The next day ...
In India we generally have only Sunday as the weekly off day in most of the companies. I have always envied people who had both Saturdays and Sundays as weekend holidays. On normal working days, I have to be up by 7 am to get ready and be out for my office latest by 8.30am so as to reach before 9am. On Sundays, I have the luxury of not waking up until 9am, when the cleaning maid comes and knocks on my door. While the maid is doing her sweeping, cleaning and washing, I take one more round of nap. She finishes her work in half an hour at the most. I laze around in bed, reading the newspaper in detail, the only day I can afford to do that. I have a late breakfast and get back to my bed again. I spend my Sunday totally relaxing, just watching TV and reading.
This Sunday was no different. After the cleaning maid went off by 9.30am, I hit the bed again and dozed off. Just after 10am, there was again a knock on the door. I was wondering who could it be ? Nobody comes to meet me on Sunday mornings. I opened the door still yawning. There stood Geeta, my tall, strong cook. I had totally forgotten that she had said yesterday, that she'll be coming on Sunday morning. She comes only in the evenings, so I didn't even remember this change of her routine.
"What Sir, you are still sleeping ?" she exclaimed !
" Today is Sunday, Geeta. This is the only day I get my sleep properly. Every other day is a mad rush," I said.
She said, "That means you had nothing for breakfast, in the morning yet. Let me prepare some breakfast for you, then I'll start preparing your lunch."
Geeta was very silent today. Looked a little serious too. It was quite unlike her last evening's vibrant and dominating behaviour. So while having my breakfast of buttered toast, omelette and tea, I asked her, " Is anything the matter, Geeta ? You seem to be very silent. Are you disturbed for any reason ?"
She looked towards me still working at the kitchen table, "Yes Sir, actually I want to say sorry to you."
I said, "Why Geeta, what did you do ?"
She said, "No Sir, my actions last evening was not correct. It was not right on my part to use physical strength on you. I don't know what happened to me, I became so excited and captured you in my arms. I shouldn't have done that. Please forgive me, Sir. I didn't mean to humiliate you."
I said, "It's alright Geeta. I didn't mind. In fact, it is I who had initially challenged your strength. So it is only fair that you had gone ahead to prove yourself and put me through a strength test. You don't have to feel bad about it. In fact, I liked your attitude to stand up to defend your self respect, even though you knew that you are taking on your employer."
Geeta smiled for the first time this morning. She said, "Sir, I'm so glad that you are so open minded. I was thinking that I had crossed my limits yesterday and had been so excited at having you totally under my physical control, I had even treated you like a small boy by squeezing your cheeks. When I was thinking about this later, I was afraid that today you might turn me out of this job."
I said, "Don't worry Geeta, I understand that it was all done in the heat of the moment, and I hold no grudge against you. Instead, I really admire your strength. In fact I was thinking that with this good height and strength, you should have gone into sports. You would have done well in sports."
"Yes Sir, we did play Volley ball and Kabaddi when in school," Geeta said. But in our village there are not so much facilities. We represented our district in Kabaddi."
"Really ? That's great, Geeta !" I said. "So, why not beyond district level ? And why not in Volleyball, but only Kabaddi ? Also who are 'we' ? " I asked three questions in one go.
Geeta, continuing with her cooking, laughed , "Sir , you are asking all questions together. Ok, I'll tell you. See, to get selected in state teams and even in district teams you need the right contacts. We didn't know anybody influential. That's why we couldn't get selected in Volleyball. In Kabaddi, the selectors couldn't drop us because we two were the best. But that took us only to the district level. And, 'we' means my Didi (elder sister ) and I. Didi is five years older to me. She taught me these sports. She was very good at Kabaddi."
Then she started laughing on her own. I asked, "What happened ?"
She replied, "Sir, actually yesterday the reason I got carried away and was not letting you down was because of my kabaddi days. I was actually enjoying holding you in my arms in a kabaddi hold, so that you cannot get away. It reminded me of my kabaddi days. And you being so much shorter and lighter than me, capturing you was too easy for me. And seeing you so helpless in my hold, I couldn't control myself. I was quite enjoying carrying you around."
I laughed and said, "Yes, you literally owned me yesterday."
She also laughed, "And you promised me, that I will own you everytime I come here."
I said, "Yes, I was wondering why you are not claiming your prize you won yesterday."
She said, "I thought you made that promise so that I free you from my captivity."
I said, "No, a promise is a promise."
She said, "Then, does that mean I own you now ?"
I said, "Yes, sure."
She said, "No Sir, I don't want to own you. As I said, yesterday I got carried away."
I said, "In that case, you tell me what you want as a prize for winning yesterday's challenge, and I'll get it for you."
Geeta said, "No Sir, I don't want any prize either. But I would request for a favour. Sir; can you please get my husband a better paying job ?"
I said, "How much does your husband earn ? And what is his qualifications ?"
She said, "He earns around Rs 8,000 only. He hasn't studied much, only till class 12. Actually, he used to work in the fields in his village. His father has some land on which they used to do cultivation and sell their crops. But due to some property dispute with his uncle, they cannot use the land now. That is why he had to come to this town a year back in search of a job. But with this salary it's difficult to maintain the family. We have a small son also. That is why I have to come to work. Even with my Rs 2000 it is not enough."
I said, "Tell me one thing. Is your husband smart ? I mean, can he mix with people, talk well ?"
She said, "Yes, yes. He is very social."
I asked, "Did he try for any Sales job?"
She said, "No Sir. We don't know anybody here, where can we try. One of his village friends got him this job as a peon in the office of a hotel."
I said, "Ok, send him to me. Let me talk to him first. Then if he is suitable I'll take him as a Sales canvasser on contract basis."
She said, "What will be his salary, Sir ?"
I said, "His salary will be Rs 10,000. But with sales commission, his monthly income would be between Rs 20,000 to 25,000, or even more, depending on his performance."
Geeta was beaming from ear to ear. She said, "In that case, we can meet all our expenses and even send money to his parents back in the village and possibly can make some saving too."
I said, "That means you won't have to work also."
Geeta said, "Yes I need not work then. But I will come and do your cooking, Sir. But I'll not take any money."
I said, "If you don't take money, you need not come. I'll have to search for somebody else then."
She said, "How do you think I'll let that happen ? You are doing so much for us and how can you think that I will leave your work and sit at home ?"
I laughed, "Ok , send him to me first."
She said, "Ok Sir, when I come in the evening today, I'll bring him along."
I said, "It's fine."
Geeta said, "My cooking is done. I've kept them properly. I'll come again in the evening at the usual time. Now I'm leaving."
I was sitting at the dining table with my laptop on, sifting through my emails, while talking to Geeta. She came and stood in front of me. Then she sat down on the floor and touched my feet with both her hands. I said, "What are you doing Geeta ? Leave my feet and get up."
She was still sitting at my feet looking up at me. She said, "Sir, I'm extremely sorry for what I did yesterday. Please forgive me."
I stood up and pulled her up. Standing right in front of me, she again towered over me, with her head 6 inches taller than mine.
I said, "Why are you saying sorry, Geeta ? I told you, you had done nothing wrong. You were just responding to my challenge. I also told you I didn't mind. Now you go home. Bring your husband when you come in the evening."
She smiled and left.
In the evening, Geeta came with her husband. The guy looked smart enough, youngish looking countenance, he said he was 35 years old. Lean, clean shaven, well groomed, he looked quite okay to me to be considered for a sales job. He was well mannered too, touched my feet as soon as he came in to show me respect. Quite an old fashioned culture in today's modern India, but showed good upbringing in the guy. I spoke to him on different matters just to gauge his dictions and thought process. He seemed quite intelligent too. The only thing he lacked was a college degree, which is so common in the case of rural Indian youth, who chooses agriculture as a livelihood, quite early in their growing up years. When I explained to him the job role of selling Consumer durable products, he seemed a little doubtful as he said he is unaware of the products and doesn't have any knowledge of how to sell. I assured him, that we will give him thorough training on all areas and will be placing him under a senior initially so that he learns the nuances of selling and gains confidence in himself.
In fact, Geeta was more insistent on her husband and encouraging him that he will learn with time. I told the guy, Rajesh to start from the next day itself if it's not a problem for him to leave his old job at a short notice. He said that since it was the month beginning and he had just received his last month's salary, it wouldn't be difficult. I told him that he needn't leave his job immediately, but just take a leave for a week. In the meantime, let him try out working in Sales and if he feels comfortable, then he can resign from his old job. He was quite pleased with my suggestion. So it was decided that he will meet me the next day morning at my office to start on his new job. He left after thanking me profusely and again touching my feet while leaving. Seema stayed back as she had still not properly started her cooking, being an active participant in our discussion, continuously coaxing her husband to shed his inhibitions about his new job role.
When her husband left, Geeta came to me with a beaming smile. She said, "Sir, I don't know how to thank you enough for this. I will remain ever grateful to you. You just let me know what you want done and both my husband and I will do it for you."
I said, "I don't want you to do anything for me, Geeta. Just come back to your normal vibrant self and never apologise again to me as you were doing in the morning."
She said, "Sir, in that case, I feel so happy now, I feel like dancing. Can I dance with you ?"
I laughed, "But I cannot dance Geeta. You dance alone."
She said, "You don't have to know dancing, you just stand up and leave the rest to me."
I said, "Fine, if that pleases you," and stood up.
She came and stood in front of me, bent down, put one hand under the back of my knees; and her other hand behind my back; and stood up straight. And suddenly I was up in her arms being cradled by her like a baby. In the suddenness of her action, my hands impulsively went around her neck, as I thought that I might fall. She started laughing at my surprised reaction. She was holding me high up cradled in her arms, close to her breasts. My face was just underneath her face to her right. I was looking up to her smiling face. She started to slowly rock me like a baby and started walking with me. She took me to the table where my mobile was lying. She bent down with me and asked me to pick my mobile phone up in my hands. Then she asked me to play some good music on the mobile. I put on a song which I liked, slow but rhythmic. Then I kept my mobile back on the table. Geeta backed away from the table and started gyrating with the music. She smiled down at me and was moving in slow dance steps, rocking me in her arms. In between she spun a few times. While she spun with me, I held on to her neck tighter, lest I fall off, to which she laughed gleefully. She said, "Sir, you needn't worry. You are so light and small, I'll not let you fall. I can carry you like this all day."
After some more of her dancing, I said, "You have danced enough Geeta, now let me down."
Today she listened to me immediately and after taking a fast spin three to four times, she put me down. But her fast spin had my head reeling and I wasn't able to stand straight. So she held me embraced in her long arms, till I stabilized. Then she smiled down sweetly at me and hugged me tightly inside her body and said softly, "Thank you so much, my little Sir." Then laughingly, she let go of me.
That evening while preparing dinner, she was chatting away incessantly, obviously very happy at her husband's new job.
While leaving after her work, she came to me and standing tall dwarfing me, squeezed my cheek with her fingers and said, "Good night, my little Sir", and left.
( Continued in next chapter...)