The New Urban Rulers

The New Urban Rulers

A Story by Kajal Gulabani

Our dependence on maids reaching at it's pinnacle.


Those were the days of Rani Laxmi Bai and Changez,
 Now, are the ones of MAIDS. 
Women strutting with bordered sari giving a typical Maharashtrian oomph, white Chameli  gajras and green bangles have their own story of sovereignty. So does the ones with printed sarees swanking their 'Gadvi Gujarat' signature. No, it's not some 'States of India' description,rather, 'Maids of India' are taking the lead here. In most of the situations, I would not mind losing a dollar each on every guess,if you could even make out whether they are maids ! 
Last week, I happened to pop at one of my cousin's abode for a casual 'hi-hello' gesture. Seeing her packed baggage, I found out she had a business trip on her planner the following day. All feels heaven once we are set and done with the action just before the trip begins. So could I feel that heavenly peace shining on her forehead. Just then, something sung 'You are my pumpkin, pumpkin.. You are my hunny bunny'. Aahaa! One more IDEA customer she was whose mobile had rung ,making me realise the reason of the bubbly song out-of-the-blue. As she said 'hello!' (peacefully), poor girl started getting those creaking cramps in her stomach breaking through the serene peace of her mind. No, it wasn't her boss ruining the trip BUT her maid informing about some pitiful reason for taking a three days leave. Gosh! I had not seen my cousin so upset even when she was leaving her parents to get married. Such is an impact of our most recent urban rulers named Maids. They are sitting on a throne and invading our kingdoms it seems. Without a maid, we are a car without diesel or fuel. Those who say .. 'Behind every successful man, there is a woman', they should not dodge the fact that 'Behind every happy woman, there are no more shopping bags, but, Maids'. 
We have been so mentally and physically occupied in the rustle bustle of life, that we thoroughly depend on maids to over take our major segment of responsibilities. We sparingly feel the urge to be a hard working homemaker and show-off our 'shooo off' tantrums towards our own living or working habitats. Just like a pet becomes a member of the family, so does these servants reign over the dependent cells of our engine. 
Gone are the days when sweets on festivities used to suffice them. Their expected incentives have reached way above the belt . When asked, they reply with a 'demure-damsel' smile, "Manne mobile joiye che" (I want a mobile),making our hearts sink.  Unfortunately, are we left with any other choice? 
Kitty parties, mothers workshops, dazzling houses, rather every possible 'looked upon' achievements are our maids' blessings in disguise. Hence, where we worship our almighty creator, God, with besan laddus, we compromise on mobiles and expensive stuff to swamp over their hearts. 
Certainly can't ignore the dominant gene of the society- our male leaders, who brag upon every paltry endeavour, but sigh! Can they do without these intoxicated species? 
The moment I decide to knuckle  down my maid with instructions, her sword like finger springs up in retaliation. Oops! How could I forget !! She is the ruler of my 'so-called-kingdom' of life. 
Hope the fragrance of Chameli gajras don't paralyse us to an extent that our limbs fail to recognise the aroma of life's true flavours. 

© 2013 Kajal Gulabani

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I really liked the hustle & bustle of Maids---but would have liked to see one walk and talk and do something---what does she look like? what's her name? you could say, her name is Devi, damn it! does she drink pepsi? is she smoking a pipe all the time? is she not religious? does she not bleed? when does she bathe? have you watched?

Posted 10 Years Ago

I'm certainly glad I don't have a maid. I have enough problems.

Posted 10 Years Ago

I found that the last paragraph took off some of the hostility the rest of the piece had. Anger at modern life is understandable. We're trapped in job and debt, and boxed in by our increasing dependence on electronic devices.

But for me, as a woman, blaming maids for the evils of modern life was pushing casual misogyny. Maids are just as trapped as the rest of us. Finding that the narrator also had a maid took some of that away. Then it's more clear that we are raging at a symptom instead of the problem.

Posted 10 Years Ago

The middle classes are the same the world over. Aspiration driven, competitive and greedy.

Posted 10 Years Ago

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4 Reviews
Added on February 18, 2013
Last Updated on February 18, 2013
Tags: Maids, urban, rulers, home, office, women, men, genes


Kajal Gulabani
Kajal Gulabani

Ahmedabad, Shilaj, India