” Wasped by Nature”. Art By author. Taken from the author’s personal album.
A certain forgetfulness crept over the slimy, old cauldron. She brewed and brewed and hoped that the fine steaks of her raspy memories would allow some disclosure. She needed space and time to think and work. She was confused at the mundane rituals of human kind. She pondered how and why the new disposition of a maid received such audacious inhumane words. She wondered why it was a crime to take a Sunday off. Although her hands spilled magic sometimes, and a few cracks on the walls of the house were a sign of her rising maturity- she grew careful and more hesitant before growing dormant. Every Saturday night meant dormancy. The cresten quarter had warned her of these unpredictable human conditions. She breathed in the flavors of the curry she was made to cook. Yet, she needed one Sunday off- to charge her charms and her molten bottle of spells. She needed to lay back and rest her crooked toe nails. A maid’s job was certainly the toughest human avatar she had taken up till date. Initially, she had wondered what job should she take up. She always contemplated about which job suited the most mediocre human routine?
She swarmed the colony a few days later. A sour, acidic rain led her to the house that she worked for now. She chose to dress up in a simple maid’s black dress. A white chiffon apron was always wrapped around her. Her mistress pondered all the time, whether she was using make-up or whether it was some secret home remedy. Innocently, she always replied how mother was away and thus, her family kept sending her the new charms they were working on. The inquisitive eyes and ears always asked her, who were ‘they’.
“Family.” That word always works. It somehow silences them all.
Curious glances always fell upon her as she walked around the colony, pickingup laundry or groceries. The men were asked to stay cautious and the women grew watchful. Their vigilant stares made her stumble and nervous. The older ladies acted primitive. She always wondered why the human condition proclaimed them to make every paranormal entity afraid of their presence. The dogs barked and hid. Even the domestics grew fragile slowly.
She was really scared now.
Afraid, she blinked her eyes often. The human hospitals moved her.
“I’m telling you.” She muttered to her cauldron every Sunday. “The house that I work for is haunted. The people ask me strange questions. They ask me where did I get my outfit from? They wonder how my nails are so shiny. They prickle at the staccato of my heels. They’re cautious of me; whereas I’m the one who has tendered and grown somber due to their dog-watch stares.” I mused into my cauldron every Sunday. I wished to form a union in the society, hoping that the maids of the other apartments would allow me lead them to some dignity and respect. I think that they think that my appearance separated me from them. We all were human, yet we needed to present ourselves as different creatures. The top-notch penthouses had maids dressed in the madame’s last year’s Fendi. The upper-floors had their maids dressed in Fusion Beats. The middle-floors always had an online delivery man at their door. The lower-floors were happy with discount bazaars.
And, then, there was I. Away from the aesthetic hierarchy and sticking to the seventeenth century potential maid dress. I was learning bit by bit though.
“I went around today asking if anybody would like to come over for a small get together. A wild fire spread and the hype went around labeled that I was having a party.” I kept brewing the cauldron and waited until the aroma had spread through the whole house. The small bubbles were making their way to the top. The soft magenta was forming a velvety stain at the side. I would need to remove it soon. Scrub it probably.
“And, then, well. I suggested why not? A party could be appropriate. I could make space for a few cushions and a few drinks.” The sweet scent was spreading throughout the house now. I deliberated on whether the candles should be lit or not, and decided to go with in. The cauldron, as if to sigh contentedly, gurgled and boiled a bit more. I mumbled again how they were treating maids as if they were inferior creatures- not house help. A ‘party’ is not a taboo.
I waited until the foam settled. Pouring the liquid into small perfume bottles, I cast them off into the small mahogany boxes mother gave me when I was leaving town. She knows how much I loved those. I shut the door, and waited. A second later the doorbell rang.
“These medicines are prescribed wrong. You got this- instead of this.” I pointed out on the man’s hand held screen. Accepting his mistake and apologizing, on his second trip, he asked me,
“How did you know though, that- I goofed up? Are you a medical student?”
I smiled my most charming smile and replied, “I’m a chemist’s daughter.”