Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bhai tussi great ho!

We have a new Bhai tailing us. He’s tall, dark – and very handsome too, if only a princess obliged by kissing him as in the fable.

I spotted him circling my house on foot last evening as I was walking one of the cats on the terrace – yes, we do that for our cats, all six of them, turn by turn, every day.

Bhai  was zeroing in on our house time and again because we had a coaster-full (that’s what a mini-bus is called in Pakistan) of people from a TV news channel sipping ginger tea with my husband, when I decided to beat Bhai at his game by keeping an eye on him too.

Soon enough I saw Bhai accosting one of the TV crew. The crew member was on the phone and Bhai couldn’t wait for him to finish. Bhai grabbed the crew member’s huge ID card, hanging around his neck like a school kid’s water bottle, and started talking. The crew member had to hang up.

Usually I wouldn’t waste time staring at Bhai-types, but this time I had no option. We’ve been without a maid for a few weeks now (yes, the pregnant one I wrote about has disappeared since) and the rumour mill has it that the Bhais have been shooing away all prospective candidates from our gate by telling them – “why do you want to work here”; roughly translated that should mean: “don’t you know they are Indians?”

So I stared hard at the Bhai; noticed his regular-fit denims, his colourless half-sweater and even his sandals (Bata, for sure). I stared because I had lined up a new maid with great difficulty and wanted to make sure that he didn’t scare her away too.

Bhai was in two minds. Sometimes he checked me out, perhaps wondering why I was checking him out; sometimes he did the next best thing – stare at my cat. My cat, of course, didn’t mind, because he’s cute and is quite used to being coochie-cooed by silly strangers.  

A few minutes later the maid showed up with her husband and Bhai decided to check their NIC (National Identity Card). The husband obliged and was let in because, by then, I was at the gate ready to breathe down Bhai’s neck.

My hard work had obviously paid off.  I was ecstatic. The maid moved in a few hours later; showed up for work this morning, promising to return at 5pm.

She was back half an hour before the promised time, to tell us she had packed and was leaving. 


  1. Best bring a maid from India if you can! This will continue to happen to you.

  2. Funny, Mr Anonymous. You are scared an Indian will brainwash someone as simple as a maid and that to in Isloo? Hehehehe!

    Do you by any chance suffer from jealousilitis? Its a dreadful old virus, cure for which is unknown.

  3. Do Pak has enough intelligence resources to check out all Indians living in Pakistan. Wow!
    When I read this post..the scenes of German movie "Das Leben der Anderen 2006"(Life of Others) about Stasi's style of running a police state. It is said that a police state is not which is listening into to its citizens, but in which citizens feel that they are being listened to.

  4. Anonymous, stop quarreling with your own self :)

  5. Kannan, some times it feels safe to have them around...

  6. Anonymous number 2!!!

    Not at all... when i meant a maid should be bought from India, it is to make life easier... The security agencies will continue to harass anyone working for them like this... not because they are scared some Indian might 'brainwash' (rolling eyes - get over yourselves!) but simply to make life more difficult for the authors...

    kannan, theres probably only a very limited amount of Indians living in Pakistan probably only for diplomatic reasons... even many visiting Indians are monitored... in case you hadn't gathered by now, we dont trust you guys... and i'm sure the feeling is mutual... hence the very limited amount of people who actually travel to each other's country, and the need for this blog...

  7. Congrats on getting a maid and wish you good luck for retaining her :)

  8. Good Luck with that..u ppl r indeed gritty.
    Seriously, only ppl who in real life are comfortable or even enjoy a "tail" is intel ppl who are trained in operational security.
    Checkout "By way of deception-making and unmaking of a mossad officer - Victor Ostrovsky"

  9. ArunCP, no we haven't!

    Kannan, will do. Thanks for reading :)

  10. Oh Sorry :) Didn't read the last few lines properly.

  11. hmm...Looks like staying there is some sort of achievement

    So many bhai logs to look after but no maid...irony :P

  12. In a story book you would have been able to rope in the bhai to work as a maid. Pity the real world doesn't work like that, would have served him right. Enjoying your blog immensely.

  13. Moinz, its quite an adventure :)

    Pari, thanks for reading. Yes, if only Bhais could double up as house-helps I'd be able to write more posts!