Under the watchful eyes of the ‘maid in law’ …..

Almost all Indian women are wary of the watchful eyes of their mother in law. So when a visit from the mother in law is due, it warrants going out of the way to ensure that the house is spick and span, furniture is dusted and the crockery has the extra shine. Even so as the d day arrives they are still apprehensive of the critical eye of the monster in law oops mother in law!!

However recently, and I say it with my own experience that there is a new breed of women who live under this constant fear, not of their mother in law but of their maid! Yes you heard that right.

I’m sure most of you will agree when I say that a mother in law is just not able to comprehend why we daughters in law need to shop and why we require new clothes,shoes or handbags every once in a while. So if at all she does catch sight of the shopping bags she is sure to throw dissapproving glances in your direction. The maid is not far behind when it comes to eyeing your shopping critically. So just before the maid is due to arrive I ensure that the shopping bags are hidden from her direct visual inspection.

Just as a mother in law takes unadulterated pleasure and is quick at pointing out flaws in the daughter in law’s house so is the maid in law. Once my maid very casually asked me if I would like her to clean the surface of the refrigerator as a lot of dust has accumulated on it. I didn’t know whether to applaud her for being proactive or feel insulted. My ego did not allow the former so I chose the latter. However as time passed I learnt that just as the mother in law derives pleasure by spotting dirty spots in the daughter in law’s house, so does the maid in law. While the motive of the mother in law is to demean the daughter in law, the motive of the maid is to clean the dirty spots and garner praise.

I’m sure most of you will agree when I say that a mother in law loves eavesdropping to the daughter in law’s phone conversation. The maid in law is no different. So when I’m on the phone she will hover nearby under some pretext or the other. Not only that, she is adept at listening to one end of the conversation and putting two and two together to draw conclusions.I’m sure she’d be a great asset to any investigation agency like the CID due to her top notch investigative skills.The moment I hang up the phone she starts bombarding me with questions with such speed that would put the best interrogators to shame.

One of the favourite passtime of the mother in law is to criticise the TV shows that her daughter in law enjoys. While the maid in law dare not openly criticise what you are watching, she is sure to express her opinion by dropping subtle hints. So just at the very moment something interesting is about to happen in your favourite TV show, she will most definitely open her mouth and ruin everything. So in order to avoid the frustration and dissapointment that follows, I steer clear from the telly in her presence or watch English shows which thankfully she doesn’t understand!

Thus is the saga of the new age maid. The best strategy to to avoid all the scrutiny and unnecessary cross questioning is to keep your interaction with her to a minimum. So in my case when she is around I just sit in front of my laptop and pretend to work even if I’m not actually working. Thankfully she doesn’t know the difference between writing technical documents and browsing the internet or she would have questioned me about that too!

So my dear friends whether we like it or not we are destined to suffer under the watchful eyes of these maids in law!


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