Monday, May 12, 2014

We Are Maid For Each Other.

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The last two years have been blissful. Ask me why? It’s my angel in maid’s disguise who is the reason behind my happiness with an expiry date. She’s everything I could have ever dreamt of – punctual, sickeningly sincere, never takes a day off, does all the housework without a murmur of protest. She cooks, she cleans, irons my clothes, shops for groceries. What more could a woman ask for. There are days when I wish it was she who I was married to.

Agreed, when she started, she was a little cranky, complained a bit and her cooking was sometimes “meh”. But not anymore; she cooks better than any cook I have hired, irons better than Ram Prasad and keeps the house so clean that you can literally eat off the floor and not feel diarrheal. These days she’s even threatening to make mithai at home. I’m not complaining! Even the husband is in love with her. He cares for her so much that there are days he offers to do the housework just to make her happy.

Nah! That doesn’t make me jealous at all. After all, love is all about sharing your husband.

A part of me dreads having to let go of her. I know the separation is inevitable once I come back to India but I’d rather not think about it. I have been trying to convince her though, tempting her with peace of mind even if it’s at the cost of a lot of hard-work. I’ve even offered her to buy a dishwasher, a robo-maid as assistants. But New-me is not too sure.

Oh, did I not tell you her name? It’s New-me, my soul-maid for the last two years.

I think I know what’s playing in her mind. New-me is afraid that she’ll turn to Old-me once she gets back to India.

Let me tell you a bit about Old-me before I proceed any further with this story. Old-me was this lady who lived in a tiny castle up in the air with her dear family and many helping hands. Even though the hands were many, she felt stressed all the time. She felt trapped in her castle, forever at the mercy of helping hands and their many moods. She was sick of managing their sicknesses, their children’s and their aunt’s sicknesses and the sick world at large. Every time she heard one of them cough loud, she would have a heart-attack, imagining herself down and dirty on her knees, stewing in sweat as she made stew for her dear hungry family.


Old-me had willingly entrusted her sanity, her freedom in the hands of her helping hands, focussing all her energies on keeping them content. After all they were the ones who were keeping her happy. Or so she thought. She planned her outings to suit their schedules, tearing her hair off in anxiety when stuck in a traffic snarl, wondering if they would go back disappointed after ringing the doorbell 2 1/2 times. There were times when Old-me longed to be unshackled from the tyranny of her helping hands. Especially when they took spur of the moment vacations to attend their Aunt’s brother’s son’s nephew’s wedding, with their phones switched off.

New-me often has conference calls with Old-Me. You see, they are best of friends. I often hear New-me give fiery pep talks to Old-Me, telling her yes-you-can. Om sighs and tries to explain, it’s not that easy. Her country is one of the most productive whose people produce cholesterol and their houses constantly produce dirt and grime. She can’t imagine herself spending all day on her knees, over the gas stove, stooped over the counter, chopping bhindis for dinner.

The fact is, both Old-me and New-me are scared of change.

There’s an Old-me dying to be the New-me in all of us. Be it dropping a few pounds, finally mustering courage to write that book, getting rid of people that make us unhappy or maybe travel and discover the world. The only thing that holds us back is the love for the comfort-zone – that safety cocoon that seductively whispers in our ears ‘everything is all right’. Oh, the excuses we make to remain in the comfort zone of ours. I don’t have the time, who will take care of the house, I can’t tell a story, I won’t be able to manage all that stress. But deep inside our heart we know we’re bullshitting no one but ourselves. Of course, we can have all that we’ve ever wanted. All we need is to step out and knock at opportunity’s door. Yet, we choose to stagnate, complain and wonder if we’re wasting our lives?

That’s the truth of life, we either keep up or be left behind. The choice is entirely ours, isn’t it? 


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61 comments:

  1. I think the last para soars so high that you just want to shed the Old-me and discover the New-me even if it means stepping out of the cocoon. Despite knowing that it is no one else but we ourselves who stop the growth, we stay there, paralyzed.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sometimes it takes a shove, the unexpected to discover the New-Me.

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  2. I discovered the New Me when I went to Japan, And I loved her ! The sense of independence and freedom I felt because I was doing everything myself without having to rely on anybody was exhilarating ! The lat para is an eye opener. We all have the New-Me's inside us shackled by our what ifs and I cants !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And when you think back, doesn't it amaze you that you were all of that and more! We are such adaptable creatures. Throw us in unfamiliar terrains and watch us soar.

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  3. The only limits in our life are the ones we set for ourselves. And when we push our limits we discover the New-Me- the one we thought never existed. Hold on to your New Me for once you are back in Gurgaon, your Old Me is likely to tempt you.:)

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    1. I know it's no use thinking and stressing about it. The first few months will be tough but I will reach a middle ground. Of that I'm sure.

      Delete
  4. It feels good when one comes across a 'New Me' after reinventing oneself! Actually,I have realized that no work is too mean and it gives freedom from boredom which often lesser worked people complain of, all the time Purba:)

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    1. I don't know why in India we are so ashamed of doing our own work!

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  5. It is all about challenging yourself and having the will power to stick with the change. Good luck to you for when you come back :).

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    Replies
    1. Rachna, I will need lots of good luck and courage.

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  6. Satya Vachan.! continuing to rediscover and reinvent as in management jargon is the name of the game. But there is no harm in every once in a while letting the old self come for a nice cup of coffee while the world waits on you...

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    Replies
    1. So many me's inside me waiting for their day under the sun :-)

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  7. Your new me is scary. I am happy being in the cocoon. And my maid has tendered notice, will leave next month. Off to search for another.

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    Replies
    1. Hahahaha...A few months of a cook free existence in Gurgaon and I know I'll be running around looking for one.

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  8. Like that tussle between the old me and the new me.

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  9. When you experience the "maid"enly woes we have here, you might end up having New-me pop up once in a while :).. So are you coming back soon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes..yes...in a few months I'll stop feeling nostalgic about all things Indian.

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  10. I agree, it is only when you challenge yourself to get out of that comfort zone, will you get a chance to discover the "new-you" as you say. As someone who largely "works" from home and someone who returned back to India after almost a decade in London, I'm going to also suggest that once in while, you should let the world wait on you. Lovely post Purba :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have chosen a path that very few men will dare to tread. Especially in a patriarchal society like ours.

      And yes, it does feel good when you sit back and let someone else pamper you :-)

      Delete
  11. I completely agree to what Alka Gurha has commented above- 'The only limits in our life are the ones we set for ourselves'. Break out of the cocoon. There is a whole lot of things we can do and multitask which we dint kknow! Being away from relatives and parents in a whole new country has taught me that and more !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, Anita. We should never underestimate ourselevs. We never know what we are capable of till we are thrown out of our cocoons,

      Delete
  12. I keep going back and forth between the new me and the old me.... But I have promised myself to finally start that project I wanted to since always...This time I will I say..let's see if the new and old me collaborate for the same!!

    Women (Un)Judged

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  13. Nice one. We are so comfortable in our old feelings etc that we don't want to change. Nice eye opener for me. Hope I can be new me and leave my old me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cliched as it may sound - nothing is impossible once you've made up your mind.

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  14. I have tried my level best to be the NEW me , but sadly it never happens in whatever I want to do .. sad story of my life ..

    but then they do say OLD is GOLD .. and maybe that it right tooo ...

    Bikram

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha...Old is gold, indeed!

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  15. OMG! Are you going to write a series of self-help books or become a motivational speaker once you get back from hunting bull sharks?
    Also Mr Ray is extra nice to the "New Me".....maybe, she threatens him...maybe he is too scared. This happens with people who have Split Personalities. They don't remember most of what the other personality does or says. You should go to see a shrink before one your personalities goes berserk or something.

    P.S. Personally I don't need a new me. Snow Leopards are awesome like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you realize, you're obsessed with bullsharks! All you can talk about is them! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? And please don't expect me to bring back one for you. As such they are too big to fit in your water tank. Plus, what will you drink? Beer?

      Delete
  16. Soo .. true! Its a different feeling to do things on your own: there's no safety net to blame the 'other'.

    Oh gosh I've come to your blog after a VERY long time - it's still epic, more than ever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll discover your New-Me in Amrika.

      And I missed you too :D

      Delete
  17. Right now the old-me and the new-me are in conflict with each other. The old me is being sidelined by the new one...I have to create the balance between the two. The new me is used to the comfort zone of writing and old-me was health/fitness conscious. Time for the old me to resurface.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, you can do both! I do both like a psycho :D

      Delete
  18. The Old-me is too scared to bring out the New-me :/
    After reading this Old- me is slightly motivated to bring about the change! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like Sir Nike says - Just. Do. It.

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  19. Purba, you are the bestest EVER!

    What an awesome, compelling post. It totally connected with me.

    The last para was pure gold. There is always a New-me and an Old- me inside us. The New- me can aid our flight but we cling to the Old-me in abject fear. Stepping out isn't at all easy. Getting out of your comfort zone isn't always our cup of tea. We would rather be average than brilliant. Brilliant petrifies us, it demands too much.

    And of course, change scares us.

    More power to your pen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I simply died and went to heaven. You know naa, how much your appreciation means to me! Good, I can now go back to being the old-me without any regrets :p

      Delete
  20. Once I hit the virtues of the paragon, I knew where it was headed :) Not even in dreams can you HIRE one such maid from outside :) BUT the last para was unexpected and insightful.

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    Replies
    1. It was unexpected for me too. But then I whatever I write is always spontaneous :-)

      Delete
  21. Which one the husband prefer, Old You or New You?! Lol! Enjoyed reading this one as one delves into the soul to get familiar with..superbly narrated, Purba:)
    We either keep up or be left behind, the power of ur pen weighs a lot.

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    Replies
    1. If I start believing that Vishal, that will be the end of my blog :-)

      Delete
  22. As much as we in India await your arrival to join our luncheons and what-not, we will be making sure the New-me is not allowed to rest in peace till she thinks of that book. (c.f. what I said to you, asked you, some time back. It's time!) And we will push as much as you want to make ourselves be called the famed author Purba Ray's 'Friend'. Of course, I am speaking for the 'gang' here. :)
    This bi-nary you speak about exists in many women. No idea how many manage to arrive at peace between the two, but I know you should. Not on the weight front, oh come on (have you seen your toned legs?) but certainly, and I repeat, on the book. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sakshi, I'm constantly making excuses for not starting on one. Frankly I lack the patience. I get bored too easily :/

      Delete
  23. Yes we do fear change, but then as the saying goes everything changes. Even the new-me will soon change into a newer-me, and newer-newer-me in due time. A thought-provoking post.
    And as for the moving back to India bit, been there done that. It was the best decision I ever made. Don't even mind the "maid" issues :) Nothing like being home, even though I don't even speak the language of the state I choose to live in. But those are minor details :) As long as the new-me is happy...for now at least!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I realized how much I loved Delhi and all things Indian after I moved out. Yes, the first few months will be tough but I can't wait to get back.

      Delete
  24. I'm always in this tussle between Old-me and New-me ... New-me is more courageous and optimistic but Old-me pretends that she is still playing her maid-en over...
    But as you've said..the choice is all ours...

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    Replies
    1. It is, Manipurna. Call it contentment or laziness but we do not push our limits till we are forced to.

      Delete
  25. Liked this article very much((like as in like, not fb like). My only question(not to you , to fate) would be why don't opportunity knock 2 1/2 times but only once.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because opportunity is always in a hurry to knock at the next door.

      Delete
  26. New-you, welcome to the world! You can be your own Fair Godmaid-er!

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  27. Wonderful as always!
    Loved the last para:)

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  28. As most here said... Last few lines hits bull's eye. I try hard to be new me, but sigh, I am such a lazy bum :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Did I read "to write that book"? Let me recheck. Yep, it seems right. I think we all have a tendency to sink back into the puddles we have long deserted just to see if things are still the same. We step in, and we, like your 'New Me' thinks, 'This seems easier now, that I am more relaxed and matured and not too much caring' and we step in further, and in no time it all starts over again.
    I think that is why vacations are recommended. You, have had one, from the 'Old me'. Make it stick :)

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust you latch on to that dreaded "word" I was hoping everybody would miss!

      When it comes to taking vacations, no one can beat my record. I take one every two months.

      Delete
  30. Beautiful post! First time on your blog.
    "All we need is to step out and knock at opportunity’s door. Yet, we choose to stagnate, complain and wonder if we’re wasting our lives?" Gosh, you are just reinforcing what I'm going through.
    A new follower

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading, Preethi and welcome to A-Musing :-)

      Delete
  31. thats an excellent piece of work....yes even I want to discover the New-me..and I know that only I can make it happen...

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