Monday, December 7, 2009


My friend referred a young girl to me .The girl is a beautician but she does it at the home of the client .There are many beauticians like her in a place like Mumbai.This works for her as the rents are quite exorbitant & so she comes to the customer's place & offers her services.It is cheaper & also the person feels comfortable as it is her own home.

I have lots of grey hair & so for the first time,I asked Ragini( I have changed her name) to only apply mehendi to my hair.She did that in a jiffy & that too for a very reasonable sum ( cheap that is reasonable for me-typical middle class kanjusi or miserliness).The next month,I again longed for mehndi on my hair as people started referring to me as granny instead of aunty.This was the sign, that I needed, another coat.I called her up umpteen times but she did not pick up her cell.My friend had cautioned me that she will pick up the phone when she is free.Later in the evening,I called her up again & she responded.She was too busy that week,she told me .So,we fixed  up an appointment in the next week at eight in the morning.She was willing  to come at eight.She told me that she attends at even earlier timings.This time ,I told her, that, I wanted to do facial  as well .So it was all set.

She came at the appointed time & first started applying mehndi.We got talking as she applied the mehndi .She lives with her mother & brother in the city .She has been earning since the last five years as a beautician.Her brother is married with two daughters.Her bhabhi has left the matrimonial home & is staying with her parents as she is insisting that her hubby should separate from his mother.Since this is not being agreed upon,she has left.Ragini said that her bhabhi wants a servant in the house  which is unaffordabele.Ragini's brother had lost his job a year back but now thankfully has been reemployed.Even when, Ragini, was the sole earning member ,Ragini was doing a large part of the household chores before she left for her duties.Still,she stated ,her bhabhi was dissatisfied.Ragini's mom also does a part of the housework.Now,there is a stalemate with the bhabhi stuck up at her parents place & hubby disagreeing for a break up from  the mother.Ragini told that her bhabhi's parents support her only & want that they should stay as a nuclear family.

The mehndi was over & Ragini proceeded to do my facial.She did it with sincerity & left me impressed.She is quite young -maybe just twenty two or a year more.After she finished,I enquired if she would like a cup of tea.She agreed provided I was also drinking.I needed it & that's the reason ,I had asked her.I made tea & we sat sipping tea.I just mentioned to her that she should go & buy dress materials at a sale which was going on then in the city.She replied that she was so busy that she never had time.But I insisted & said that the sale was really good for dress materials & sarees.She promised that she would try.Then she told me that she recently got an expensive dress near her home ,After one wash,the color faded & all the embroidery started coming out.She went to the shopkeeper to exchange it or get her money back as the dress had cost her more than fifteen hundred.But the shopkeeper simply refused.It was then, that she approached the local unit of a political party .The workers of the unit coerced the  shopkeeper into exchanging  the dress.As ,I heard this,I was shocked ! I tried to make sense of this - political pressure  for exchanging a dress ? ! But I tried to keep my composure.She said that she got another dress & has henceforth, decided not to buy any costly dress after this experience.

 I can understand, that, for Ragini that dress was too expensive & then it getting spoilt after one wash was just too much for her to digest.She is struggling to have a decent life- working so hard & this frustrated her .When the shopkeeper refused her,she resorted to this idea of asking the local thug to bail her out.She did succeed .But can she do the same thing with her bhabhi to bring her back home ? Very doubtful & most unlikely as that would be too personal ,isn't it ?

Ragini is coming again to attend  on me this month.Hopefully,her bhabhi would have  come back.I am sure,even Ragini realises that asking goons to interfere is  not advisable as it could  backfire anytime.Or maybe it already has but her lips are sealed .

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