The Sound of Music.

Friday, August 18, 2006

the culture of sweepresses

there is one thing that our culture has that none other does.
and that is the sweepress who comes to our house.

they are different,
but they are all the same.

every single house has one of them.
if you have never been to Pakistan,
read on and you will know what you guys are missing out on.
and what is the one thing that all of us have in common,
without even having to try.

this is the story of every house every morning in Pakistan.

they arrive at our house at around 9 am.
some houses at 10 am.

they have this special gift.
a very very
VERY high pitched voice.

as soon as they arrive,
it is all about the sweeping and the yelling.
the screaming.
the arguing.
the discussions of their life (and others) with our mothers or more commonly with our grandmothers.

all of them have the same story, the same hurt, the same truth, the same life.

1. a husband who is a drug addict and doesn't do anything for a living.
2. their house which is so small that it cannot fit a family of 10 anymore, which includes their 8 children and the couple.
3. the husband who beats her up every day if she doesn't give him money.
4. how she doesn't want anymore kids but the husband wants a son so they're trying again after seven girls, and that is why she is pregnant again for the 4th time in the 3 years that she has been working for you.

then there is a new story every day of our strange neighbors (because every sweepress works for atleast 7-8 houses in the same locality or her 6 daughters work at 6 different houses in the same locality or community.)

those kind of stories normally are about:

1. neighbors' guests who are visiting from abroad. (mainly the U.S. or U.K.)
2. the neighbor is so stingy, and she doesn't pay her well at all.
3. how much the neighbors spent on their son/daughters wedding recently. (the systematic break down of cost and expenses is discussed.)
4. the neighbors new daughter-in-law who is so spoilt.
to support the judgement a detailed account of her daily routine is listed down.

she gets up at 10 am.
then she orders breakfast.
she eats and watches tv.
she goes in for a shower.
she takes the driver and goes God knows where all.
and then comes back late in the evening when her husband is about to return from work.

5. how the world is changing and how the society has changed and the environment is just not suitable for girls to go out alone anymore.
6. neighbors childrens school results/their new jobs/their daughters proposals etc.

these women are a very essential part of our culture.
it's almost impossible to live without them,
and absolute hell to live with them.

the worst day is sunday,
especially if you've had a rough previous week.
that's the one day that we decide to sleep until late in the afternoon,
and we instruct everyone not to wake us up for breakfast, lunch, tea, war etc.
but we forget the most important person.


she enters the room,
starts cleaning up and begins a running commentary.
she continues to talk to herself complaining about the mess.
the worst time is when she switches off the fan,
and starts sweeping the floor,
well aware of the face that there is a living person.
sleeping right. there.

then she goes to the washroom.
you hear the flush.
you hear things falling/being thrown.
you hear water running continously.

this goes on for a good 20 minutes.
when you are wide awake,
almost at the verge of killing yourself or screaming,
you see them coming out of the washroom with their equipment.
making their exit from the room.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats so friggin hialrious! reminded me of home so much! My "safai-wallee" would do the exact same thing....turn off the pankha and then go around throwing her balte and jharroo everyhwre till i was up! Are u sure its not the same woman! ehehhe! Youre right thyre allllllll the same!. BUt i kinda miss that about home...atleast having pple to talk to no?
anywys....must go back to my studying.

August 20, 2006 5:49 AM

Blogger Sean from DocintheBox said...

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August 20, 2006 5:57 PM


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