5.4.06

A darker shade of grey

I knew for 2 years that my father would retire on 31/03/2006.
I shall write a special blog on him soon. That would be his story. This is mine.
For 2 years I went about collecting stuff for what would be my house.
Not home because it would be rented.
And I had adapted myself to the fact that I would be alone.
It was all good till I was hit by M/S Aggarwal Packers and Movers.
On 28/03/06.
Because when I woke up that day, my entire house, excluding my room which being a local shifting would happen last, was stripped of all furniture and fixtures.
I mean it was too swift and too much.
I actually went back and snuggled into bed.
Confused.

My parents moved into a hotel on 29/03/06.
That night when I went back into my room, it actually hit me.
For 2 years I had taken it for granted, but not any more.
I was actually missing the knowledge that my parents are sleeping in the next room.
I was very uncomfortable of the sight of that empty room.
I was still confused. I didn’t know how to react.

I did what I could do best.
I broke my resolve not to vacate my room till the last day.
I moved into my new pad the very next morning.

My dog went off to Pune. He will stay with my brother and sister in law.
I fall in the category of people who are not capable of looking after a pet.
No to mention that everyone in the house was against having a dog. I brought him in. and then everyone fell in love with him. Now I was the bad guy.
I feel so helpless.
My dog, I dare say is the closest to unconditional love.
Any dog for that matter.
Because even if you meet him for 10 minutes a day, or for a minute after 10 days, he will wag his tail at the same speed and jump with the same joy.
He operates on zero expectation.
And that is unconditional love.
That in my opinion human beings are incapable of.
I feel so helpless because I know he too misses me.
And he is angry with me.
For bringing him into this home and then abandoning him.
Leaving him to be taken by those who can keep him and not the ones who need him.

But such is life.

On 31/03/06 I paid a surprise visit to my father in office. I went and had a cup of tea with him. For the last time in that office.
He was happy. And that made me very happy.

I gifted my father a photograph I shot. A huge blow up of it.
He loved it. Because he was the one who taught me photography.
And he liked what I did.

On the evening of 01/04/06 on the way to the airport I realized that I had not given anything to my mother. After all if dad was retiring, I should give mom something too.
I stopped on the way to the airport at Ganjam.
Needless to say the saleslady in there made sure that I was left with the minimum balance in my account by the time I got out of there.
But what I got for her was really nice. Knowing my moms taste, she would love it.
I gave it to her at the departure lounge.
She hugged me and cried.
I didn’t. I wanted to but I didn’t.
Because I wanted her to be strong.
Dad was going to be home after 37 years of service.
He needed her more than me.

I left the airport and headed out to buy curtains for my new pad.
In less than 10 minutes I got a call from mom screaming with joy.
She loved it. Yeah…!

Her joy erased all concern about my economically inadequate state.

I went back home, to my new house and 2 servants, one of whom was to go to mom after settling me down.

The other had been with me since the past 8 years.

So much so that I never had a finished a box of chocolates without giving him a few.
He knew about bacon, ham and scrambled eggs and loved the taste of baked beans.
And pepsi.
He used to insist onwearing my old clothes because that ensured some good brands for him. By the way, he likes Nike. Actually has a collection of all my old tees.
He knew how to operate my complex home theatre system and used to watch movies in high quality DTS sound when I was not around.
My mom hated it. she said I am ruining him. All his other relatives (8 of them) who work in various parts of our family had to work to get their luxuries. Like all the other kids in the house. Because the help was like kids of the house.

Consider these…

Servant, living with family since 8 years.

Mom leaves him and another guy to look after me. The other dude is supposed to have left today.

So day before he declares that he shall not do anything in the house except cooking. No cleaning. No washing.

I ask him to leave. As hiring a maid would make his presence obsolete.

So consensus is reached that he shall settle me down and leave.

Meanwhile mom intervenes and says that he should stay with me till end of April and then go to her.

After he helps unpack and settles me down.

He asks me who will pay his wages for the duration he works here.

For 8 years we have never had an economic conversation with the domestic help. Dad ensured we never needed to. They were well taken care of and more.

He pushes me. Tells me to stuff it in chaste Punjabi.

I ask him to leave instantly. Pack his bags and leave. Before I hit him.

He does that. While I confisticate the mobile phone that I have given him, that I pay for.

He says he shall break my hands if I touch the phone.

I keep the phone.

I thrash him.

I throw him out.

I lock the door and get to cleaning and unpacking the house.

Clean up, cook and eat dinner.

Started some unpacking.

Started getting some shocks.

My stuff was missing.

Lots of it.

Lots more shocks.

He was with us since 8 years. He KNEW what stuff was worth stealing.

Important stuff was missing.

It didn’t make sense. And I was MAD.

He stayed with us for 8 years as a member of the family.

I made a few calls.

I realized he went back to the house my father retired from on 31/03/06 and offered to work with my dads’ successor.

I went there this morning.

The entire house staff knows me there.

Found him sleeping in his old servant quarters.

Thrashed him again.

Searched for my stuff.

Didn’t find it.

Thrashed him again.

He feigned ignorance. The other boy was missing so the blame was pinned on him. I thrashed him again.

I knew the stuff was going to be in ‘Darbangah’ district of Bihar by this weekend.

Said fuck it!

Walked out.

Told new occupant of house that he was sacked and he didn’t leave.
Hire at your own risk.

Came to work.

Phew!

Feels good to get it off my chest.

As I sit alone, I miss my parents. I miss my dog. The food I cook tastes awful. Hell, I even miss my servant. He was the last person I could expect this from. In my old house he used to have the keys and all to my cupboards.
I miss when at least home was not a lonely place to be. What I use to call a small, dingy 2 bedroom place was too big for me now.

I slept outside on the balcony. With mosquitoes. And no electricity.

So tell me, you had a miserable day?

Is there a darker shade of grey?

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

you need a drink.
a stiff one...

Spazsim Chasm said...

Daimn dude!!!
Hugs for Harjeeee!!!
Dunno about a darker shade of grey but someone said there is a lighter shade of pale.
This too shall pass..

Kisses
simone

theorangecast said...

duuuude...... crazy shit man. what can i say? shit happens, but if you ever come across that other guy, gimmie a call, i'd like to watch the thrashing!

cheers!

Noojes said...

Sorry Harjee...I really am...

Anonymous said...

aww!! poor u, let me knw if u need ne help....ne help at all!!

luckysanjana said...

Like theorangecast said. Shit Happens!!!!Its how you deal with it that matters!!!!

I think we discussed this in great detail yday so wont get into this here.

But honestly i missed the grey in your blog totally. I was so steeped in the radiant blue of the first part of the blog.

I think that was mighty sweet of you to go meet your dad on the last day of his retirement. that last cup of tea must have meant more to him than the picture.

It was really sweet and it touched my heart your warm gesture. Goes to show how considerate you are. and i am liking it a lot Harjee. Way to go man.

shruti said...

Hey Harjee!!!!
U did sound upset but I know u will get over it....
Honey we do miss our parents when they are not with us and it has nothing to do with the kind of person we are.
By the way,what did u buy for ur mum(i'm not a Bangaluru native ,what does ganjam sell??)???
U take care and be happy!!!!
cheers!!

shruti said...

Hey Harjee!!!!
U did sound upset but I know u will get over it....
Honey we do miss our parents when they are not with us and it has nothing to do with the kind of person we are.
By the way,what did u buy for ur mum(i'm not a Bangaluru native ,what does ganjam sell??)???
U take care and be happy!!!!
cheers!!

shruti said...

Hey Harjee!!!!
U did sound upset but I know u will get over it....
Honey we do miss our parents when they are not with us and it has nothing to do with the kind of person we are.
By the way,what did u buy for ur mum(I'm not a Bangaluru native ,what does Ganjam sell??)???
U take care and be happy!!!!
cheers!!

shruti said...

Hey Harjee!!!!
U did sound upset but I know u will get over it....
Honey we do miss our parents when they are not with us and it has nothing to do with the kind of person we are.
By the way,what did u buy for ur mum(I'm not a Bangaluru native ,what does Ganjam sell??)???
U take care and be happy!!!!
cheers!!

shruti said...

Hey Harjee!!!!
U did sound upset but I know u will get over it....
Honey we do miss our parents when they are not with us and it has nothing to do with the kind of person we are.
By the way,what did u buy for ur mum(i'm not a Bangaluru native ,what does ganjam sell??)???
U take care and be happy!!!!
cheers!!

shruti said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

So much honesty in your story..The story of your life..makes it so much easier to forget our own troubles when you read someone elses pain. If i ever go to Darbangah in Bihar..I'll kill the bastard.
Bravo Anyways!
Bev

nowheregirl said...

i hope you are feeling better now that you atleast got it out of your system...

Tony said...

Did you look under the cot?

Tony said...

Boo

precious said...

ai! what a day u had!

feel so bad and am so sorry!

-interesting blog site..and thanx for visiting my blog.

take care!

there's always a silver lining to a cloud..so keep ur hopes on..

Anonymous said...

i HATE the word 'servant'.
but thats looks like a really bad bad bad day you had..s*it happens, but you're lucky everythings not lost.

Diana said...

hey feelll sorry for u dear

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

hi ....

thanx for stopping by ....

u have a nice style of writing

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

my servant has been with us for 10yrs .... mom trusts her a lot .... but even she warns me to be wary ...

i dont know what to say to make u feel better .....

but i hope u will feel better ...
cant u get some friends to stay with u ?
and look at this as a challenge .. a challenge to cook better ?

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

hey read the post u mentioned ....

suffering in the throes of loneliness and nostalgia .. huh ???

twenty.something.gal said...

you sound like a real mama's boy. never heard such a long whine in all my life.

Harjee Kapur said...

Anony : gimme a name, we'll share a drink.
simone : thank you ...muwaah!
Orangecast : stop (just) watching. you're a big boy now...
noojes : don't be. i'm not...
Anony2 : i do. how do i ask for it?
Sanjana : darling you know, i am sweet ;-)
Shruti : thanks...and clicking 6000 times will not help...
~Response Deleted~
Bev : thanks... but i reckon i'll do it much earlier...
Nowheregirl : I got it off my chest the moment i thrashed him. again. and again...
Tony : Let's play talk talk about this...
Precious : anything that floats on hope deserves a chance...thank you...
Anony3: I HATE anonymous things.
Diana : thank you...
~*Deepa*~ : i'm glad you liked my site. thank you... :-)
Though i love challenges i don't want anyone staying over with me. I need my space.
as for the other post, loneliness, at that time yes. nostalgia, always...
by the way, when i said the food i cook tastes aweful, i meant eating it alone ;-)
Miss (supposedly) 20 (supposedly) : yes i am. but you sound jealous. is it because your mama doesnt love you as much or is it because you don't have any stuff worth stealing. But i'll hand it to you. rather than a mere 'anonymous' you managed to spark up a name... even though it's corny...

cheers to all of you. thank you so much...

harjee

Ash said...

Hey. Sorry for the late comment. Too many things happening at the same time. Read the other story. Love it and felt sad too.
Thanks for leaving the link.
Cheer up mate. Thats all I can say.
And I think you are a wonderful son. But I suppose you already know that :)

L>T said...

For some reason...I don't feel sorry for you at all.
I agree w/20something, you are a whiner.
Your 'servant' was getting his due after 8 years of B.S. I'm sure. Bravo for him!

Harjee Kapur said...

I>t : first of all, i am really sorry for the impression that you carry. I am not looking for a sympathy vote here. your not feeling sorry for me has really made me so sad :-(
Secondly your comment resembled 20/something in the shade of green it displayed...
The servant can go to hell, and so can all the stuff he has taken. I can get more than what I have lost and a new servant.
but the question is, your sympathy for him has me scared...hope you are not inspired. where did you say you worked?

Harjee Kapur said...

ash : thank you. i hope my parents feel the same way...if they do, they havent told me yet....

and i am all cheered up. these things just bother me till i get them out of my system. then one night of sleep, and the test of light, fades them all away....

thanks for the wishes. cheers...

nowheregirl said...

umm... not sure i like the thrashing again and agian part... but anyways... living on your own is not such a bad thing... you will discover a lot of new things about yourself... and will finally find yourself guarding your space quite fiercely... all the best...

White Magpie said...

Holy fuck!! Worked 8 years and wrung ye dry. Nothing cuts like betrayal. I wonder whether the thrashing was enough cause the mark has to be on the soul and not just the body.

Ajay said...

1 thing i am sure of. You are a very good son.
u beat him up. Haha Cool. LOL
feel sorry abt ur dog. Dont worry Pune is an amazing place. But u must get him back. Sooner or later. They pine for u. And once uve got him to ur residence, i am sure u will look after him properly.
cheer up buddy ;)))

Harjee Kapur said...

nowheregirl : thank you. i am liking my space already ;-)

Whitemagpie : i don't give a flying fuck about his soul anymore. i just needed to get it out of my system...

Ajay: Thank you. I hope so too...
as an update though, my dog, whose name is 'sikandar', inspired by the narmada andolan decided to go on a hunger strike in pune.
till he was shifted to delhi last week.
my dad and sikandar, both are happy now :-)

Monika said...

this is very sad... but servants are like this only... our servant for 6 yrs just stopped coming one day cause my dad told her that she is not cleaning the kitchen too well... u can't get to trust these guys whatever u do

and i know hoe much u would be missing a dog... i had a dog who passed away several years back and I still miss him

take care

Kamia said...

very touching!!

and i realise this after having left my parents and coming back to them... how much ever i may miss bombay .. its a joy to be back home...

and servants seem very very scary ... im very close to mine.....

hope u r better in bombay now
you take care.
K

Kamia said...

very touching!!

and i realise this after having left my parents and coming back to them... how much ever i may miss bombay .. its a joy to be back home...

and servants seem very very scary ... im very close to mine.....

hope u r better in bombay now
you take care.
K