My present domestic help is far from being the only Suppandi I have come across, and some of the stories are too good not to share. Years back, at my office, we had a security guard named Pyarey Lal. A thin, weedy-looking specimen with reedy voice to match.

Once one of the girls in office had complained that the cab driver had tried to act fresh when he dropped her home late at night from work. So the head of the office issued a diktat that if any girl worked later than 8 p.m., one of the security guards would escort her home in the cab. One night, I was working till about 3 a.m. editing a film. It being winter, the night was bitterly dark by the time I finished work so I called up the guard from the studio and told him he'd have to drop me home. Of course, with my luck, the guard on duty was Pyarey Lal.
"Who said I have to drop you home?"
"The head of the office"
"How far is your place?"
"Half an hour"
"Goodness gracious, you expect me to travel back alone in a taxi at this hour of night after dropping you home? No way!"
I figured in the case of an attack, I'd be better equipped to defend myself if I was alone rather than have him with me!
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One of A's clients had an irritating habit of calling after 6 p.m. on a Friday or the eve of a holiday to load him up with work on his days off. One week, A was rather fed-up and when she called, instructed Pyarey Lal to tell her he was not in office. Of course, this was way back before mobile phones, blackberries and emails.
Pyarey Lal had an earnest confab with the client and turned to us with a worried face:
"She's saying it's urgent."
"Please tell her I am not in office and you have no way of contacting me."
Pyarey Lal goes back to the telephone...
"Sir, I told her you are not here but that you have got the message and will call her in half an hour!"
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Once A was in his cabin having a discussion with a colleague about some client issue. The colleague strolled out to freshen up and hadn't returned for a good 15 minutes so A poked his head out of the cabin and asked Pyarey Lal: "Where is S sahib?"
Pyarey Lal: "He is sitting in your cabin talking to you!"
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Then there's the famous CPWD or Central Public Works Department, which used to be responsible for the maintenance of our house back when dad was in government service. One day, dad and I were heading out of the house when we saw a CPWD worker diligently working away at the hinges of our front door.
Us: "What are you doing?"
Workman: "We are replacing these old doors with new ones, as per the department order."
We looked around and didn't spot any new door lying there.
Us: "So where's the new door?"
Workman: "My job is to take out the old doors. That's the job of another department. They'll install the new door within 2-3 days!"

Cross-posted on Rainbow Days

Comments

rajk said…
Priceless! Only wish you'd write more often!
Kay said…
OMG! That CPWD stunt cracked me up!! LOL
bird's eye view said…
Thanks Rajk. Been a little busy with producing kid # 3 so have been unable to blog as often as I'd like.

Kay - you're not kidding, those guys are nuts!

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