Recently I was in Nasik at my mom’s place to drop the kids for their annual summer get together at my Mom & brother’s place later. It’s an annual ritual for the kids to go to my brother’s place for my younger niece’s birthday and from there to spend time at Nani’s (maternal grandmother) place for some fun and change and of course to spend time with their grandparents.
We were having chai in the garden that morning in Nasik (oh yes, my parents have a sprawling bungalow in Nashik with a beautiful garden and a kitchen garden too, something that we can only dream of in Mumbai), when my husband remarked that the tea cups we were drinking our chai in had been the same for the past 10 years or so. Before I could jump to the defence of my parents he smiled and said “It’s so surprising that these cups don’t have a single chip, whereas we are changing cups every 2 months, isn’t it? “I must say I was rather pleased by this remark but that set us both thinking as to why it was so. We live in Mumbai where people’s routines are set like clockwork. The Bai (maid) comes at 12 noon, the cook at 11.30 am. My husband leaves at 7.45 am (if it gets to 7.50 am, then traffic is sure to shave off at least 30 minutes from office time. You must be wondering what this has to do with the cups? Well, what it tells us is that in Mumbai if my maid chips cups every 2 months, I am willing to excuse her cos she has to hurry thru her job to move to the next house she cleans and if suppose I do reprimand her, I’m certain I’ll be left without a maid for a month! And do you know what that means? It means complete chaos. That’s how living in Mumbai is. All balanced precariously – a minute here and you miss your train. You reach office late and miss a meeting. Your boss gets another reason to set you down. You have another reason to scream at your children/spouse. Your kids slowly refuse to talk to you or listen to you. Your husband and you start to have fights on anger management. And so, we take a deep breath & say chipped cups are just FINE, we’ll change them every 2 months.