Socha jai tau, Parul's query was quite innocent "Any domestic disasters that we might learn from"...however for Casa Ruth Court, it was a loaded, nazar lagana, black magic, totka, bring out the vodoo dolls statement. The good man and me exchanged worried looks over the weekend every time a tree creaked in the wind,we would break off mid-conversation to check for a dripping tap, come rushing home wondering if we left the iron on. How could I respond "nopes Parul, cant think of anything Gman and me did that led to fire, flood or a plague of locusts"...and not have the Lord of In Every House A Little Chaos I Will Visit coming down on us lightning bolts a blazin'. Ok, perhaps I wasnt that worried FOR I HAD A SECRET (more on that later)....anyways the Situation Kahee Nazar Na Lag Jaye ended when Gman reminded me of the Day When The Ceiling Came Down.
One Saturday an year ago, I woke up to the sound of a bubbling brook, gurgling stream --you do the Woodsworth.Gman was away working on a place we were renovating, so I was more or less on my own, there was Pesho but we knew by now she was more the disapproving critic of my home making skills and not much help in a domestic crisis. Stepping across the hall, towards what I assumed was a tap left open by Gman and tut tutting about the waste, sheer waste hai hai of resources, I realized I could hear the water in our TV room. The TV left open to the Nat Geo channel I hope? ever the optimist Aneela. Enter, the TV room, a steady flow of muddy water yaarggh!! from the ceiling on the gulp! creme sofa and the carpet is making squelchy sounds as I step on it. And then. Cue Camera. A shower of plaster, insulation material, and the ceiling is upon us.
A whole day of plumbers in and out, the should the smoke alarms be turned off debate, and a musical chairs of "who's insurance covers what" being played between landlord and us. It was a crazy month. I would have been more worked up but considering I had just discovered that I might be adding to the eccentric Babar gene pool, I had other things on my mind. Pesho was very very ticked off, even though I thought she would have been happy to see that the whole room was one big kitty litter tray. No, said Pesho, I have standards. But as Gman pointed out, it had not crimped my style or perhaps he meant I was pretty dheet (stubborn) when it comes to my TV time; for he would come across me perched on two cushions, an island in a sea of water, plaster and debris still watching tele! Pretty engrossed with Kareena even though the din of the storm fans and the contraption that was sucking out the moisture on the room was on all full blast (Pesho had loads of fun purring to the dehumidifier, she thought it was one huge mommy cat), most probably it was sucking out my brains and any fluids in Pesho but we were beyond caring.
And I would get a great kick out of saying "Phir jab hamaree chath gir gayee" or the more plebian " chaht digh gayee" (you will not appreciate it if you arent from Pindi)...I cant come in today, we have no ceiling...best hall pass for boring social invite EVAAAHH.
Ok, coming back to the secret...now I cant tell you about the domestic crisis pre-a home of my own...most prob my mom reads this blog too, no need telling her where the skeletons of our undomesticity are buried...but there is one little (are there any other?) shortcoming that continues to plague me. Now considering I grew up in the time of Sanjeev Kapoor and Shan Masala (and had a mom who would rather I knew how to cook rather than embroider samplers and go blind in my eyes) I am quite OK (and some) in the kitchen...but there is one thing I just cant do, I CANT BOIL AN EGG (ironic, yes. UNDA TAU UBAAL LEYTEE HO NA..you can boil an egg at least cant you, many a waspish mom-in-law might have asked you). Try as I might, there is some evil egg curse on me, and a mountain of burnt pots are witness to it. There is many an afternoon I have come out of my TV/book/internet induced stupor to a burning metal, putrid silicon smell. Thanks to an egg phobia that the women in my family have, the only kind of egg we can stomach, and that too once a month in winters, is a hard boiled egg, and that too when we can assure ourselves that everything is firm AND THERE IS NO EGG SMELL, but how do you tell that its done and there will be none of the soft egg mush? Hence the boiling and boiling and some more, but there is always something out there that distracts me...something interesting on TV, a fun tag to attend to. Hence Im quite familiar with the kind of grey black that egg yolks turn into...and there is a place in the garage where unfortunate pots go out to die.