Monday, January 23, 2012

Domesticating goddess

All gas cylinders must have a fuel gauge. The gauge must indicate how full or empty the cylinder is. What's the point of constantly lifting up cylinders to figure out from heft how much gas you have left? It's annoying! My rant is based on my inability to figure out if I can go for a week or a month or several months on a gas cylinder. Since I'd be staying by myself and subsisting basically rice and daal every day, I estimated to have gas until March. Therefore, I go ahead and invite friends and promise them feasts and stuff and then, I run out of gas.

Today is Sunday and the gas agency is shut. Actually, they aren't much more responsive or sprightly when they're open either but...Now, I'm not sure how long it takes to get a gas cylinder here but I'm guessing it would be at least 2 weeks. That's what the last tenant told me. I am not sure if I can trust him enough now.

When I first met him, he very helpfully pointed out the closest route to my office, amenities of the flat, latest electricity bills, etc. He said that he was leaving to get married and all. Now, he really looked like a smitten bachelor. His dishevelled look and the crumpled shirt led me to believe something about him. I pegged him as  one who, until then would cook up some Maggi, log in to the net and skype love songs to his fiance. Such a man, I supposed, wouldn't have been using up too much gas for cooking, thereby leaving me with a cylinder full enough to last me until March. But clearly that wasn't the case. Maybe he was using up all that gas to practice cooking and feed his future bride. This is exactly what microwaves are for.

The same gentleman had also waxed eloquently about the washing machine. And today I tried to use it and got stumped beyond measure. I must say that I've never used a washing machine before. I have never washed clothes for anybody other than myself. So, I either washed it myself or had them cleaned by someone else. It's all been very manual thus far. And frankly, after today's experience, I prefer it that way.

The broad, white contraption that currently occupies three-fourth of the kitchen balcony looked harmless enough. So I fit in the valve for water to the tap, and as instructed, turned on the tap for the water to fill the machine. But, the water did not fill the machine. Instead it started draining out from a stubby, short valve at the other end. No biggie, I thought. I'll just plug in the other valve where it's supposed to go. And...well...I couldn't figure out where it was supposed to go.

It was around 11 at night and I was unfortunately wearing a cotton nighty and standing in the cold. So I looked hard and urgently at every orifice of that machine and unfortunately, only came up with stupid labels and wire diagrams in German and Japanese. I tried doing it again but no...the water kept draining out. It was cold and all that draining just makes one want know, pee. By this time, I was mighty annoyed and I treated the washing machine like a computer. I thumped it hard. Then I treated it like a car. Kicked it hard. And then I treated it like a project manager. Derided it in my head. (I came close to that short valve and called it a hobbit. Hee hee!)

Clothes had to be washed anyway. So I did it the old fashioned way, happily soaping up the clothes and then washing them in blissfully hot water. Yes, it did take really long and by the time I was done, it was almost midnight.

I took the pail of clean, washed clothes to the other balcony - the prettier one - and started hanging them to dry. Somewhere between hanging dark blue harem pants and a grey tee, I saw a star. A single, lone star. It shone like a Greek myth civilization vaguely remembers but prefers to forget. I thought that maybe that constellation just consisted of one little star called Domestizeus. She rolled down Zeus' eye one day when he figured out just how important housework was and how no-one ever gave it enough credit. It was Zeus' one and only thought on home and hearth.

As I fabricated all of that in my head, I saw other stars. Lots of them. Suddenly, the majesticity of the Greek myth was lost. Now, the sky looked pretty run-of-the-mill, with stars appearing like cosmic tweets.

All good days must end with self-aggrandisement. Hence, I've taken upon the mantle of being Domestizeus. Now I shall proceed to try and make coffee in a rice cooker.


omnithere said...


Tamanna said...

Hey! I may be wrong, but is there a knob like thing on the washing machine that says Drain/ Wash/ Rinse/ Spin etc? Turn the knob to wash - that may be the answer to the water getting drained. I can't live without a washing machine, so I feel you. Hence the attempt at being helpful :D I love how you make simple things so beautiful and poetic. Kudos!

Vinita said...

Reminds me of the Kitchen God :) Hope the gas is replaced does coffee turn out in a rice cooker?

crab said...

i swear! @ fuel gauge on gas cylinders .. ummm mayb u shud think of investing in a small microwave oven ..

Aditi said...

these machines are out to get us humans! :) hope your stint in Pune is a pleasant one.

blogsIread said...
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Bhargavi said...

lol! Coffee in rice-cooker! Been there, done that :-) oh, Totally with you on the gas thingie.. I am an erratic cook and can never tell confidently when the cylinder will run out .. They should totally come with a gauge and make life easier.