Healthy clothes


It is yet another humid afternoon in the tropics. My phone buzzes, and I pick it up excitedly. It’s my sister. Soon we are both in that land that sisters inhabit, where conversations can morph from being serious to being silly in a mere second; where we can break into song or seamlessly glide into an argument with each other!!!

Soon, my little niece walks in and seats herself on my sister’s lap. She has just woken up from her mid-morning nap, and looks refreshed and cheerful.

She is wearing a white frock, on which are embroidered various colourful fruits. When I ask her about them, she pretends to pluck at them and feeds me fruit and says cutely, “Pemma, eat.”

I make chomping noises, and she giggles. And this game goes on for sometime. My niece soon gets distracted by a dog, and goes away to watch it from the balcony.

My sister then shares a funny incident that happened earlier this week.

With everyone working from home, my sister had given my niece a box of dates, and had asked her to transfer the dates from that box into another one. After a while, my sister was completely caught up in her work, and quite forgot about both the dates and the boxes.

Photo by Naim Benjelloun from Pexels

Later in the evening, when she took out a load of washed laundry from the washing machine, she found specks of brown on most of the clothes. She tried to figure out what the brown flakes were, but could not.

A couple of days later, when she wanted some dates and looked for the box, she found that it was empty. She called my niece, and asked her where she had put the dates.

My niece walked to the washing machine, and said, “Me put here.”

My sister burst out laughing! The healthy clothes had to be washed again. Sigh!

Hyperlinking in the forties


After the forties have rolled-in, life has changed in subtle ways. There is always this feeling of being at the mid-point of one’s life, knowing that four decades have flown past, and there is much to be done. However, goal-setting has become more realistic, and one is generally more comfortable in one’s skin. 

Having said this, there is another side to this whole ‘forties’ story. And, much to my alarm it seems to only get worse. For want of a better term, I call it the ‘hyperlinking syndrome’. With teenagers and tweens at home, and multiple activities to coordinate, it is no surprise! 


Courtesy – can stock photo

This syndrome has nothing to do with either the Internet or technology. Let me explain.

So, for example, I go to the bedroom to pick up some clothes. Before I reach the cupboard, my eyes fall on some books that have been left there by my daughter. My brain hyperlinks to this new task. I shake my head and take the books to be put away. As I turn around, I find a towel lying on the floor. Hyperlink again. I pick up the towel, and have the books in the other hand. I head to the laundry room. While there, I realize that the washing machine has finished washing. Hyperlink. I take the clothes out to dry. Hyperlink. I need to water the plants. Hyperlink. I need coffee. I make myself a cup. Hyperlink. I make a list of grocery items that I need to buy. Hyperlink. I look for a pen. Hyperlink. I get distracted by messages on my phone.

It is only much later that I realize that I never took the clothes from the cupboard, and that my daughter’s books are still in the laundry area. This is how it is now.  

Hyperlinks are really cool in the tech-world, but when one’s brain hyperlinks to unrelated tasks, it is not so cool.
Writing down to-do lists doesn’t seem to help any! What I need is a voice instructor that orders and supervises me to finish every task that I take up, before I rush to do another task. 

Cow couture


Many, many years ago, when I was probably seven or eight, we were visiting my grandmom, who lived on a small hillock.

My grandmom’s house was the third house from the right, in a long row of around 12 houses. The houses had no fences separating them. Instead, jasmine plants, rose bushes and gorse bushes usually formed a natural divider between the various houses.

The town has typical English weather, and with no machine dryers to dry out laundry, the idea was to take advantage of sunlight to the fullest extent possible.

The moment the sun’s rays touched the hillock, freshly washed clothes and semi-dry ones from the previous day would go on the clothes lines. If we ran out of space, semi dry clothes would be spread out on the bushes.

If it was a bright, sunny day, then by late afternoon, the clothes would dry and smell heavenly – that smell that’s unique to freshly washed, and sun-dried clothes.

Anyway, I am digressing a bit here. On this hillock, a local shepherd grazed his sheep and a few cows every day.

He would drive them to the hillock in the morning. During the day we would see him on and off, sometimes sitting, sometimes taking a nap and sometimes tending to the animals.


Courtesy – http://www.cliparting.com
On one such bright and warm Sunday, all our clotheslines were fully packed, with some clothes on the bushes. One of those was a small pretty frock belonging to one of my cousins.

One of the shepherd’s cows was grazing close to the bush which had the frock, and when the cow shook its head, the frock slid into one of its horns.

The cow was totally oblivious to the frock, and kept grazing. Each time the cow moved, the little frock moved up and down.

We were all in splits. The next step was to get the frock, without startling the cow.

The bravest members tried all the tricks they had to get the frock. By this time the cow had probably sensed that something was amiss, and took off down the hillock.

A few people ran behind the cow, trying not to scare it. The shepherd was coming up the hillock, and helped retrieve the frock.

He spoke to the cow, as if to calm it down. The cow went back to its grazing, and the adults went back home. The kids stayed back to relive the whole incident.