Inspired by a real life incidence.
Although ‘The Economic Times’ would like you to believe that the modern India is run by the Big Industries, the FDIs and the Financial markets; any regular home-maker would tell you that the wheels of the Urban India are being turned by the not so friendly neighborhood ‘Bai’. She rules the heart and mind of the Indian urban women. She throws tantrums that would put children to disgrace, would demand praise and attention that would give the mother-in-law tough competition and if a homemaker in any city is waiting for someone in the evening, its most likely her Bai not her husband. When the Bais leave, which they insensitively do, they give you a litter filled kitchen and a panic attack. And last week I had, what can be best described as The Bai's Drama. This is what happened.
Few days back , my morning started very much as usual. After the morning rituals of packing tiffin for my husband to office, I finally sat with a hot cup of tea waiting for that pleasant ring of doorbell. It was time for my Bai to come and wash, clean and scrub the house till it’s shining brightly. So I waited…and waited. And then I waited a little more. But the bell did not ring. I had a storm of panic building inside of me when finally the bell rang and my Bai arrived. She was in a pesky mood.They have a DISTINCT way of letting you know- the utensils in the kitchen make that extra noise, and they have just that little edge in the answers.
I think I am an expert at employing and managing Bais so I picked up the signs immediately and started doing analysis. Is this because of the extra-washing I made her do; is this the beginning of the pitch to raise her wage or are there other deeper darker unknown reasons? I definitely did not want to know. So I decided to treat her to breakfast and tea. That would sublime the mood temporarily only I thought. Soon I got tired and wondered why I should be pampering her without any reason and I stopped. Things then took a turn for the worse and this led to a cold war. In the next few days, I figured that she had picked up 2 more jobs. Although I was still paying her more than the 2 new jobs combined, she had this ‘ I don’t give a damn’ attitude for my job. Coz, now I liked this woman and did not want to loose her. She, in past, had been loyal, with decent work performance. Any one would tell you that’s rare to come by. So somehow I had to salvage the situation and that required thought and strategy. Well, to be preciseThe management of Bais requires as much strategy and diplomacy as is required to untangle the " JNU" issue these days.
After much a thought, I came up with a two-step strategy. My Step 1 was Power presentation: The next day I sounded off the guards and neighbors that I need a new Bai. Bais are as well networked as some of us on face book Twitter and whatsapp. They are updated with everything and everyone , so with an assumption that my Bai came to know about my search immediately.
In a couple of days I got a good contender to replace her. I told her I would like to see her work for a few days. She agreed and next morning there she was- for all to be seen-especially my ‘full of attitude’ Bai. Although I said nothing, I did see a slight sense of insecurity. Just what I wanted! Step Two was of Diplomacy and Negotiations: Then came the day of the final talk. So I called my Bai after she finished her work, gave her breakfast and tea and then was about to initiate the conversation, when she said, “ Didi, I left my other jobs. I get very tiered, I would rather just do our work.” I told her I was concerned for her well-being and value her loyalty. And so was thinking of increasing her salary. Thank you didi, aap kitne aachhe ho! Hum apne ghar me hi bass kaam karenge,(referring to my house);And she was back to her zealous self.
At the end, I did not increase her salary by any amount but with implementation of my two step theory then, I bought peace of mind, loyalty and devotion- most expensive items in today’s world. But above all I avoided the Bai's Drama for some days atleast.