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