks later to inform her she had gotten herself a better paying job as a baby sitter (did I mention that she was hired to be maid/ baby sitter at my place.. but seeing her antics my MIL wisely refused to let her handle the child). But still that bit of information hurt. I paid her a fortune.. but more fool them who hired her!! Apparently their life is a big joke too!
(pic courtesy: http://www.inmagine.com/, http://live2cook.wordpress.com, http://movies.sulekha.com, http://www.iclipart.com/)

17 comments:

Fantasies of a Lifetime said...

Rofl!!..Who knows maybe the other person would be blogging about "life with supandi" as well , atleast ur not alone:D. . .

I still can't believe she put the aruvamanai as a weight on the carpet Or maybe she had a grudge against the watchman and wanted to scare him , first with the carpet and then the aruvamanai. . .

Neera said...

I hope it was not BEV who Supandi moved to

http://rain-bowdays.blogspot.com/2008/09/tales-of-suppandi.html

She really was incredible, Preethi!

Rambler said...

oh man she sounds dangerous :)

2 B's mommy said...

OMG...Hilarious. Thank God that no-one was hurt with that aruvamanai.

bird's eye view said...

ROFL!!! It's funny when it happens to someone else.

And the aruvamanai incident is scary. My cook ( not suppandi, slghtly smarter) insists on using one to cut veggies instead of a knife and I'm always in a panic in case she leaves it lying about where the kids can find it.

Just read this - and I've adopted your name for my maid, BTW, hope you don't mind.

Aryan said...

ahh..atlast get to know your supandi..so funny she is
Aryan's Mom

Pavi!!!! said...

Hahahahaha! so much of humor at home..wat more could u ask for ;)

on a boring(serious) note...Isn't the term servant a li'l derogatory?

Preethi said...

Vish - You know.. I cant believe I lived with it for as long as I did!!
Neera - Just read BEV's post.. I think you maybe right!!!
Rambler - You don't know how much!!
2BM - Yes thank god.. or I wouldn't be blogging about it, I would be stuck in jail!!
BEV - Just read your post.. hugs!! Looks like she did move over to your place the Supandi. As for the Aruvamanai.. this lady insisted I buy her the aruvamanai for chopping veges!!!
AM - Yeah in retrospect she is very funny!
Pavi - thanks for pointing it out.. my bad .. corrected it :)

Sandhya said...

That was hilarious and that makes me question the dreams I see about when I move back to India!

Nat said...

I would love to get my hands on a supppandi comic right bout now.

PG said...

That was frightening. I wouldn't trust her my child either. I think suppandi is everywhere in India. I have heard of and seen myself so many such similar cases. Communication is so very tough in India in my experience.

Suma said...

hee..hee. this was hilarious..

reminds me of the maid who was instructed to clean the blades of the ceiling fans...when my friend returned she was sitting next to the footladder and looking very morose...and the fans were still dirty and her answer was...i didn't have the screw driver to remove the screws!!!

and the Aruvamani incident was scary...

lostonthestreet said...

Man that was a scary looking knife!!But this got me wistful about supandi and all characters of tinkle!! fun comic it was no?::-)

Sumana said...

Preethi, I am forced to say I am currently going thru a part of this. My baby sitter tries to make the little one sleep in the morning/afternoon and goes to sleep herself. It is so funny that once my MIL tries to peep in only to find her sleeping and the baby up and playing one time. If you ask her to do anything a little off the routine, all she says is you have never hired me for that. Ahh the supandi had me laughing throughout the post.

Mama - Mia said...

supandi!! did she have a big head too?? a la asli supandi!

this was way too much woman!! what madness!

ofcos my maid is known to do silly stuff, but she take bloody brilliant care of Cubby, so i let go of broken mugs ans jars! sigh!

cheers!

abha

Preethi said...

Sandhya - :) The grass is greener on the other side after all.. so keep dreaming.. don't let this stop you!!
Nat - Yeah its been ages since I read one!!
PG - Communication... if you say it slowly in every language known to man and drag each word still you cant communicate your thoughts!!
Suma - lol.. so there are a lot of Supandi's out there!
Lostonthestreet - Yeah miss Supandi comics (only comics)
Sumana - lol.. your poor MIL.. my MIL was the one I pitied the most!
Abha - You got it right.. I was insane to keep her for so long.. but what the heck we got a few very expensive laughs!! ;)

Prats said...

Coming back to read this through...but came over to let you know you've been tagged....check it out