I don’t show my horoscope to an astrologer to enquirer about ‘how good/bad will my day be today?’ Rather I show the horoscope of my wife, because her mood will decide my fate.
But the remote of my wife’s mood is in the hands of my domestic help Manju. If she does not appear on any morning or informs that she is not coming for work that day, her (my wife’s) mood is disturbed. Google may fail to predict the weather forecast that day in my house, but I can sense it easily. It is not any astronomy; it is plain power of observation through decades of experience. Unexpected showers of bitter sentences, thunderbolts of abuses on slight provocation (even unintentional), raised voice, annoying tones is what I will face that day.
My wife waits eagerly after morning rituals for Manju like people waited in ‘Houston’ for Narendra Modi. On arrival, she gets a VIP treatment. A welcome tea with snacks is served to her. With the sips of tea, Manju will rattle the running commentary of the neighborhood and my wife will be the excited audience in the same manner as she does for her favorite TV show.
Manju is never left to work alone. My wife is always there, as a teammate, with her constant talking. You can’t make out who is the master and who is the assistant while both of them are working.
Sweeping and mopping are her main tasks, apart from utensils cleaning. In the first round, when sweeping is being done, fans will be stopped abruptly without caring to ask me if I am present in the house. And if I try to cross her sweeping path, it is taken as if I have hindered her to perform duties and have to face the wrath of my wife.
The second round is of mopping. Now it is reverse action for the fans. The fans will be switched on with full speed irrespective of weather or inconvenience caused by it.
Like the HR department of a company, my wife used to constantly devise tricks to lure Manju, so that she does not think of leaving her job. On every festival or celebration, Manju was given out of proportion gift.
The timings of our going out or invitation time for others is strictly decided on the basis of Manju’s work timings.
I often felt frustrated with the undue importance given to Manju in our house but never dared to express my views.
Last fortnight, I fractured my leg and had to stay in the house for full 10 days. Two days after that incident, my wife was bed ridden for four days due to severe attack of fever. Although I was also not well, but at least I did have energy to work and I could move around a bit slowly in the house with my broken leg.
It was then, when I realised that how much daily work is there in the house for the lady to do. The work pressure was much more than my office work.
Especially the morning hours were very busy. A lot of planning & preparation and patience is needed to make the children ready before the school bus timing. And the breakfast is to be prepared before that so that tiffin can be given. And in these busy hours, there were lot of interruptions by the visits of so many people -the garbage collected, the person for ironing the clothes, the milkman and many more.
If Manju is absent any day, you have to wash the utensils also apart from mopping and sweeping the floor.
I was beginning to learn the utility of Manju and the misery of my wife. On the other side, my wife was also realizing that though Manju is very important person but not indispensable. Ways and means can be found to counter her absence. Time passed and both of us recovered our health.
On one day when Manju didn’t come without prior information, my wife looked at me with smile. As if, I could read her mind through telepathy, I said, “I will take leave from office, let us go out for lunch and movie.”
It was a nice day without the thought of Manju or an astrologer.
May your day be also good.