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Asthma..Dr Prabodh Garg (MD Respiratory Medicine)

My broken house

Yes it isn’t misspelled. My heart is fine…it’s my house that’s broken…atleast for now.

It started with my healthy son (that’s what they call overweight kids in India). climbing on the antique sofa to fix his dartboard.

My son has no idea of his strength….the antique piece’s beautifully curved legs gave in and the thing collapsed onto the floor.

Hearing the loud crash, my husband left his in-house office and came bounding out….horrified.

One would think he would be happy to see his son was still in one piece, but no, his heart was blown to smithereens.

Nothing is closest to his heart than his collection of antique furniture and to see such a beauty destroyed was more than he could handle.

I rushed to get a Sorbitrate to ward off an impending heart attack, (although I know reports show his heart is perfectly fine) but then he recovered and his face went from bright red to normal again.

Knowing what was coming, my son used his most potent defence and began to bawl. My husband thinks boys shouldn’t cry, (I I think otherwise)..so he got majorly told off.

My son is clever…clever than me atleast… he said, “Dada, it’s not my fault. That sofa is very old… it must have weakened with age…that’s why it broke… Why don’t you get new furniture…”

That got us all laughing and the not so little guy escaped.

Our sofa was shoved into a corner, waiting for the COVID vaccine to revive it. And as for our living room, we rearranged it. We had to make sure everyone gets a comfy seat to watch TV, and it is now resembling a furniture godown.

I like to keep my house clutter free. So normally, anything that’s brought out has to be put back in the respective drawers once it’s work is done.

Anything that is lazing around since nobody needs it is promptly despatched to the maid or the housekeeping staff depending on usability.

But now priorities have changed. So in came the Xbox followed by a huge trampoline.

My daughter wand a series of them so she can jump and flip from one to the other, but I told her to visit a trampoline park…,post COVID of course.

The next thing to give way was the microwave. Mine bakes and grills besides warming food. It’s a twenty plus year old relic but one I simply cannot do without…. primarily for the humble task of warming food.

I couldn’t order a new one because I had a spare in the old house. But I couldn’t get that one either as we weren’t allowed to go there….and most importantly we couldn’t risk entering the tenant’s home and contracting the virus. The possibility that they wouldn’t let us enter their house was another matter.

So I reconciled myself to painstakingly warming up food on the gas stove every time my hungry family was hungry and prayed for my microwave to receive God’s healing touch.

Them there was the time our kitchen shelves and trolleys started misbehaving one by one. They were used to the gentle touch our our maid and protested against our super rough treatment by collapsing and disintegrating.

Calling out trusty carpenter was out of the question …he was probably snoozing in his native place anyways.

We would have called our trusty mechanic for the microwave in normal times, but we were in no mind to call him as we were in the no-risking-the-virus-catching-us-at-any-cost-phase.

Then the curtain rod came crashing down. This time I was the guilty party, so I kept it quiet.

Our curtain rod is vital. It does more than hang curtains. It’s the monsoon season, where clothes don’t dry for four or five days. I’m very finicky about letting the moisture dry out, as I don’t want fungus in the wardrobe. Fungus happen to be our number one enemy.

We don’t have neighbours peeping into our bedroom and we rarely close our curtains. But loss of clothes drying place was a major catastrophe.

We had to make do since we didn’t want to invite the supposedly COVID carrier carpenter into our kitchen.

The problem was solved however. Our bedsheets would hang from the living room rods….no one was visiting anyways. It reduced the light and made our hall look like a dungeon but we had to make do with that.

Then the bathroom partition gave way. We had no idea who caused it but I was starting to wonder whether we had a poltergeist in the house Everything breaks down at some point….but unknown forces seemed to line up against us.

This time my screwdriver-averse husband and my screw-loving son put it together.

My husband decided to be useful and he also repaired the leaking mixer bowl. This was getting better!

I was back to my contented-despite-the tons-of-work phase. Of course, the dusting, sweeping swabbing and drying clothes were assigned to the kids. My husband did the dishes. My mother was in charge of the kitchen. My duty was to chop stuff and teach my son. Teaching my son is no easy task you see, and I was actually doing the bulk of the work.

But the relentless COVID attack continued. This time my darling son had broken a flimsy piece of plastic the opens the flow of the water purifier. Not his fault, as he needs to dangle to access the water.

Anyways, I had to boil gallons of water and I finally relented. This time, we would call the first outsider home…..the Aquaguard guy.

The guard called up to say he was on his way and I morphed into Hitler. I ordered my kids and my parents to their respective rooms. My husband and I frantically cleared our kitchen of anything outside the trolleys and by the time the chap arrived, we donned our masks and welcomed him to our empty kitchen.

The job was done, we sanitized each square millimetre of the kitchen again and spent a considerable time putting things back.

We had done it! We had got an outsider into our room and gotten away with it!

I thought our ordeal was over but there was more to come. There were random things malfunctioning like the gas lighter, the ceiling fan,the laptop… but Amazon came to our rescue.

The latest is the Airfryer…. the source of sumptuous and healthy no-oil chicken fry for my kids….

We have figured out that if the Aquaguard mechanic could enter the kitchen, the Airfryer guy can too.

Our house is now wining the battle with COVID. We have our SOPs in place to deal with virus threats from outsiders……and keeping the insiders safe…

By Jyothsna DSouza

I’m at home
With my children
With plenty of time
To read, teach, and muse

I believe if you have
The capacity
To do good
And others
They confirm
It is good
If it’s important
For many,
Not one
One must persist
To the end,
Till all one’s
Resources
Are exhausted

Man lives on hope

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