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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mea Culpa.

Money is single sided sword.

We nurture, save, grow and double it with lots of care- all on the blunt side. What if we lend our money to a friend, a housemaid or a relative? The moment we loan it out, we do it with the sharp side, and it kills that relationship forever. We all know what is definitely bound to happen but we still loan out money. Because we cannot say NO.

Sometimes it is okay to say NO. Like you know your maid servant has a husband and son who earns enough, and she is also going to few other houses, which means she is earning enough. She is definitely not starving. So when she comes to you asking for a ten thousand rupees for some reason that sounds lame, do not give it. It is easy to write this but it is very very difficult to say that on her face. Like me. I gave a pretty decent amount to my maid eight months ago when I sent her away because my son started preschool, and now she does not answer my calls. Well she answered once and talked like I stole something from her house. Well let’s not discuss that.

This is how shit happens. And when it does, it breaks out loose and is all over the place. My better half had warned me against this loan, many times before I did it, and now has washed his hands clean of it. He reminds me of getting the money back, like a pending assignment due from my side, but has put his foot down when I asked his help to do it. Well I cannot blame him, it is completely on me, and I am pretty sure I am not getting it back. However it is not easy for me to get in terms with the truth, but I continue to message and call this woman, who claims that she is out of work to pay me back.

Before judging me, it is only fair for me to have the benefit of doubt. This maid was basically a good person. She was not the evil, cunning types, and looked after my son for a year at home. My son was also okay with her, and never cried when I went to office, which suggested that she did take good care of him. I had checked in on him hundreds of times without informing prior, and have never found him crying or ignored. I had informed my neighbors to check in on him and they never complained. I did not install a camera at home because I would not have a cctcv behind my workstation with my boss looking at it all the time. I still bathed and fed my son at all times during the day, my work being a stone’s throw from home. This is the reason why I gave her that money. She did take care of my son, and did not harm on him even once even though it was for a few hours. After a year when she asked me for that money, of course she was taking advantage of my weakest point, but I believed that despite the regular pay we gave her, she could have mishandled her job in frightening ways. That is not logic, it is sentiments which played the lead and I am paying for it now.

There is no room for sentiments in this world. Like if you sit and self-pity nobody consoles you because the world is competitive. If you pity yourself, others pity you more than you do. When was the last time someone gave you a push and said ‘I know you can do it’?

I had once given off the sari I wore at my wedding reception to the daughter of my mother’s maid. That maid also took a massive loan from my mother for the same purpose which still remains a loan. My mother called to remind her about the loan but she was yelled at and even cursed. I do not regret giving off my saree because I came to know it was worn by her on her wedding day. This saree was not something I dint want. I would never have worn it for any occasion after that, but it had a sentimental value attached to it. There is no selfless good deed, but I cannot think of myself as selfish for any reason by giving away that saree to a bunch of thankless people.

I now think of that loan I gave my maid, as an act of charity. I gave it to her succumbing to my weakness, completely aware on a sub conscious level that I am not going to get it back. And it was a pretty decent amount which I could use. Talking of charity, most of us give away what we don’t need and call it charity. Is that really it? If we wanted to help the less privileged we should give them what they need, and not what we don’t need. Right?

Take for example this woman, who paid for a cheap tee shirt online, which did not satisfy her expectations. Look at how she has commented on it. Is it arrogance or do we have some other word for the last line of her comment?

There is no hard and fast rule that can tell you who is reliable and who will return your loan. Why do people pay their EMI’s to the bank promptly and not to the person they took money from which has no written record? If we have an answer to that may be it will help us decide in future.

I do not have an answer to that yet. Do you?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Do you care for the balance amount?

Like most people, I have also come across store keepers and sales persons acting like they actually own the store and that people who walk  in are actually beggars in disguise.Hence I do not seek help finding anything in any shop. I prefer malls to shop with the sole intention of avoiding these ego heads in uniforms. However, I recently had a very different kind of experience.

I walked into a mothercare store to get a spare part for my son’s Avent bottle. I picked a set and went to the billing section. This item was priced at 2.9 rials and I gave the cashier 3 rials. He then packed it and handed over the item to me in a mothercare signature cover. I waited. The cashier looked at me and at the customer behind giving me a cue that I should move out of the queue. Had he forgotten basic mathematics, or basic rules of a cashier is not known so I continued, ‘Balance?’ And he gave me a look. A look that said ‘How cheap can you be to be waiting for a 100 baiza balance!” and hesitantly handed me the 100 baiza note with a smirk.

Obviously the other celebrity customers at mothercare do not care about 100 baizas. But how can this birdbrain think that ALL customers fall into that category? Please, 100 baizas are important to me! If it was a hotel and he did some kind of service, fine, we have a very humane concept called a tip. But definitely not in a regular retail store. It was enough that this was a branded store and each and every single piece of thread was overpriced here. And what was that look that this guy gave me? I mean, does he deserve to give me that look? Does he? If he did, would he be trying to ROB a customer for a mere 100 baizas? And for your information, 100 baizas in Oman is a good 16 Rupees in India! I walked out of that store, fuming. I just wanted to take one of those potty chairs at mothercare and slam it on his head. I wish there was some used potty chair for that. Or one which was in use.

The incident reminded me of a bus ride in Bangalore when I handed over a twenty rupee note for a 2 rupee ticket and the conductor told me that he will give me the balance ‘later’ and when the LATER came, he refused to have any eye contact with me or anybody. When my destination stop came I asked him the balance and he refused to give it to me. This was one sick moron. People like this are everywhere. And the mark of these morons is that, they are completely shameless.  

Another disgusting thing about these sales persons is ignorance about the product or service that pays them. At apparel stores, whenever I approached the sales person for another size or color of a dress I liked, they always sluggishly said ‘Ma’am this is the last piece’ and I always end up finding the second last and the third last pieces. Lazy donkeys. I believe that the line ‘May I help you’ sarcastically written across their shirts is as good as writing ‘Maintain Silence Please’ inside a pub. Oh how cute are the street vendors who go ‘madam madam…. Look at this dress… it will suit you so well…madam 100 rs less just for you..’ even if they don’t mean it. 

I know I have already written about the same subject recently but sorry L I had to mention this mothercare incident.

And in other news, popular(!) Bollywood actress Kangana Renaut launched a website to connect with her fans. The good news is, she will also be sharing style tips! Check out her ultimate fashion sense from a birthday bash that happened last week.

Apparently, eyebrows are out of fashion. Too bad, I just got them shaped last week. 

P.S: Getting style tips from Kangana is completely the reader’s choice. 
I will not be responsible for any damage to eyebrows, eyesight, etc.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Playgroup Files..

Few days ago we played the songs from ‘Kites’ at home. Just like that.
 The next day I spotted my two year old on the sofa, laid back and legs crossed, singing ‘Zindagi…’ ! The only thing missing was a bottle of beer for that Devdas effect.


Zindagi....Do pal ki...
The transition from daycare to play group has been obvious in the verbal front. Like potty time and bath time are infused with enchanting nursery rhymes( not very apt to the situation, though). But we are not complaining. That however doesn't mean that everything is fuss-free. Taking off the pajamas before bath is the toughest part which usually the hubby handles. Mostly Kolaveri Di takes care of it. (More power to Kolaveri Di. I don’t know what I’d do without it).But there are days even Dhanush fails to entertain. That is when the bunnies at Bunny party arrive. We have different songs for the varying degrees of fussiness, which in turn proves that we are masters of the art, in raising tough babies whose main motive is to make life difficult. No offense to any babies whatsoever by why do they fuss!

Dropping him at school on mornings is a strength test between my clothes and his fist. Letting his fist win is turning up at office in torn clothes. That wouldn't have any effect on my appraisal though. There are no cries or screams accompanied with this pulling of clothes and clinging on, but it is only a ritual he practiced since his first day there.  In the evenings, the hesitation is to go home. By this behavior his nanny might have thought that we are subjecting him to child labor or something.

When he was in daycare, he had a cute female play mate. Her cute face was only a guise- she was in fact a female baby goon and my son was scared of her. The very sight of this girl made him go WAAAAAAAAHHHH which burst the eardrums of a few sleeping babies. He thought of her like a ferocious Rottweiler. But one day I sneaked in at snack time and found him eating French fries from her tiffin. Obviously there seems to be no fear while stealing junk food. End of the day I look like the bad, bad mother who packs scrambled eggs and steamed bananas in his tiffin. Damn good eating habits. I was told by his nanny that the little female goon was very fond of my son's lunch which generally consists of rice. End of the month the goon gains height, weight and intelligence like the kids in bright orange t shirts in those Horlicks ads. My son is that kid in grey t shirt who never grows because he generously distributes his lunch to junk food eaters.

Waking up at 5:00 am and packing a wholesome lunch to – God knows who. That must be some destiny I am living.  Anyway I pack a bit extra food so that no one is hungry after lunch time. Sigh. Babies are thankless. Really. They take everything for granted. Wait till I send him to hostel when he is 20. I will NOT be answering any PHONE calls either.   

So today morning as I dropped him at school, the teachers were warming up the kids by singing action songs. It was a song that my son knew too.. soon he joined them, but later walked to the side of the room and started hanging out with few other toddlers and laughing. That is an early sign of a backbencher syndrome. Oh well, considering the fact that both his parents were notorious backbenchers I don’t expect an Einstein of him.

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