The lady cook
I have been transferred to this small city in Eastern India, some months back. I am around 40, working in a fairly good organization in a managerial position.
I am single, still not married. It's not that I am not eligible or not interested in marriage. I'm fairly well educated. I have quite a decent earning. I am not what you would call a handsome guy, but a normal average looking Indian male; average health; average complexion. One thing which is below average is my height. I'm just 5'3" (160 cm) short. And although there are no health issues, I'm on the leaner side, just 58 kgs (128 pounds) of weight. So, basically I'm a small guy, even by Indian standards.
But my height wasn't any hindrance to my getting married. As is the normal custom still prevalent in India, my parents had searched some good matches for me of girls of heights up to 5'2". Nowadays matrimonial sites can bring you varied offers, out of which you can easily find your suitable match.
The problem is that I still couldn't find a girl of my liking. My parents tried their best to convince me to marry what they thought would be the perfect bride for me, but I rejected all of them. Now they have stopped trying and left me to my fate.
You would say, that why don't you yourself find the girl of your choice and propose to her. There are two problems to that. One is that I'm of the introverted kind, I cannot garner enough courage and befriend any girl. As it is, I hardly know any boys also, whom I can call real friends. I'm not at all social. I couldn't ever get personal with any of my school mates or college guys. In office too, I am just too official with everybody. So finding a girl for myself, it's really too much to expect from me.
But the actual problem why I had been rejecting the match making offers is that of my own preferences of the girls I like. I couldn't even specify to my parents too, of the qualities I'm looking for in my would be partner. No no, nothing of that sort, what you may be thinking. I'm a normal straight guy. See, even now I couldn't tell you what type of girl I prefer. Anyways, let's carry on with my story. Maybe by the end of it, as I go more acquainted with you, I might be able to open up with you.
Coming back to my place of posting, I've taken a decent 1 BHK flat, as they call it here in India; one bedroom, hall and kitchen, that is. I don't need anything big, I'm alone, the more the rooms, the more cleanings I have to do.
The house owner who rented me his apartment, also have organised a domestic help for me, a middle aged woman to come and do my household chores daily.
One thing good about India is that you get part time domestic helps or maids, who come and do your house cleaning, sweeping, mopping, doing the dishes, washing clothes. For cooking also you get separate maids. These domestic helps are not very expensive too, definitely affordable if you have a decent earning.
The maid for household chores used to come in the mornings, when I was at my office. She used to take the duplicate keys of my flat, kept with the apartment owner, and do her cleaning and washing work. Reliable person.
The problem was finding a maid for cooking. I was totally incompetent in this area. My cooking was limited to buttering a toast at the most. That's all. Actually, it wasn't necessary to learn all these years, when I was living with my parents. My mother used to do the special preparations and we had our cooking maid also. This is the first time I was living alone outside my hometown. I had to move out just for my career enhancement.
So without a cooking maid, I was totally in a mess. How long can one survive only on bread, butter, jam. During the lunch hour, when I was in office, I used to eat outside in a restaurant. For dinner, either I used to bring bought out food while returning from office, or else would go out and have it in some restaurant. So eating out every day and that too, the spicy preparations of Indian restaurants, it was taking a toll on my digestive system.
After about 3 months, when I could take no more of these spicy restaurant food, a woman was referred to me, who seemed to be the right candidate; neatly attired and well groomed. Although she hasn't worked as a domestic help before, she said she knew all types of normal Indian cooking. Her husband was working in a small company with a meagre salary and they have a young boy of 7 years. That is why she needed an extra income for the family and was in search of a job as a cook.
There were only two points on which I couldn't take a decision. One was that she was asking for a rate which I felt was a little higher that what I was informed of the normal rate prevalent for domestic cooks. But considering the problem I was facing and the fact that I wasn't finding one all these days, I didn't have much of a choice.
The other point was nothing to do with her cooking ability. It was rather a sensitive point for me. This woman was a bit tall, about 5 feet 9 inches (175 cms) and was solidly built, not fat, but well toned body. I was only thinking that if this woman was working in my house, I will be feeling dwarfed standing infront of her. That would be embarrassing. But, then again I thought that, it was not a good enough reason to subject my intestine to further torture. So, at the end, I agreed to employ her.
Her name she said was Geeta. She said, she couldn't come in the early morning before I went to office, as she has her own household work, with her husband and son going out to office and school. So, she can come in the evenings after I return from my office. She will prepare the dinner, and prepare something for next day's breakfast and lunch. I'll just have to heat them up in the microwave oven. That would be perfect for me.
She turned out to be a good enough cook, neat and clean too in her work. It was like my home cooked food. What else could I ask for.
It was around a fortnight after Geeta started her work. I had gotten over my initial inhibition of standing in front of her ; with her looking down on me, dwarfing me, while she was asking me what I would like her to prepare for dinner. I had even complimented her for her good height, which was really exceptional as regards to average Indian female. To make myself at ease, I had even joked about of how she dwarfs me while standing beside me. To which she replied that I wasn't that short, it's only that she was abnormally tall. That made me understand that she could be diplomatic too in her replies.
The hall of my apartment had the drawing room, dining space and kitchen all housed into it. The modern open kitchen, as they call it. One day, I found one of the light bulbs on one of the walls of this hall was not working. There was another one though on the opposite wall. While returning from office that day, I purchased a new bulb, planning to change it before Geeta arrives. But when I went to try and change the bulb, I found that it was too high up the wall. I didn't invest in any additional furniture of my own, as I was living alone and never intended to live in this small city for long. The hall was already furnished by the owner with a TV table, a sofa or couch as some would call it, and a small dining table, with just two dainty looking chairs. I looked around for something to stand on, but could find nothing, as I didn't want to stand on the flimsy looking chairs, as I dared not break them and pay demurrage. I waited for Geeta to come. Maybe she can reach up with her height.
When Geeta came, she herself commented that the light seems less in the room. To which I showed her the problem and also stated that I can't reach that height to change the bulb. She looked around the room and suggested that I use the chairs. I told her that those look flimsy, and if I break them, I'll have to reimburse the apartment owner.
While she was thinking, I asked her, ' Why don't you try Geeta, maybe with your height you can reach the bulb holder.' She said it's okay with her and went to try. Unfortunately the bulb was fitted much too high up the wall and she also couldn't reach.
I said, 'Maybe I can try picking you up Geeta. You will then be able to reach'.
She burst out laughing. 'Look at my size Sir ; and look at yours. Do you really think you can lift me ?'
That challenged my male ego. ' I am a man you know Geeta, don't underestimate me just because you are taller than me' , I retorted.
She said, ' Ok fine, you give it a try', and stood under the light holder.
I went and stood in front of her, bent down, put my arms around her thighs and tried to lift her. ' Ooff ', came the sound from mouth. She was just too heavy for me. I just couldn't lift her.
'Be careful, don't sprain your back, Sir,' Geeta was laughing again.
She was not doing good to my hurt ego. 'It's not so funny, Geeta', I gave it back to her, 'You are laughing as if you can do it.'
She was still laughing, ' And what if I can ? What will you give me ?'
I wasn't even smiling, still ego bruised. 'Whatever you want which I can reasonably afford'.
' I accept the challenge', she was still enjoying my failure.
She walked up to me, bent down in front of me, put her two hands around my thighs, stood up straight and Voila! I was up in the air, it was as easy as that for her. Geeta was laughing away to glory.
She carried me under the light holder and said, 'Now see if you can reach, or I'll lift you a bit more.'
My legs were dangling in front of her. It happened so fast, that I had to hold on to her shoulders, lest I fall down. I told her I can't raise my hands as I was holding on to her.
She said, 'Don't worry Sir, you won't fall. Just wrap your legs around my waist. Then I can hold you better. You'll then be able to raise your hands.'
I did as I was told, wrapped my legs around her waist tightly. She put her hands under my butt to hold me up more securely. Then with a slight thrust, boosted me up a little more. Then she said, 'Now you can release my head and shoulder and raise both your hands. I have a good hold on you Sir. I won't let you fall. Trust me.'
I was feeling that her grip around my thighs and under my back was rock solid. I had no fear of falling, her hold was so strong. I slowly raised my hands and removed the burnt out bulb. Then I saw her left hand reach up towards me. 'Give me that bulb, Sir,' she said.
I was shocked, she was holding me up with one hand. 'Hey! What are you doing ? Why did you remove one hand ?'
She said, 'Relax Sir, you are quite light for me. Just give me that bulb.'
I said, ' Put me down Geeta. I'll have to get the new bulb too.'
She said, ' If I put you down, I'll have to pick you up again. Tell me where that bulb is, I'll fetch it.'
I said, ' There on the TV table.'
She took the old bulb from my hand, walked over to the TV table with me in her arms, picked up the new bulb, and walked back. All I could do was put my arms around her neck and hold on to her while having this ride in her arms. I reached up and fitted the new bulb in the holder.
As soon as I finished, she started walking towards the door. 'Hey what are you doing now ?' I screamed. ' Why are you carrying me out of the room?'
Her hearty laugh was back. 'You are panicking too much Sir. I'm just going to the switch board beside the door. We'll have to put on the light, haven't we?'
She switched on the light, it worked perfectly. She looked at me, smiling wickedly. ' Now let's go,' she said, her eyes mischievous.
' Where ?' I exclaimed, still perched on her hips.
She said, ' You promised me you'll give me whatever I want, if I win the challenge of lifting you up. So let's go the market and you give me my prize.'
I said, 'Ok, you tell me what you want. I'll buy it tomorrow while returning from office. Now you let me down.'
She was still smiling mischievously, 'You didn't understand, Sir. I'll carry you to the market in my lap. That is my prize. This is easily affordable by you, it won't cost you any money.'
I was looking at her shocked. Was she serious ? Her eyes gleamed with wickedness.
I tried one more time. 'What if people ask you why you are carrying a full grown up man in your lap ?'
She was ready with her witty reply, ' I'll say you are my husband. You have fallen down and hurt your leg badly and cannot walk. So I'm carrying you to the Doctor. Now it will be up to you to deny. That would mean, you are so weak that a woman is forcefully carrying you in her arms and you can't even break her hold and get off her lap. So you'll have to accept what I said and I'll carry you down the streets and through the market, stopping at whatever shop I find interesting. I'll talk to you sweetly and buy you whatever you want, ofcourse with your money only.' She was laughing away at her own words.
I then knew she was not serious, otherwise she wouldn't just stand and talk. She would have started walking by now.
I called her bluff, hoping that I was right. 'Ok Geeta, you win. Come, carry me to the market, if that's what you want'.
She looked at me straight. Now that I'm on her lap, my eyes were on the same level as hers. ' Are you sure Sir? Won't it hurt your manly pride ?'
I said, ' But how does it matter to you, whether it hurts my pride or not ? You are too strong for me. As you rightly said that even if I want, I cannot get off your lap. So you do whatever you want with me.'
She playfully tweaked my cheek, as if I was a baby. 'Very smart, now you are playing on my emotions.'
She walked with me inside the room. She said, 'All this emotional talk won't help. I've won the challenge, I want my prize. If I can't carry you to the market, then you have to give me whatever I ask for.'
I asked, 'What ?'
She playfully tweaked my nose this time and said smilingly, 'I want you'.
I was also smiling now, 'But you already have a husband. Why do you need a second one?'
She said, 'But I don't want you as my husband. I want you as my living toy.'
I said, ' Ok, I'm yours. Play , the way you want to play with me.'
She said, 'Good. From now on I own you, you'll have to let me do whatever I want with you.' She was roaming the apartment now with me on her lap talking to me, from one room to another.
I said, 'There's a condition, though. You will own me for this period of time in the evenings, when you come to my apartment. During the day and at other times, when you are not with me, I'm free to live my life my own way. You see I have to work and earn my living.'
She said, 'Agreed. From the time I step into your apartment every evening, I will own you.'
I said, ' Yes ma'am'.
She said, 'No, our relations won't change. You call me Geeta, I'll call you Sir. You see, there lies the fun. I can't just imagine, that I'm carrying a powerful manager of a big company, so helplessly in my arms. Look at yourself in the mirror. You are so small and helpless in my power now. This is what I'm enjoying, holding my Boss as a helpless captive in my lap.'
She suddenly looked up at the wall clock. 'Oh no !' she exclaimed. 'See, how late it is. Where's the time now to cook for tomorrow. Your challenge has made me forget my work'. She was laughing. She laid me down on the couch and went off to the kitchen.
I followed her. 'Listen Geeta, you don't have to cook today. You were enjoying so much. I'll have the leftovers in the fridge.'
She said, ' No Sir, work comes first. Let me prepare the dinner at least for you. Tomorrow is Sunday, you will be at home. I'll come at around 10 in the morning and prepare your breakfast and lunch. Then I'll come again in the evening for your dinner. Don't worry, Sir. You are my toy now, I own you. I can play with you anytime I want when I am here. You won't be able to stop me." She smiled broadly and squeezed my cheek with her fingers, like I am a small boy. Ofcourse, standing beside her, looking up at her eyes, 6 inches above mine; so tall and strong, I did feel like a small boy beside her.
To be continued...
Look out for Chapter 2...