As mentioned earlier, our long-time maid in Delhi, 'the K', is an invaluable member of our home, and brings her own many quirks to add to the general craziness around.
There is a definite communication gap between Vijay and the K because the former tends to mumble a bit-and the latter is absent-minded beyond belief and for some reason, is also a bit timid around him. This timidity results in her inability to look at him or address him directly - she usually addresses the room in general instead, which he blissfully ignores. This makes for an interesting set of conversations.
I was going to write about this some time back, but then discovered that my sister has already done so. So, here I go, presenting my sister's writing here! Thanks, G, keep it up - saves me the trouble! I will focus now instead on writing about the last few days in Jaipur.
The K and V (my brother-in-law) have a hard time understanding each other. Actually she has a hard time understanding anything and especially him.There is some sort of insurmountable barrier there that turns every simple conversation into an involved dialogue often ending in complete misunderstanding - on her part of course.
Once, V wanted an envelope for some reason. In Hindi, this translates into a lifafa. So he asked the K for one.
She turns up a few minutes later with a largish plastic bag. V, who is used to this sort of thing by now, was prepared to elaborate - ‘Nahi, nahi – chhota, kaagaz ka lifafa.’
Now the K can process only one piece of new information at a time (if that). She came in brandishing an even larger paper packet. ‘Yeh?’ she asked hopefully.
V eventually found an envelope himself.
It is incidents like this that drives the K to try and make absolutely certain what it is that Vijay wants her to do. And this further leads to conversations like the following.
V: Chai banaa do.
K (reacting with inexplicable shock): Chai???
V (a bit uncertainly): Haan?
K (shock melting into casual disbelief): Aapko??
V (patiently): Haan
K (making sure that Vijay knows what he wants): Chahiye??
V (torn between impatience and amusement): Haan
K (leaving no room for doubt): De doon??
V (resignedly): HAAN!!!
Finally, the K was satisfied that she had cracked his code. And Vijay got his tea.
I suppose all's well that ends well. But there sure are a LOT of twists and turns getting there.
Well said, G.
There is so much more yet to come in this series...