‘She reminds me of my friend’s mother’…


I wrote about my blocked kitchen sink fiasco yesterday. Today I will write about how it got solved and who solved it. The plumbing company said they would send someone between 8 am and 11 am. I got up bright and early, showered, dressed and waited. As promised, a gentlemen pulled into our driveway around 9:30 am. I opened the door, welcomed him in and just to make conversation, I asked, “Is it hot out there yet?” He said he did not feel the heat like some other people did. I responded I am with him. I am from India and my body can tolerate heat better than the cold. To this, the man said, “Yeah, we dark folks have more melanin to protect us.” I turned around and looked at his white face bewildered but did not say anything. The dude was white!! Maybe not Irish or Scandinavian white but somewhat tanned white. After I explained to him the issue with the kitchen sink and after a lot of casual conversation, he went to his van to get his equipment. I turned to Sahana and asked, “Isn’t he white? Why is he saying we dark folks?” She shrugged. I wondered if he identified as a dark person. Is that even a thing?

Anyway, my wonderful daughter canceled her plans and stayed at home for the plumber so I could go to work which I did after listening to all that the gentleman was going to fix and worrying about how much it will cost me. He gave me an estimate, I informed Sahana, made sure she had enough in her account to pay and left for work.

At work I got a voice message from Sahana. She was trying hard to keep the laughter from her voice. The gentleman, in his late thirties if I had to assume, told Sahana that he loves Indian people. And I reminded him of his friend’s mother who had come from India and who treated him like her son. I am getting up there but this comparison with his friend’s mother seemed little bit of a stretch but I will take it. You know why? He fixed a few things without charge. He went to a hardware store to buy what we needed and he gave a bill that was much lower than what I expected. He also told Sahana that if we ever needed a plumber, we can request the company to send him and he will make sure we get the best service. Why? Because he likes Indian people and I remind him of his friend’s mother. 🤣

Sahana also said they had long conversations about race while he was working and he told her “We immigrants need to stick together.” The man was Italian American. The crux of the story is I jotted down his name, gave him a 5 star review. If (please god, no) we need a plumber, I am calling this ‘dark’ man who thinks of his friend’s mother when he sees me. I really needed this laugh today.