Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dhobin( washerwoman).

I loathe all housework with some exceptions like drying the clothes.

This is one task which I find to be very relaxing.I am very particular about the manner in which clothes must be hanged so that they dry faster & better.Even in those days, before, I got my washing machine,I would dislike the way our servant maid hung the clothes to dry -all dripping water as if there was a shower which had been left running.Also,she would overlap the clothes so much so that I felt that I re hang the clothes for drying.

I had to dry the clothes by using a bamboo stick to overhaul the clothes up the wires which were fixed in the passage at the top near the roof.The heavier ones had to hung by standing up on a stool & then repeating the process.Initially,I would leave the drying of sarees to my mother but my aunt's challenge hurt my ego so much so that I learnt to fold a wet saree & hang that also up on the drying line by means of a bamboo stick.

In the house wherein,I presently reside,I hang some clothes in the window on the aluminum pipes which have been specially installed for the purpose.Here also,I, use a very systematic pattern to do this job.I hang the light colored clothes as the first line facing the outer side of the windows & towards the inner side,I hang the dark colored clothes.Alternatively,the smaller clothes are hung on the outside line & larger ones on the inside line.The remaining clothes after all this are hung in the passage up on the aluminum rods.I have now become so much of an expert at hanging clothes by hauling them up that I can hang even the smallest of the clothes by taking it on a stick & dry it up on a rod just next to the roof.

Actually,the hanged clothes at the window make superb curtains.So also,the gentle breeze flowing through the windows & the wet clothes has a cooling effect.In fact at one of my friend's place,clothes similarly hung in the balcony would lead to the air conditioning effect but of course, till the clothes were wet !

Even when I am visiting relatives,this is one work which I will gladly take up & complete to my satisfaction which is what matters to me most, as I am a perfectionist, when it comes to this ritual.At my in-laws home wherein,I avoid venturing into doing any household work due to orthodoxy,I am willing & ready to hang out wet clothes to dry & also fold the dried clothes.They are delighted to learn that there is at least one task which I do uncomplainingly.Other than that, they still wonder, as to how, their poor son puts up with a woman like me who cannot even pretend to help around with any work around the house.

Whenever,I go travelling & book a room ,I am very specific that the room should have a place to hang washed clothes to dry.Yes,it has become an obsession with me.Even now,as I am searching for a flat,I keep looking for places wherein I will hang clothes to dry.

I also keep folding the dried clothes umpteen times in the course of the day one by one as soon as they are dried.My mom says that I dry the clothes as if I am drying papads ! She also suspects , that I was a dhobin in my last janam.My brother jokes that I am a dhobin now also, as he opines , that I am forever folding the dried clothes or hanging wet clothes out to dry.

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