Hello friends, I’ve planned to tell you a funny but cute story of how, a merely twenty years old, novice bride, finds her footing as the mistress of the house and employ a maid servant! The bride in question found herself married before she had time to ponder on the responsibilities it entailed. The bride groom had simply bowled her over and she couldn’t say no. Suffice is to say that the bride was utterly clueless regarding her newly acquired role. As a matter of fact, she had previously spent most of her adult life, immersed in the world of books, academic or otherwise.
It’s highly imperative that I should mention that the events described here are more than twenty five years ago. In present time, I’m absolutely certain that a twenty year old do command enough confidence to hold on her own, no matter what. Our bride in question wasn’t enough wordly wise but did possess a knack of learning fast. Prior to the marriage, her mother had repeatedly tried to teache her the ropes of the trade. Yet, the bride blithely remained oblivious to most of her sermons (as young girls has this propensity to bypass half of what mother has to say!!), her face buried in a book, replying mostly in a monosyllables. She had the idea that marriage was no big deal, could handle it comfortably.
Well, it was the first morning at her husband’s place, a fortnight after the marriage, when the door bell rang at seven sharp in the morning. The bride absolutely detested getting up so early in the morning, she just flipped the other side, obviously expecting her brand new and besotted husband to do the required bidding for her. Few minutes afterwards though, she was forced out of her slumber. She was duely informed by him that the would be maid servant is standing at the door, awaiting an interview by the mistress of the house so that she could be employed. Her eyes instantly flew open in obvious trepidation as if she was asked to fly a space shuttle! She tried every trick in her, still miniscule armour, to prevail on her husbsnd to do the task on her behalf. But he refused to budge insisting that it’s entirely her prerogative alone, as it was she who had to deal with a maidservant, not him.
Consequently, she got up, put on the gown over her nightwear, muttering under her breath to allay the nervousness inside. The robe was so long that it created a trail behind her as she walked. With jangling gold bangles and thudding heart, she tried an attempted swag, while passing through the bedroom door. As a consequence of her lack of attention, she stumbled at the threshold.
Trying her best to appear nonchalant, she stole a glance at her husband. Promptly deciphered that he was thoroughly enjoying the amusing scene, as he rested his head in one of the raised arms, leaning on the headboard of the bed. Eyes sparkling with barely contained laughter as if throwing a dare to her. She couldn’t tell for sure, what made her more infuriated, her own nerves or her husband’s antics. With ‘mehendi” reddened palms, she raised her gown well above the floor, a little defiantly and marched ahead, as if going for a war. She had of course had the prior information, passed on dutifully by her mother, how mean and manipulative a maid servant could be!
The woman was standing outside the front door. The newly elected mistress of the house, moved the curtains aside, trying to appear as straight faced as she can in an effort to assume the serious countenance worthy of her new status. But her furtive eyes and expressions were dead giveaway. A tall, dark and buxom woman with a grave look on her face was standing there, as if annoyed or impatient for keeping her waiting for so long, her time was at primium after all! Her small curly hair peeping through the ‘pallu’ of saree covering her head. She checked the new bride out in a pretext of adjusting the same. Eyes keen on her form, from head to tow, in a silent assessment.
The newly wed felt as if she had been abruptly transformed into the hapless heroine of Daphne Du Maurer, the second Mrs De Winter, of the novel, Rebecca and the woman before her, no less formidable than Mrs Danvers. There was short pause, nobody sure whom to talk first and then suddenly a giggle could be heard. Her white teeth sparkling, the maid put her fingers over her mouth, blurted in incredulous voice, “Oh my, you are no more than a little girl!” The next precipitous moment, both the women spilled out in laughter leaving the pretentions behind. The astute maid had called her bluff out!
It set the tone of relationship, the bride nurtured with her new maid and many more to come, that is, of friendship. The latter sometimes behaving patronizingly over her, as if they were her pseudo mother in laws, always advising her dos and don’ts. The bride didn’t mind as long as they were good natured one but gently and resolutely put them in their due place, when ever they dared to cross the line. She had learnt a lot from them too!!
Friends, hope you liked the story of the naive bride negotiating through her new life. I shall tell you about her other experiences in my upcoming blogs. Stay well and happy.
Adieu for now.