Well whether u like it or not here is part-II of spring cleaning. ;)
The bathroom in our house is a really interesting place!! On entering there is a shelf which at any given point of time has 5 shampoos all at different stages of their lives. Some are new to the surroundings and some are just breathing their last breath. Its funny. My mom uses some herbal shampoo, my dad (who errr…doesnt have much hair left on his head) fears that after using the herbal shampoo his hair might start growing(i tease him saying that hair growing on his head would be like rice growing in the Sahara but he doesn’t listen) so he uses clinic plus, and then we also have sunsilk (for the guests mom says), my sister (when she visits) uses some shampoo whose name eludes me (honestly speaking I cant even pronounce it) and I use a little bit of all. I love experiments. I put a little bit of herbal+clinic plus+sunsilk+$%^*$ and put it on my head (which probably explains why I have lesser hair than my dad and whatever is remaining smells funny (read: smells like a pigsty)). All the persuasion from my side to reduce all of it to one bottle always falls on deaf ears
Anyway coming to soaps next. In the soap dish in my house you will find a green color soap, on whose back is piggy backed a pink color soap on whose back is a white color soap and so on. If u don’t know what I am talking about then obviously there is no one like my dad at ur house!! my dad believes that scraps of soaps should be preserved so that they can be joined along with the new soap thus forming two soaps. when asked why he cant throw the scraps of soap the gandhian inside my father surfaces and he says “there are children in Somalia who don’t get even a bucket of water a day let alone a piece of soap. you should consider urself blessed. never waste stuff when there are million out there in this world who have never seen it”.
and experience tells me that the minute the gandhian in my dad awakens the sarcasm in me must die and I must keep quiet. same is the case with toothpastes. my dad is never satisfied till he has squeezed the last drop of life out of the poor tube of toothpaste!!
This time I have to face both amma and appa and two box cot’s full of junk (for people who are wondering what a box cot is it is a cot whose lower half aint empty. it is shaped like a box so u can keep stuff in it)
apart from this there is a cupboard full of useless papers
from the box cot I retrieve close to 25 unused dupattas
me: amma!! so many unused dupattas.i don’t care what u say. I am throwing these away. we don’t use even one of these now
amma: don’t be silly. I have been saving it for the winter months. when it gets really cold I can make a rajaai out of all these dupattas.
(she has been saying this for the past 4 yrs since we shifted to this house and come November we always buy a rajaai for the harsh winter, the dupattas forgotten )
next I discover a carton full of diaries dated from 1978 to 1996 most of them empty and some of them have my mothers neat handwriting on it describing in detail how she spent the princely amount of rs 1000(my dad’s salary in 1982) and how much of it she saved
(I cannot imagine how a couple could have lived in such abject poverty and my mother tells me that every month they used to send Rs 200 to each of my grandparents!! )
me: these moth eaten, rat bitten, infection carrying diaries!! do u need these??
amma: yes of course. good that u found these. I have been wanting to show u how wisely appa and I used to spend money and how neatly we maintained accounts. you children nowadays get a king’s salary you don’t save, you don’t invest, just spend spend spend!! tch tch. come here. see look at the entry for November 1983. that is the only time we used to get clothes for diwali. we saved every pie we could and that is the reason we have been able to give u such good education (next comes a long rigmarole about how my children will suffer if I don’t save or have a SIP-whatever that means. (I try telling her that the minute they become my children their suffering starts but refrain from saying so))
anyway the bottom line is I do not take the topic of the diaries again
next we move to the cupboard (I throw one piece of rag from the box cot after dusting and cleaning it for an hour!!)
I pick up around 10 kgs (no kidding) of appa’s official papers and proceed to throw them.
Appa stops me and the gandhian in him surfaces again.
Appa: are those papers printed on both sides or one side??
Me (after checking): hmmm…one side
Appa: so many bundles of paper with only one side written. How can u have the heart to throw them? It is because of people like u that half the trees in the Amazon forest are being cut down and things like global warming have become a reality.
Me: DUH!!! Sorry pa. Wont throw these. Will use it to write something!!
Anyway after cleaning three bedrooms and bathrooms I threw out a small polythene bag of stuff. What is most irritating is that over the period of 20 years my parents have thrown out my entire stamp collection (by mistake my mom still swears). my interest in philately has died since then, 12-13 posters of mine which I had painstakingly cut out of sports star every month, 287 éclairs wrappers that I had collected (don’t ask me why I did it!! I am weird. but I loved to look at those éclairs wrappers now and then and was damn proud of my collection) my entire box of paints, a pair of jeans-my favorite (those are the clothes u wear??? if u wear it out and go people might think we don’t provide for u or something!! was my mom’s argument) and so many other things which I loved and preserved!!
Anyway after that round of spring cleaning I took a vow never to assist my parents in this maddening hobby of theirs and so this is the concluding part of this series (do i hear a sigh of relief?? )!!