Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Episode 4: In which I fight militant dishes...and lose

It should be a truth universally acknowledged that a house inhabited by a single person not in possession of a large fortune must have at least one dirty dish in need of cleaning at all times. The only reason this is NOT a truth that is universally acknowledged is because we single peoples not in possession of full-time maid affording fortunes do not like to expose our struggles to the judgemental world that is full of people who think we should a. get a roommate (so that you don't have to be alone, beta) b. get a job that can afford a full-time maid (If you HAVE to work, why work for so little, beta?) c. get a spouse (so that you don't have to be so single, beta).

Of course, one acknowledges the first-worldness of our problems. But there is only so much privilege you can check, while also checking that ever-growing pile of leftover curry and burnt milk laden saucepans, so that it does not turn into a many-forked monster than murders you with chilly while you are passed out (mostly from exhaustion and unrealised potential).

One also acknowledges that years of living around people who preferred cleaning to cooking might have spoiled one a little (okay, may be a LOT). One is used to happily prancing out of the kitchen post-cooking with the assured comfort of knowing that dishes would be taken care of by one's friends/roomates who are just so glad that they didn't have to cook that they look at that ugly pile of dirty dishes with no more dread than they would look at a distant relative who has decided to visit unannounced.

And now, look at me. I spend more time cleaning up than I do in cooking. And I spend more time worrying about the amounts I have to clean up than actually cleaning up. I am not exaggerating. I leave one frying-pan in the sink at night thinking, “Meh, too tired, will deal with it tomorrow,” and the next morning, I come back to find that while I was blissfully asleep, the frying-pan has gone out and got itself some buddies in the coffee-mug and the milk-pan. And then they thought three made for an odd troupe, so they acquired some ladles and spoons to spruce things up. Of course, at this point the party was the talk of the kitchenhood, so the woks and plates just turned up like uninvited gate-crashers and brought with them lots of unwashed unspeakables. This is the point where someone should have called the cops on these juvenile delinquent vessels, but that would be in a world were justice and karma have some meaning.

Seriously. One wonders at the math that produces no less than six things to wash for every morsel of home-made food. One scrubs through the small Everest of pressure cookers, kadais, tawas and bowls. Then, one unclogs and cleans the sink, and moves on to clean the damn stove. Having scrubbed those burners till they gleam and grin at your bleeding fingers, one moves on to the kitchen counter (ha, ha, did you think that bleeding fingers is where one is done?). Once the kitchen counter starts to resemble a battle ground a little less, one sweeps the kitchen floor, takes the garbage out, comes back and crashes on the armchair (one wants to imagine with a glass of wine in hand, but then one's reality-checking subconscious points one to the opening argument of not having a large fortune at hand).

End of the day, finally, one sighs in relief! And in that little moment of imagined sense of accomplishment, one's eyes fall on the table, where one finds the coffee mug that one forgot to clear away in the morning rush, grinning in an evil fashion. AAAAARRGGGHHHHHHHH. There is no winning. No silver-lining behind this brown, burnt milk coloured cloud. Certainly no walking into the sunset in slow-mo with triumphant instrumental playing and one's comerades-in-arms doing a slow cap. There is only accepting the soul-crushing truth that one was bested by one's own kitchenware, and vowing, in a desperate attempt at holding on to the shards of one's self-respect, to never ever eat again.