So began yesterday morning’s Operation Clean Up which was meticulously planned by General M o’ H all through the week, the culmination of scouting and recce operations which were conducted by chief side kick ( hereinafter referred to as CSK ) or yours truly. After blow by blow accounts of how Operation Polish was progressing, the battle plan was being drawn up. Operation Clean Up was slightly delayed due to the illness of the contractor who luckily didn’t have a heart attack as we had imagined but actually had a congestion in his lungs ( because of over exhaustion as he claims) and had swollen up to twice his size. So he was kept in the ICU and injected with Lasix and discharged yesterday when he was completely drained out.
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No matter how clean a house is, there’s always more to clean up! And when the house has been through a major maintenance programme like ours was the last three weeks, the clean up becomes a major operation.
Anyway, this little side incursion made a mere dent in the battle plan and operations which were scheduled to start on Friday were shifted to Saturday. After sounding the troop alert late the night before, the infantry barged in at 8.30 in the morning. By the time the General Staff had had their breakfast, the Field Marshal declared that our kitchen and store room was disgustingly dirty with foul smells emanating from the drain. CSK was naturally affronted and defended herself by saying that foul smell was entirely due to the general drainage system of the building hence entirely out of her purview. So when the first battalion of the infantry showed up ( Mr. K the office clerk), he was put on the job. Taking affront at this action which undermined her capacity, Sergeant Major Bayda Bai rolled up her sleeves and got out her foghorn to direct operations amid distinct jibes and taunts. In the meanwhile the 2nd Battalion (consisting of the driver) which doubled up as the Artillery with the trusty vacuum cleaner substituting for the heavy mortar, swung into action with operation clean up and every dust bunny was mercilessly chased out of hiding and all undercover dirt and grime was completely eradicated.
CSK was busy polishing furniture that wasn’t polished under the tautologous war cry “if you clean your house every day will your house be clean” by the UN Observer,the beauteous Jyoti, famous for her 30 sec broom flick cleaning of each room. This only spurred CSK to rub harder wishing desperately that it was the chief scout’s neck rather than the twisted legs of the Jacobean chairs that she was so vigorously polishing,
With the troops generally employed and the campaign going as per plan, one would have thought that the General would have gone to sleep ( this has special reference to an anecdote that Gen Montgomery was once disturbed from his sleep by his 2 IC who told him that things were not going exactly as anticipated. The Gen asked if the plan was being followed diligently. When answered in the affirmative, the General said – Don’t worry it will happen the way it is meant to and went back to sleep) but no – he actually began overseeing the operations and called the Sergeant Major and the DGMO to watch him direct the troops. Special instructions were being regularly given by the DGMO office who would pipe up from time to time volunteering special services.
The entire operation took at least four hours after which the last post was sounded and the troops withdrew completely exhausted, with only one casualty – a crystal glass.