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Mrs Funnybones(7)
Twinkle Khanna

I am very frustrated as I haven’t been able to finish my walk, and my whole routine has gone down the drain when I glance at my watch and see that it’s shockingly 6.55 p.m. I have been chasing these morons for close to eighteen minutes. This is the longest and fastest I have been able to run since I was twenty-three.

I quickly calculate the calories burnt while running behind my three idiots as compared to my walk, and realize that I have burnt triple the calories. Even if I had a trainer urging me to run, I would not have been able to run at that pace for that long and not even realize the time.

We always give our best when our back is against the wall. We will write a superlative essay when pushing hard against a deadline, make the most innovative presentation when our job is in jeopardy, and study the hardest when the exam is the next day.

I wonder why most of us can only perform to our utmost when circumstances drive us, and then I realize that the few who push themselves are the ones who succeed.

The driven, passionate ones give their best on ordinary days and that is why they are extraordinary. As for me, I start walking back home, hoping that tomorrow I find yet another minor criminal to chase and decimate with my coconut.

H: Hurricanes Hit My Household

People inherit a lot of things from their parents. These can range from facial features to diamonds and emeralds; I have, instead, inherited a splendid member of my mother’s trusted staff. His uncle works for my mother, his brother works for my grandmother, and he used to work for my aunt, but is now all mine.

Let me make it clear right at the beginning that he is the most honest, loyal person I know. I am just not sure if he is Robin to my Batman, or if he is Mogambo to my Mr India.

INCIDENT 1: It is a Sunday evening, the deadline for my weekly column is looming, and as I am sitting in front of my computer and frantically typing away, he tiptoes around me and then calls out, ‘Didi! Didi!’ I look up, my chain of thought all broken, and ask him what has happened. He replies, ‘Do you want your shoes?’

Grr . . . For God’s sake, why would I want my shoes? Does he think I can simultaneously jog on the spot while typing? I take a deep breath and ask him to lend his invaluable assistance to some other member of the family.

INCIDENT 2: I am at my neighbour’s for tea when my domestic wonder calls me to say that some gentleman has entered the house and is asking for my passport, and wants to know where my computer is as well.

Rather worried, I ask my desi Jeeves if he recognizes the man, to which he replies, ‘Didi, I don’t think so. Looks villain type of person, come fast.’

I frantically rush home only to discover that

A: The gentleman in question is Mansukh bhai, my Internet fellow.

B: He has been asking for my laptop password, and not my passport.

I ask my domestic wonder how he can possibly not recognize Mansukh bhai who has been to the house a couple of times. He shakes his head and says, ‘Mansukh bhai has a beard and this man doesn’t have, also he has a big black mole on his chin. All bad people have big moles, that’s why I called you.’

Wondering if it doesn’t occur to him that people can perhaps shave off their beard once in a while, but not being able to wrap my brain around this evil mole bit, I have no recourse but to go to the kitchen and eat four cups of strawberry ice cream in despair.

INCIDENT 3: The bank has sent me an email saying that they have hand-delivered important papers to the house which require my signature, and need to be returned this evening.

On my arrival, I ask my Jeeves if the papers have come. He nods in the affirmative, before adding that he has kept them very safely. I ask him to fetch the papers, and go to my room to change into my trackpants. Twenty minutes later, my domestic wonder is nowhere to be seen. I search the whole house and finally spot him sitting in the staffroom, sobbing. I gently ask him what the matter is and he tells me that he had kept my papers very safely, so safely, that even he can’t find them now.

I am beginning to think that he is an agent planted by L’Oréal in my house to ensure that my hair turns white overnight and thus I have to spend all my money on hair dye.

INCIDENT 4: It has been an exhausting day and all I want to do is eat some good food, and crash. I change into my pretty, pink kaftan and sit at the dining table. I have made chicken tikka, salad and mutton seekh kebab. I ask my domestic wonder to put some kebab on my plate, and he very enthusiastically scoops up two. I turn my head to see what the man of the house is trying to show me on his iPad, and plonk! I feel something on my lap. With mounting horror, I look down only to see the inevitable. There, on my lap, on my pretty, pink kaftan are two enormous pieces of kebab, two phallic-shaped massive bits of meat. I proceed to bang my head on the chair repeatedly till I calm down before asking him to lend his invaluable assistance to some other member of the family.

He will set off our alarm system repeatedly while doing mundane chores; he will knock me on the head with a cup of tea when I am sitting on my swing; he will ask me seven questions when one would be sufficient. So at the end of six months when he asks for a three-week holiday to go to his village, I am rather happy to give it to him.

Three weeks pass and he doesn’t come back. The man of the house starts asking about him and accuses me of driving him away. He gives me a big lecture about how having a person with a good heart in our household is more important than having someone who will iron shirts immaculately but can never be trusted.

The man of the house is right and I am also beginning to miss my man Friday’s bumbling presence in our home. I sit down to think if I have said anything to him that has made him want to leave, and feeling decidedly guilty, I call him.

He picks up and says, ‘Namaste, Didi, I got on the train four days late, but now I am at Sholapur.’ When I ask him why he is in Sholapur and not in Mumbai, he replies, ‘Didi, I wanted to buy shenga chutney for you at Sholapur station, but the train was only stopping for one minute, so I pulled the alarm chain. Didi, the train people tore my shirt and made me get down, but don’t worry I am reaching Mumbai very soon.’

I put the phone down, take a deep breath and immediately start doing my pranayam as I will need all the patience in the world when he finally arrives to once again lend me his invaluable assistance.

I: I Refuse to Celebrate This Bloody Valentine’s Day Nonsense

10 a.m.: It is Valentine’s Day and I have informed the man of the house that it would be rather nice if he came home in the evening with a substantial gift and a bunch of white flowers. I also enlighten him with the fact that I have made a reservation at our favourite restaurant, Wasabi, for dinner at 8 p.m.

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