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Friday, March 28, 2014

A house and a housewife............

Our house is 20 years old and we have been here since 14 years . We had not made any changes in the electrical fittings , water taps  fittings at the time of occupying the flat. All we did was to make some wooden cupboards, lofts and cover the shelfs, provide grills for the balconies, fix sliding mesh windows, changed to vitrified tiles, redid the Indian to western closet.

Many times the bathroom fixtures would give way and we keep juggling from the least operated taps spindle to the needy ones thus convincing ourselves that we are being economical. ( how foolish we were!)

My husband would come in the way saying he would do it but for him to do I have to fetch the spanner, hammer,all the other tools- taking them out from the loft and putting them back are my job.If he has to do it, I should stand there as an unpaid assistant with all the tools in my hand, next is to tell him how to remove them without damaging them, he thinking that he is going to save money would try his might but in the end, it is like, I do not know.

Whenever we call the plumber, he would come as he promised without giving any excuse  and the first thing he would ask would be for the spindle to be replaced. I rummaged thro 'my stocks( of course the old unwanted ones)  and 'bingo' got one , I am very careful, I keep the discarded ones and could do with that for a day or two till we find a new replacement, they will look at me,'paakkalaam, yevlonaal yennai vachchu thallaporennu'

 Finally when the time comes to show them the dustbin, it would be like,'' nalla vasamaa maattindayaa? ippa yenna pannap orennu', veea vazhi? , no other go, pay for the new one. It's always make up with what I have collected ( irukkaradha vachchu tahallu')Always the same story... how long it has been 12 years and one by one all started showing their true colors, and  one thing or the other would go under the spanner and replacement, labour charges etc..  (Rs. 50/ per visit , if the drill is used it's double ) at times the iron box, mixie, chimney, some tube lights all would come as uninvited guests and sit on MY head.. remember I am the runner ? caretaker, home maker, governess, unpaid servant.... etc...etc...ditto for the electrical switches, keep changing form the less operated ones finally.. all will  go off.. moochcu vuttudum in my husband's language.

. Anything goes wrong,  I get the instruction from my family members to call so and so.... and get this repaired.... for my husband it's worst, I have to take the phone call the number and then hand him the phone to talk,it's better I only do the same.. so I take the phone and call, it's not just you call and they come. You have to be sending reminders quite often, track them and  sit on their head finally when they know ,'i can't escape this lady' they show their face... sometimes they would come to inspect , next time bring their apparatus.. never at one go.. till they finish you can't go anywhere, sleep sit with the laptop, ..nothing everything at a standstill.

For my husband keeping the kai ( hand) in any  repair would stretch to more expenses, he never understands,'  ''stitch in time saves nine or nip it in the bud' .. my policy is to cut down the expenses before it's too late do not wait for it to explode, who listens, I do not have the decision making power nor the money power, i am just a minister without any portfolio.

We fixed Jaguar brand taps for the kitchen and the  main washbasin, in a span of 3 years, the kitchen would not close tightly and the plumber says they have 20 years guarantee and whether our servants have iron hands to spoil  it , I had no answer. To change the spindle I have to shell out 3/4 th of the original tap cost, who would do it?

Sometimes on the pretext of cleaning I would clear the loft and rearrange or rather 'sort' as per my son.... I along with my DIL would throw certain things without consulting the menfolk and would feel proud of our actions, lo next day we would require the disposed ones and we would look at each other and say... we have disposed them long time back?!..

 It's like Murphy's law, when you feel you no longer require.. the need arises, that too after it goes off your hand. We feel if we have not used a thing except the 'seasonal 'ones  for a long time we just give it off, we have so many people around, especially the servants-  old current, cooks- old and current, watchmen, sweeper women... car cleaning boys,....  so many, you should see the smile on their faces  it gets back to us also, not mainly because we have given them or they are happy,,, we have got space in the house and it has reached the befitting person.Many people have given us things to discard thro' my' contacts' .

Washing machine was working properly for 11 years without any major repairs and suddenly it went off, and that was the time there was more rain and we had to dry the clothes and I somehow pulled on without that for 5 months came winter I had to literally beg for an exchange offer, the machine which I bought for 13000/ went for a pittance 2000/  and that amount took care of the stand and the outer cover!

Grinder worked for  14 years and got it exchanged , the shop keepers at the malls say, keep changing all electronic items once in 5 years as the models change and getting spare parts would be difficult and resale value is  also  less. But this policy is never 'chaltha hai'  in my house. We wait for it breathe its last and then give a funeral! Never any case of emergency!

This is the condition as a human ages  he goes for overhauling same way the non living things need care even though we have the medical cover, all they have is insurance from natural and fire calamity!

How many of you have faced a similar kind of problems, I know you agree and smile, common pen your problems and how you managed them.... : ~ )

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