Raja & family

November 14, 2007


Rajibur, Tabassum and their two sons Arif and Irfan live in a one room tenement above our flat.

Rajibur is a professional housekeeper. He cooks, cleans, does the laundry and takes care of  the home. Working exclusively with embassies, Rajibur has learnt from every assignment and has taken his work to the highest level of efficiency. He has a genuine love for his profession and it shows when he quickly notes down any new recipe he encounters. Over the years, he has mastered many exotic dishes from cuisines of various countries. He is currently employed as housekeeper by the ground floor residents.
Raja, as he is called, also cooks for us. He himself offered his services when we shifted in. Not used to a cook with such a high level of proficiency we were bowled over and quickly became big fans. Noticing the enthusiasm, Raja offered the following terms – 6 days standard fare of vegetable, dal and roti/rice, 7th day special item, any one dish from the long list of recipes in his notebook. We were delighted.

A week later, Raja asked us, his wife Tabassum, if required, could clean and wash for us. But she cant hear nor speak, so will we have a problem? Not at all. By the way she is also trained in parlour work so if ‘didi’ ever wants…

So the next day we met Tabassum, an incredibly sweet young woman, their little son Irfan curled up in her arms and Arif the elder, a young man of four who trotted in with his tricycle. Tabassum like Raja, seems to take a lot of pride in her work. Most times she is irritatingly clean. The ashtrays are too clean to be used, the glass of half finished water I left on the table five minute ago is no longer there, it’s been washed dried and put back on the shelf, so I take another glass and by the time I go get the newspaper, this glass has encountered a similar fate. Tabassum could easily compete with a close friend who suffers from a similar obsessive dust cleaning disorder.

Arif and Irfan don’t like me much. Everytime they spot me they run back five steps turn around and watch me as if I was some strange beast. The thing is they see me in the morning, the tangerine coloured over sized tracks coupled with the frizzy hendrixian hair does give me a somewhat ‘weird’ look. I don’t blame them really.

This D day, the Rahman family joined us in celebration. We burst crackers together, lit lamps and shared sweets.


2 Responses to “Raja & family”

  1. v Says:

    the only rare compassionate thing i read in recent times…

  2. astralwicks Says:

    dada dude welcome back. miss your pictures and words.

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