The Housemaid Short Story

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HARD STAINS Chap-1 Gayatri found it surprising. The stain was hard, and refused to go off the sticky dark bottom of the copper utensil. It was as if it was the scrub in her hand, which was feverish and tired, and not she, really. Sitamaa should have left some food cooking in the vessel for more than the reasonable length of time yesterday, and hence ended up cooking some stain, instead of whatever she had in mind when she had started out. The inevitable traces of the crime were still found clinging to the clever bottom of the utensil in question. Gayatri rubbed it hard for another time, and when it seemed that a small helpless portion of the grease had happily torn off the vessel, the scrub gave place, to show her how it was only her hopeful…show more content…
She had executed the fateful trick everyday of her life for fifteen years now, in all its monotonous and dry detail. She had never let lethargy or physical pain come in the way of the tedium of the act, during sick times, poor times, hungry times, weak times, sad times, tired times, and in general, all times when just plain misery visits one assuming any of the various subtle forms it is capable of, which is, believe me, a terrific feat, one that defies simple human notions of feeling and failure. And, as you think deeper about it, you would think she had not a soul, and that the body that was hers was numb and incapable of sensing pain. She was Gayatri, the machine. But, as you would think deeper, you would know this wasn’t true. For, Gayatri was human, like you and I. The seemingly inexplicable constancy and perfection of her execution was a simple trait she had inherited over the tediousness and ruthlessness of plain Time. And, you would know she was human in every real…show more content…
Murti had to drive trucks frequently across various states carrying loads of mostly uninteresting stuff, like mud of different colours, granite, iron rods longer than the truck itself, and yeah, all that kind of stuff, which you could well imagine. His whereabouts were for most times, not known, until he’d come back one day after delivering loads to strangers. He would be drunk when he was back, and then he’d lay asleep for a whole day on the corridor, and a log of wood at the same point in space, for all practical matters, would not have made much of a difference. You’d see him sleeping, and you’d imagine at the back of your idle mind, the times when he had waited for hours on long queues during cold nights at toll posts, the times when he had smoked countless cigars to stay awake on unforgiving nights as he drove the monster on an endless highway with blinding lights weakening the nerves on his body, bit by bit. He’d then wake up after his penance-like sleep, and give a few hundred rupees (in the order of 5-6) to Gayatri. “Put this in the brown box”, he’d say, and then he’d leave the house to go visit his friends in the city. Murti would not express care for Murali or Gayatri explicitly, other than the times when he had dinner at home late

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