Several weighty issues were bogging my mind, a cauldron of concerns haunting me- will the inflation come down, I mean the prices of the veggies and groceries, after the deluge, will sanity return in the world after the Paris and Mali carnage and the extremists are hounded out, will the boys do well in the ensuing exams, will my kith and kin appreciate me for what I am ???
Amidst the question and answer session in my brain, the telephone rang and was glad to hear the voice of my dad…”Suni saaptacha?(eaten in Tamil), he began in is usual peerless style and I answered in the affirmative looking at the clock to check on the time since I had my dinner, one and half hours to be precise and ready for the next one and I realized that it was his usual start to breaking the ice.
The conversation veered around cabs and his new found love for the Uber and his incredible enthusiasm to share his enlightenment, knowhow and proficiency among his coffee and vodka drinking comrades who lap it up much to his triumphant gladness! With the exuberance of a teenager who has a new I phone, he exclaimed “ Suni, we have purchased a new dish washer”, the chat had digressed and deviated to a new fangled, in vogue appliance that had indeed taken the kitchens of India by storm. I was not surprised at this sudden urbanism of my dear parents after all they had the privilege of an NRI son to fund their whims and fancies. But all the same I could not suppress my expression at the dramatic declaration and my tone and pitch matched his animation.
He went on “we opted for Bosch as it was cheaper by a mile plus it has the features suitable for Indian vessels and the shopkeeper said that it is real value for money and the after sales service is good , the power and water consumption is minimal …” . As he swaggered on, I fancied my folks in the appliance store, decorated for the festival with lights and balloons, the quintessential mallu salesman shrugging his shoulders with the symbolic nod of the head, compelled to answer in monosyllables, trying to wield himself at the volley of questions from the prospective buyers. Meanwhile my mom would be admiring the possible colours and the freebies accompanying the implement and looking around more curiously at its competitors and thinking of ways and means to impress upon her envying neighbours! This brought a smile on my face and went back into the lively telephone prattle and he said”over to amma for more on the mean machine”!
Amma sure was stimulated but did well to masquerade her excitement in a smoke screen and articulated, “it is the same as the one in London you know, but then I did not operate it there for fear of damaging it due to my lack of acquaintance. “ I interrupted her “yes amma, has to be the same, as Bosch is a multinational brand and the elements have to be ditto”. She went on, turning a deaf ear to my interference, and now her talk had the eclectic mix of pride, joy and the accomplished wisdom of knowing the inside story, like a mechanic under the hood of an automobile and emphatically exclaimed that the buy was a worthy one! At that moment, I could fathom that she had scant regard for the maid, as her tone suggested a feeling of one-upmanship and outsmarting the artful dodgers, the smart class of domestic helps!
“Though it takes long to wash, it does do it cleanly and of course I put it in the normal mode, regardless of the fact that two other modes are also available, and you know Suni, I could wash all the utensils of a marriage party in that time”, that had a touch of cynicism, I thought, as she chattered on and I listened like one curious star stuck child! She further elaborated on the nuances with intermittent indications to microscopic imperfections and I knew my amma would never allow any gadget to surpass or catch up with her skills, talent and cleverness!
Appa grabbed the phone to fill me in further on the unavailability of the vital constituent, the soap combo and the next ten minutes was spent in graphically revealing the adventures of searching for the same from malls to hypermarket to departmental store to the small retailer, eventually ordering it online with Amazon! I hasten to add here, he is up to the minute and new fashioned!
As the tete a tete ended after a good one hour, making the BSNL service provider poorer due to their free talk time in the night, I took pleasure in their attitude and envied them on their adaptability, versatility, being abreast with the modern day era and above all at the domestic device because I am still at the mercy of the wielder of the broom!!!