'Attending' Problems Biting my nails feverishly , I was watching the blind Audrey Hepburn smashing the lights of her house one by one with the stick, the treacherous villain with his devilish smile following her, ready to kill her - a chilling climax highlighted under the diffused light of the open fridge, The movie- 'Wait until the dark', its haunting climax, one which I couldn't wait for, came to an abrupt end amidst one booming sound pulling me out of my trance. With my pulse racing, I started looking around for the source of that terrific sound. I had one long look at my monitor to check out whether it was the one which broke down unable to withstand the suspense of the movie. It was fine and leaving Audrey to fight her own battles with the villain I moved out of the room in search of the origin of The boom. Crackers? I looked out of the window facing the road. It was as quiet as a Pacific Ocean. No, certainly it was not Diwali and with six months for the day of fire works away, I ruled out the possibility of crackers. Moving to the drawing room, I found both my mom and her Attender seriously watching a Tamil serial with earshattering sounds of the background score which was dominated by drums, masking all the noise around, which left me wondering if they could have heard the ear splitting explosion. On the screen the Saas and bahu were throwing missiles, vessels and hurling accusations at each other. So immersed were my mom and her Attender in that silly serial that they neither of them heard the blasting noise nor noticed my presence. Then when I entered the kitchen I was shocked for life, looking at the the scenario which resembled a pitched battle field. .The prestigious pressure Cooker was twisted beyond recognition, thrown to the corner, looking like an unattended accident victim. The dal and rice were sticking up to the ceiling for dear life, some sprayed along the walls giving them a designer finish and some on the floor with the result I had to do a moon walk on the floor. When I realized the enormity of the situation which I knew was due to the utter carelessness of the Attender whose responsibility was to make rice for the patient, and often had serious memory lapses when it came to watching serials, I took quick decisions. I quietly cleaned up the entire mess and cooked rice using another spare cooker. Not a word of advice or giving my piece of mind to the Attender for I knew that, the very moment I opened my mouth, pointing out to her mistakes, she would walk out of the house as well as work with her bag and baggage once for all. Most of the patient attenders who waited upon my mom in two shifts were mostly teenagers,withering away their precious time talking on mobiles, watching movies, serials on tv, making intimate conversations with their BFs or listen to those raunchy songs that The FM spewed out liberally. My mom who was one a stickler for discipline, had to put up with the attenders tantrums, since she was in constant need of their help. Inspite of my non stop suggestions to have earphones to listen to their favorite songs without disturbing the patient, they went on to play those bawdy numbers much to my annoyance. Many times, hearing my moms cries I would rush in to help her, with these attenders snoozing off to the sexy lullabies dished out by their mobiles. Want to have a feel of Mahabharatha war. No need to read the epics or even switch on the idiot box. You are welcome to my house to watch all the drama, fights, Gaalis, tears included free of charge- courtesy my attenders. There was not a single issue that was agreed by attenders working on two different shifts. Whenever they met at the time of relieving the other, instead of handing over the details about the patient or the medicines, they would engage in a serious war of words, non stop, inspite of my serious mediation and pleas to stop it. Sometimes such innocuous fights ended up in fisticuffs and the agency had to be called in and were asked to call them back. Some of them were serious contenders for the World beauty comtest, with most of their time spent in front of mirrors, trying different kinds of make up, hairstyles,lipsticks, and nail polish. My knowledge of makeup restricted till then to Ponds powder, grew up by leaps and bounds, thanks to my make up friendly attenders. Some of them would entertain my mom by dancing to gross numbers, pelvic gyrations included, with a fond hope of making it out to the reality dance shows and then to the small screen. Whenever I made a request to send middle aged patient attenders, the agency sent oldies who were themselves burdened with all sorts of ailments and often came for work loaded with strong smelling pain balms ranging from Amrutanjan to Tiger. The additional burden of supplying them with hot water, tea, coffee , crocin etc fell upon me and when it came to work I found them hardly fit enough to pull my mom up on the water bed or even change the soiled sheets. With slippery mosaic floors, stagnant water on the tiled bathroom was a serious issue and had to be mopped up frequently. But due to the careless attitude of the attenders who always kept the bathroom wet , my mom suffered repeated fractures and months of hospitalization . Inspite of my constant reminders to close the taps properly, one careless Attender who failed to close the tap of the bubble top properly, led to my fall one morning, when I stepped on to the pool of water that was stagnating at the entrance of the drawing room. Thank God, I escaped with minor injuries, and since that day I always made sure that all the taps were closed properly before retiring for the day. With frequent fights between the attenders and the maid servant I had to stop the services of my maid servant, since I knew I couldn't do much without the help of these manipulating attenders. Now I have learnt to take things in my stride.Balancing tension and stress which have become part of my life, I have learnt to chase away my 'Attender' Blues by holding little props like broom and mop and dancing with rhythmic steps to a salsa, foxtrot or Zumba, searching for the elusive drop of water on the floor .ooooh la la ! ooooh lalalalala!!