Madam - dusted Ganesha as it should be!So, I have been lax.

I have been working at home and letting my cleaner get away with frankly, diabolical dusting.

For some reason, she dusts using paper tissues. That’s both expensive and lets face it, inadequate for normal dusting let alone the heavy red dust of this country.

And also, as we all know paper tissues leave a dusty residue on surfaces, rather than remove it.

So I equipped her with more high tech equipment – a duster. She wasn’t keen.

I showed her it was a very clever duster that uses static to collect dust and forced her to use it. I had a very strong suspicion that I was stretching her English knowledge beyond its edges. But I sent her off with the duster and a remit to actually, you know, dust.

Ten minutes later and she’s back – looking very alert and a big beaming smile, ‘Madam, this duster. Very good.’

Well, yes, compared to a paper tissue, it would be.

But still the job was done half heartedly. One Friday I was having people over the next day – incidentally to ‘test’ some of the cakes for Rethink, we’re doing a healthy cake book. Anyway, with people coming over I wanted the place actually clean. Not just a bit clean, or partially clean, but full on, actively dusted. So I took the lovely Sudha round the house and explained ‘dust here, and here, and not just around this bowl, dust the actual bowl as well’.

She didn’t look best pleased. This being considerably more work than usual. Though I should point out when I hired her she sold herself on only working 2 days, but doing 3 days work for the money and time. She’s just got used to me working hard and not paying attention to her at all and so slacking off in all areas – and most particularly the dusting.

Madam - dusty GaneshaWell those days were over.I needed an apartment cleaned to a standard where I could walk bare foot and not have to go and wash the dust off my feet every three hours. It’s one thing doing that yourself, like you live in your own personal sandbox. It’s quite another to have keen cake eaters over and have to advise them to take a dust shovel with them if they want to move from room to room.So, off she goes to clean. And an hour later she’s back – and tells me, and I still cannot quite believe this.

She stand there and has the gall to tell me, ‘too much dust, Madam.’

I was furious – after all, she is in charge of dust management in the household, because she is the cleaner. If there is too much dust, I can be very clear at who’s door the entire dust issue rests.

When I pointed this out to her, through slightly gritted teeth – she fell silent and looked at the duster in her hand.

Then realisation dawned, and she said ‘I dust, madam?’

Yes, if you would.

India, you’re lovely. But as a nation, there are times you’re a completely lazy git.


This the third in a three part series.

Read Part One here – The red dust of India

Read Part Two here – She’s actually FAKING dusting