The weekend was not as bad as I expected it to be. It was worse – much worse.
Mainly, it was worse because the cook didn’t turn up. She had various personal crises. I, on the other hand, had just one personal crisis: Food!
I started cooking around 9 a.m. on Saturday and finished only at 10 p.m. on Sunday. It was miserable. Sunday lunch was bad because the cook was supposed to come and cook at 12 noon and she called me at 12.30 to inform me that she couldn’t make it. She said she’d come at 4 and do dinner. So I hurriedly dished up leftovers to the kids, while simultaneously trying to whip up lunch for Amit, me, and FIL.
After lunch, we decided to go out “shopping”. With Durga Puja around the corner, it’s time to buy new clothes for everyone. We left home at 4 p.m. and got back at 7.30. The cook, meanwhile, had called to say she couldn’t make it and would come tomorrow.
Great. We’ll order in, I thought. But by the time I’d put the kids in bed at 8.30, FIL had issued instructions for more boiled veg and rotis for dinner. Plus I would have to do dal and veg for the kids’ lunch on Monday. Plus we needed more curd. And rice.
At last, it was 10 p.m. and I hit the sack. Tomorrow, I thought optimistically, is Monday. I will go for tennis and then I will go to office and the cook will come so I won’t have to cook. It almost felt like a holiday or something.
The first part of the plan went on schedule. I went for tennis and then to office. It was soon after I reached office that the next crisis hit. Gas ran out.
”Ok, put the regulator on the new cylinder and I’ll order a replacement,” I told the cook (who had shown up with a long face and a longer story).
She tried and called me back to say it was leaking!
“Turn it off,” I said.
Thereafter there followed a stream of phonecalls that kept me busy for the next three hours. FIL tried to fix the regulator on the new cylinder – with the same result. I called the gas delivery guys, who said they would come in the evening. FIL was hollering for lunch. Cook was asking how she was expected to cook with a leaky cylinder. Could she go and check with the downstairs neighbour? She did, and called back to say they weren’t home. FIL wanted to go to the gas office in person. Then he wanted to buy a kerosene stove for the cook to use. Then he wanted me to order in lunch because he was hungry already! The gas guy said he would call back, but didn’t. FIL wanted to know when the gas guy would come and kept calling me to ask for updates when I didn’t have any. Finally I did some upward delegation and gave him the gas guy’s number and told him to follow up. Smart move! Surprisingly quickly I got a call from FIL that they gas guys were there, and had delivered a cylinder to replace the empty cylinder, but not the leaky cylinder. They said the problem was not the cylinder but the regulator. And of course they couldn’t replace the regulator right away, they’d come back in the evening. By which time the cook would be gone and there would be a load of veggies waiting to be boiled and no food for the kids’ lunch.
Meanwhile the cook wanted to know what she was expected to do for the rest of the day, FIL wanted lunch…
And so on and on and on.
I called Amit, who said, “Can’t talk now, I’m in a meeting.”
“I don’t care,” I said. “I can’t manage this. You handle it.”
Everyone needs a Sunday and I haven’t had one for two weeks. I’ve had enough.