Yesterday was get to know you day with Pushpalatha, our new maid. She goes by either Pushpa or Suma, but won't give a definitive answer which she prefers. Her other 'madam' calls her Suma. She is 18 yrs old, married and has a 3yr old son who lives in her village with her mother, not in Bangalore. She does not seem overly upset by this. She finished 10th grade at school, and I think had hopes of something more than marriage at 15. Her English is great, and she reads and writes it too, so we can leave notes for each other if I am not around.
At her other jobs she is not the ranking maid and she seems to quite like being in charge. We started out with me showing her the cleaning supplies I had and asking what else she needed. We made some lists and then did the old divide and conquer to get all we needed. I got some good compliments on my choice of lysol fragrance (rose) and a stern look for only having two loo cleaners and toilet brushes when there are three bathrooms... oops.
We're still waiting for lots of furniture and so we look pretty bare right now. Suma tried to sell me the sofa from next door (I think they are updating), but I assured her that in a few weeks more things would be in the house, and that every day she comes more will arrive... yes that includes doormats, I know, we need doormats.
A little later I got called into the bedroom to see the balcony floor: 'Madam, did you put this water down? (horrified look)'... 'no, it was raining'. We can safely assume I'll be in trouble if I get caught doing housework. I was given a, 'No, Madam' when I put groceries on an undusted shelf, and then again when I put the spare placemats and napkins on our dining room unit - they have to go in a cupboard. I am under instruction to teach her to use the washing machine and dishwasher,and as soon as we have figured out how to use them without tripping a fuse then we'll be in business. Today could be interesting as the plates in the dishwasher really need to be clean, and so I am working on them in batches, better get it done before she arrives.
The day ended well with Suma and Dara doing a get to know. Dara was swept up into her arms and within 5 minutes of getting off the bus her school bag was emptied of water bottle and snack box [both cleaned] and then neatly in her room. Then it was photo time... I'm currently the wallpaper on Suma's phone, a completely contrived pic of me holding a vase of flowers. That's another thing; we only have two vases which got a sad sort of, 'Oh, Madam'.
That's all for now. I have to see several men about plumbing, electrics and dustbins.