The Flying Cooks of the Suburbs

Would you say that many factors lead to finding the right house help?

Location, Salary, Timings and of course Leave. Some would be silly enough to think these are what we look for when we interview staff for our home. In actual fact,this is what They look out for when they come to interview us..

I belong to a Suburban FB group that points out these errant, super smart House Help. Many have amazing super powers like vanishing into thin air, re-appearing as someone else. Many find countless ways of taking what doesn’t belong to them. Many have short term Remembory loss. Don’t know who or where their last employment was.

The have all been educated at the same School. They don’t know how to read and write but they love Whats App and use the most advanced android phones. The same School that teaches them that everyone that calls your phone is a relative with urgent village work. The same school that teaches you to choose Lux over Medimix, or Dove for hairfall over Garnier Frutus normal shampoo.

My latest plight is I had to let go of my cook of 5 years. She was older, had all the issues, that came with owning land in her village. A flat in Mira road, a daughter that went to Rizvi college. A father with alzheimer’s. Who finally passed away. May he rest in peace. BUT this didn’t bring peace to my home. Each week came with issues. With issues came hurried cooking. High flame cooking, lots of oil cooking, excess salt in everything. How many times can you give expensive boneless cubed Zorabian chicken away? How many times can you order in,as the food was just not edible. WE did it for nearly a year. Cos she had issues. She was a FLYING Cook that seemed to come to ours at the end of the day to ROOST! 5 cooking jobs to educate her daughter. To rebuild a fallen roof, to pay EMI on the AC. How could I let her go? How could I give her the added burden? BUT she just didn’t see it that way. She didn’t really Love us.

The last weekend, my birthday weekend, I was away for 4 days. She had to cook three dinners. She messed up two out of the three. I came back from a Spa trip and heard complaints galore. Gave her the cheque and said Thank you but It was enough. She seemed resigned that this was going to be the outcome. After all,every time she put too much salt or oil, she got to take the food home.

THE FLYING COOK is an amazing breed of men and women. Smart, quick, smooth talkers, polite when the want the job. They agree to everything that you say in that first uncomfortable 10 minutes. But you should know that they will do it there way. Its a working factory model. Tried and tested. I experienced my first brush with the New Age Flying Cook.

Fast Talking, Name Dropping, Punjabi Food making Indu. Having worked with Models she knew about Less Oil and cooking Bake, Shake, Grill, Shrill, Salad, Soup. Jackpot. Pay her what she wanted. Asked her to come at 7pm. She arrived at 7.30pm. She was Flying from Santa-Cruz. But Hey she could do it all and even keep the Man of the house happy with the promise of PUNJABI FOOD. Bajra roti, two vegetables and a dhal. I could smell the Ghee. But I could see the Glee on Angath face. Kamal too sick for a reaction. He got Khichdi. All Was WELL. God is Kind! She cleaned up and disappeared by 9.30pm.

Day 2. 7.30pm again. Kids were famished. In anticipation I had already made food for the children. She looks in the sink. Kamal tea cup 4 glasses Angu 3 Tiffany boxes and says          ‘ I won’t wash this. I will only wash my stuff.’ So I stood there and washed it while she watched me. By then I was giggling. Then she said buy another pressure cooker as you only have one! I said Ok! She made potato to put the beef I made for Angu and I tell her to put it on the table. She says Mai samaj Nahi aata.( I don’t understand what you are saying?) So I say ‘ Put the cutlets on a plate. You need to feed the children when they come.’

PAUSE and silence in the kitchen.
I go in and she is leaning over my NUTRIBULLET that is next to the Sumeet mixer and I say please move it aside so it doesn’t fall. She says ‘Arrey Yeh Saab mujhay nahi aata. Yeh mera Kaam nahi hai.’ ( Oh, I don’t KNOW how to do this kind of work)  So I said it’s Ok. No worries you clean up your mess and let me pay you for two days. She wanted Rs 500 per day for two bhaji dal and 8 rotis. I was not letting it happen. I said you didn’t cook any meat and you didn’t wipe all your dishes and put it away so I’ll pay you Rs 400/- . We politely smiled at each other. She offered me a Number  for another Cook, I politely declined and  she FLEW away.

One thought on “The Flying Cooks of the Suburbs”

  1. Good and loyal household help is a thing of the past! It’s good thing that they are better educated, better informed and of course fully conversant with their latest communication devices, which they handle with utmost care, but have little respect for yourkitchen gadgets and appliances which are there to make theirs, and our, jobs easier! A force to reckon with. Good luck on your quest!

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