Thursday, February 17, 2011

Two posts from Housemaid

Housemaid is a very dear friend of mine.  We've corresponded for years he is one of the most traveled people I know, with a LOT of time in India and Europe.  He is also one of those daft people who want to be maids - has been one to a lady in L.A. that I know of - but swears blind there's nothing sexual about it.  I asked him to be an author and post to this page - but he's shy I guess.  Sent me two posts which I'm showing below.  One is a very short story - and the other a para on transvestites in India.  I enjoyed them both and hope that you do as well.

Timmy's mother looked up from her ironing and gazed lovingly at her son as he played. She smiled at the running commentary of sound effects, the whooshes and bumps, as he pushed the leaden figure down amongst the folds of the rug before the hearth.

"... down here .... this way .... Eeeek ..... Bish". The baa lamb crashed into the giraffe and then began to climb the sheer cliff of the fireplace guided by tiny, plump fingers.  

A child's imagination is certainly a thing of great wonderment and beauty. She sighed and turned back to the ironing board as Timmy crawled across the floor to rescue a pink pig in distress.

"Careful darling" she said as he banged his head against the table. His little face puckered up in bewilderment and fright at the unexpected blow.

"Come to mummy". She gathered him into her arms. "Mummy kiss it better?" she said hugging him to her.  She walked up and down holding Timmy to her as his tears gradually abated.
"There now", she said placing him gently on the floor once more and turning back to the pile of clean clothes. "Play nicely here where I can see you".

Timmy sat for a moment, the toy animals abandoned, his eyes fixed on his mother as she raised the hot iron from the board.

Then he began to shriek his arms raised towards her in supplication, tears, this time of frustration, running down his cheeks.

"Do you want to help mummy? Do you? Alright then". She brought a chair close to the ironing board and swept him up to stand on the chair  beside her. Timmy leaned forward arm outstretched reaching for the iron. " No, darling you mustn't touch that .... it's very hot ... you'll burn yourself".

Timmy's face grew red and and his howls grew louder. "Alright, here you are then", she said drawing a large white handkerchief from the pile and placing it before them on the ironing board. "There's a good boy" she whispered, holding his hand in hers as together they grasped the iron and ran it slowly backwards and forwards on the material. "Aren't you a good boy, helping mummy, eh?"

His face was now a study in concentration as he allowed his mother to guide the iron to and fro.

"That's enough now, mummy has to get on ... look there's Mr Fox on the floor". Timmy looked away from the iron at the animals lying scattered on the floor. "Be a good boy and let mummy finish her ironing. Madam will be back soon", she said looking anxiously at the clock on the mantelpiece.

Gently she lifted the little boy from the chair and placed him on the floor amidst his farmyard animals. She picked up the small figure of a dog and, tapping Timmy lightly on the nose, said "Woof ... woof". Timmy chuckled and reached out a fist to grasp the toy.

"Will you be a farmer when you grow up?", asked his mother, smiling to herself at the thought of her little boy herding real animals across real fields. "Eh? Does my little boy want to be a farmer when he grows up?"

Timmy looked perplexed for a moment, unsure. Did he know what a farmer is, his mother thought. Or does he know what it means to grow up? Timmy frowned looking into his mother's face.

She smiled at him and, bending down, kissed the top of his head. "Hmmm, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

Timmy gazed up at his mother and, appearing to come to some sort of realization said in his small, sweet voice,  "a maid".

His mother's laughter startled the little boy taking him entirely by surprise. He stared bewildered at his mother's laughing face, uncomprehending. Still laughing she knelt down beside him. "Oh darling .... you want to be like mummy .... But boys can't be maids, darling.  Boys are big and strong ... Boys become scientists and doctors ... not maids. Boys can't be maids".

Timmy's expression showed first incomprehension then astonishment as his mother, still laughing, hugged him to her. 

"Oh dear" she laughed to herself, turning back to the ironing, "the things they come out with...."

Timmy sat silently his mouth downturned and his little chin jutting forward slightly but his mother, lifting up the iron, failed to see the defiant gleam in his eyes.

As yet unknown to his mother, Timmy was a very determined little boy.

In my other e-mail I didn't write about the 'hijras' in India and attitudes of Indian society towards TV's and transexuals because it's actually rather depressing. And I thought, therefore, unsuitable for your blog.  (From me! - HAH!)
The thing is that many people (like Monica Graz) think that Indian society is tolerant towards such people. But in truth, Indian society tolerates them only to the extent that they do not assault or set out to deliberately persecute them. Hijras earn a pitiful living as prostitutes and beggars, travelling in groups for safety and 'regular' hindus simply ignore them if they can and shoo them away otherwise. They occupy a similar position in Indian society to that of gypsies in ours. It's true that they invariably turn up at weddings - asking for gifts of money and saris from the brides family. But these things are offered to them only to get rid of them. The romantic notion of hijras being accepted is largely myth.

Must admit.  I spent six weeks in Bombay many years ago - but never saw any signs of Hijras - as time went past though I got the impression that they were favored.  Looks as if I was wrong.  (Bea)

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