Thursday, 7 September 2017

Home Shanti Home


Nina is on her bed, staring at the intricate network of ever-expanding cracks on the ceiling. What had started off resembling the map of the Indian peninsula has progressed to cover the Asian continent and is currently a global one, the outlines growing more pronounced with each passing day. With fascinated horror, she wonders when the whole ceiling will come crashing on her head.

But she can't ponder it long since the insistent drip from the bathroom faucet diverts her. There, she's managed to dull the drip with a thick towel wrapped around the faucet.
She looks at the clock, whoops! Is it that late? Time to head out. It is one of those rare days when she gets a day off while the rest of the family is at work and school. Yes, a day to make hay even if its raining. She pulls out the long list of chores she's accumulated for a day like this. She quickly scans the contents of the list, marveling at the thought that she'd imagined to get them all done on this fated day! 'I must have been in a very optimistic mood,' she infers.

Picking up the AC remote, she jumps high while aiming the remote control towards the AC. Now why isn't this working? She does a couple more monkey jumps but still the blasted thing won't switch off. A few whacks to the remote should do it, but no, the stubborn gadget doesn't yield. Maybe changing batteries on the remote will do it. But of course, she finds they store only used and discarded batteries. Resignedly, she switches off the main control switch.

She dexterously manages to open her handle-less wardrobe door, quickly pushing back the avalanche of clothes and retrieving a fresh pair of jeans and tee. The clock in the living room shows it's still early, or maybe it isn't? She's not sure. The clock in each room works perfectly and shows the right time; it is just a matter of figuring out which time zone it belongs to. 'Thank God for the time-date feature in mobile-phones,' she sighs.

She checks her mobile, 'Drat! This phone needs charging more than an infant needs feeding.'
For some reason today the sole plug point that doesn't trip the fuse or zaps everyone with electric shocks is simply not working. Her next bet is the one which works fine except for a loose contact issue; the one conveniently located behind the bulky three-seater sofa.
She grits her teeth and tries to push the sofa forward. It refuses to budge as the floor level is, well, not level. Quite a few of the floor tiles have started wobbling and making hollow, knocking sounds. 'I don't mind it much but it is an annoying reminder of my weight every time I tread on these tiles,' huffs Nina. She takes leverage against the wall and pushes the sofa. There now, all good; with a bit of toggling around the plug-point, the phone gets charging.

But what's this on the wall? An impression of her hand, alongside numerous other prints. 'A forensic scientist's haven this could be, a wall full of prints,' she sighs. She touches the wall, it is damp. Oh well, 'If it rains outside, the walls get damp inside,' she remembers the painter's explanation from last year. She delicately traces a heart on the wall, then adds another, then another. 'Maybe I can create a wall-paper like effect if I doodle all over the wall?' A great weekend distraction for the whole family, she decides.

She heads to the kitchen for a drink of water. 'Oh shucks, I've forgotten to boil water!' The water purifier is long past its AMC contract and she's too wary to drink the unfiltered water. As she sets the large vessel to boil, she leans over to slide open the window. 'Hummph!' The sliding window slides no more, thanks to the damaged rollers and warping aluminum channels. No problem, she turns on the exhaust fan. With a few grunts, it starts rotating reluctantly while she vaguely wonders, 'Does anyone dare to clean such a greasy machine? Maybe replacing it with a new one might be easier. Phew done! Water boiled, phone charged, just need to pick up the keys and I am all set to tick off the chores on my list.'

Hanging from the key holder are a couple of shopping bags, school ties, bunches of rusty old duplicate keys of the car, cycle, tricycle, pram, and God knows what else. Nina a veteran at tracing missing paraphernalia, digs into the the shopping bags hanging on the key holder. Voila, the second bag yields the lost key-bunch!

Now all she has to do is, simply bolt the inside door that has a messed up locking mechanism and lock the outer safety door. The only catch is that the safety door is temperamental one. The wooden door expands and contracts in sync with the weather and right now it is saturated with the humidity of Mumbai monsoons. While she struggles to pull the door shut, she manages to drop the laundry bag and its contents. There are muddy, wet footprints outside the door. 'Oh great! These clothes are anyway due for laundry, so I'll be getting my money's worth with the added mud stains.' The clothes are back in the bag and with a final almighty tug, she slams the door shut.

Almost instantly she realizes something is amiss. Oh, yes the familiar comforting weight of her over-sized tote! The tote that has her purse amidst other articles. The purse which carries the keys. In the tug-of-war with the door the wretched tote got left behind. 'Hmm, I just need to spend the next six hours waiting outside for Nik to come home with the other set of keys.' Well, obviously that is not happening, so she decides to distress call him asap. But of course, the phone had to be in the tote, hadn't it? She lugs the laundry bag and heads to the neighbors.

Her neighbor, the old aunty advises her to call the key-maker instead of bothering Nik and helpfully provides his number - Munna Keymaker. In less than 5 minutes, Munna the genie cum keymaker is at her doorstep. A thorough professional, this Munna guy, between unputdownable, non-stop phone calls and hissed orders to Nina for a screw driver, coconut oil and rag cloth, opens the door in jiffy. He hands her a shiny new key while tut-tutting on the strenuous labor he had to put in while wrestling with her unwieldy door. She borrows 500 rupees from aunty dearest and pays off the extortionist.

All these exertions have made her tired. It is pelting cats and dogs outside. She tiredly picks up the troublesome-tote and laundry bag and retires indoors. A book in her hand, a bowl of crisps by her side, she's back on her bed. In between reading, enjoying the pitter-patter outside and admiring the artwork on her ceiling, she drifts off into a blissful snooze.


Image source: Pixabay

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Read other stories from Nina's World:  

1. Sunday - Happy Day
2. A Change of Heart
3. Delirious Dilemma
4. Holiday Ahoy - Part 1
5. Holiday Ahoy - Part 2  
6. Party Time - Wardrobe Woes
7. Party Time - Beauty Woes
8. Musical Rhapsody 
9. The Influencer - What would we do without you?
10.To Gift or not to Gift
11. Many Hats, One Master 
12. Party Ahoy!
13. Cut a long story short
14. Home Alone

 
Disclaimer: All the characters in the Nina's World series are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.






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