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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Doings Of The Ooparwallah


The building where I live is a multi-storey, a typical 28-floor building like many more in Mumbai. Its got a lovely mix of people, well, some of them are really good friends, almost life family, some are quite good, some are hi-hello acquaintances, and some I barely know....

Each morning if you look down your balcony, you will see a rush of people going out of the building. If you happen to look during dawn, you will see a surge of people going out for their morning walk, if you look a little later, post 7-ish, you will find a few mothers taking their kids down to wait for the school bus. The office crowd too starts to trickle out by then, all washed and clean and smelling of expensive perfumes and running out.

One such day my friend too was rushing out to work, all set for the day. When, suddenly, a downpour of water left her standing soaked and fuming. It was not monsoon time in Mumbai and there had been no clouds, and even if it was rain it would not have been smelling the way it now did from my poor friend's clothes. She looked up - and saw the water pouring out of a swishing broom at an upper floor balcony.

She shouted at the maid to stop, to see that there were people below and to tell her what had just happened. The maid scurried in. So my lady took the lift and went back up to the offending apartment, of course she anyways had to go back, she couldn't go to work dripping wet and smelling of phenyle water!!!!

The man of the house was already standing at the door when my friend reached there to tell them what had happened. He stood with his hands on his hips, barring the way for my friend to talk to the woman who happened to be an acquaintance. When my friend told him what had happened, he said it was not his problem, that he could not help it, and then, to top it, he said - 'hum to gundey hain, aisey hi hain'(we are goons, we are like this only).

Well, not that we were much surprised with his response, he is much (ill) famed already. But now, we are constantly careful of the ooparwallah's (the person who lives upstairs) doings, and dodge our way carefully to work.....