January 31, 2016 by Preeks
After a tiring Mumbai trip, I walked into the house late this evening. Sherlock was traveling. So I knew I had the house to myself. I wanted to read. Watch a random movie. Play the piano. And sleep early. But they had other plans.
That’s right. I walked right into a protest march in the house.
As soon as I opened the door, I heard a flurry of activity. The TV switching on. The sofa rearranging its cushions. The remotes climbing on to the table to make themselves visible. The utensils from the kitchen had arranged themselves on the ground. The guitar was sitting on the bean bag. The piano had started playing some loud music.
I walked into the room, in a trance and started removing my shoes when the TV cleared its throat and spoke, “Look here. You may be a human and the owner and all that. But treat this as an intervention. We are done with you.”
Before I could speak, he continued.
“Just because you pay my bill doesn’t mean you can do what you want. Please tell your husband that there is a limit to how much sports I can show. Last week he discovered that I can show two screens at one go, so now he wants me to show Football and Cricket at the same time. You can drive and you can walk. Show me how you do both at the same time. Show now. Why aren’t you showing?”
I felt my face going red.
The Tata Sky remote squealed, “You think you can press any button you want? Can I press your nose? Can I press your eyes? Can I keep pressing your cheeks? Boss. There’s a limit.”
I was almost going to get up and run, when the TV remote intervened. “Arrey bhai. At least they use you. The only time they remember me is when they have to turn on the TV. Use and throw attitude. Last week my battery ran out. You know what these cheapos did? They took old cells from a clock, put it in me, turned on the TV and then removed the cells. Tell me. You are hungry. So I will give you a banana. Then I will snatch the banana from you and put it back in the shelf. Will you like it?”
By now, I knew they were serious. I was silently trying to put my shoe back on and escape, when there was a loud clang. The utensils. They started singing in unison.
“Throw us here, throw us there.
Leave us for drying in the air.
For 3 days, forget we exist. Don’t care.
But when you want to cook, our bottoms you flare?
Tonight, the nation wants to know.
How crudely you mix the chappati dough.
How many times you let us burn black and glow.
You want proof? Our war scars we’ll show.“
“Here, Here!” Shouted the spoons and the forks.
I wanted to hide my face. But that was not to be. It was the sofa’s turn. Slowly, he grumbled in a low angry voice. “You are angry? Come. Jump on me. You are sad? Come. Cry on me. You are happy? Come. Sit and eat cake on me. You are crying? Come. Rub your snot on me. You are dusting? Oh. Who sofa? What sofa? Sofa needs dusting? Since when. He’s ok. He’ll put up with anything. Even dust. Not any more, young lady. Not any more. I quit.”
Behind me, the guitar and the piano had started playing the ominous song, “Bhool gaya sab kuch. Yaad nahi ab kuch!”, to remind me how I hadn’t played either since so long. The PS4 was beating its chest. The TV stand was threatening to collapse back into its un-assembled form. The vase with the beautiful pot-pouri was now telling everyone how she hadn’t been “refreshed” since one year. The books were falling over themselves trying to tell their stories. The rubix cube twisted itself some more to make its point that it was angry.
Amidst the chaos, I realized I had lost. So for the past one hour, I have been cleaning the house. Dusting the sofa. Washing utensils and making them shine. Looking up new songs to play on the piano. Refreshing the scent in the pot pourri. Putting new batteries in the remote. Watching one channel at a time on the TV. And reassuring all my material belongings that I still care about them. We also took a selfie in the end.
A piece of advice from me. Listen to them once in a while! o.O