Continuing with my saga of learning to cope single-handedly
The week before Dussehra
It was the week before Dussehra when I was bitten by the ‘let’s clean the house bug‘. Actually, this was a recurrence of the same bug that had struck earlier at Ganesh Chaturthi. It generally attacks before any major event at my house.
Having immersed the idol in my bath bucket before keeping it away in the cupboard till next year, I proceeded to do nothing for the next 15 days which are considered inauspicious by traditional Hindus.
The pitrupaksha or fortnight that is dedicated to the memory of one’s ancestors is a quiet period where no new activities are undertaken. Actually, even though I do not observe this custom, I think it is a good idea to remember one’s forefathers and thank them for being there.
But this year, it did turn out to be a disastrous fortnight. On the penultimate day, I fell off a ladder and broke my wrist.
It started like this ……
When disaster strikes……….
“I think we should start cleaning the house for Dussehra, don’t you think? ” I asked the troops aka as househelp. Both of them were new recruits and were unfamiliar with my schedules.
In the good old days I would have probably just barked out the orders and they would have obeyed.
But help nowadays is hard to come by and gradually I’ve learnt to adopt a softer tone. Work is more likely to be done if it is a gentle suggestion rather than a perfunctory command.
However, this was my first time dealing with rural millennials. ( I was more familiar with the old kind of help that was uneducated and more docile). So I was quite taken aback when one of them pointed out that a newly renovated room hadn’t been cleaned since the paint had dried.
“Yes, ” she told me gleefully, “there are cobwebs on the walls”!
Although I was amazed that they weren’t cleaned as a matter of routine, I agreed and suggested we get them cleaned.
“Yes,” she went on. “We need a manservant to this. ”
This was absolutely the wrong thing to say. For someone who has changed every light bulb in the house, replaced a punctured tyre and regularly dusted cobwebs for years, I began to see red.
One bad decision after the other
I immediately marched into the utility room, picked up the ladder and began sweeping the cobwebs with a long-handled broom that had only half the handle. As a matter of fact, the length of the handle doesn’t really matter for I still need a ladder to reach that elusive cobweb.
With just the last yard left to be cleaned, I came down the ladder, congratulating myself that as a sixty-year-old I was as spry, if not more than, my millennial staff.
Oops! I missed a step and the next and had no option but to jump off. Alas. The distance was much more than I’d estimated and found myself falling backwards. In an effort to steady myself, I turned to one side and landed on my right.
Once again I misjudged the padding of fat on my body and actually felt a sharp shooting pain in my shoulder.
Resolutely, I took a deep breath picked up the ladder and finished cleaning the room before calling up Dr. D, my orthopaedic son-in-law.
An hour later I was in a plaster cast with a Colles fracture of my right wrist.
It’s been over a month now since I fell.
I took an active break from blogging as I didn’t want to overstress and damage my one good arm left. Besides, typing with the left hand can be quite tedious.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from this it is this
But life isn’t that straightforward.
Watch this space to find out what happens next.
p.s Didi is the new nomenclature for help whom we addressed as ‘Bais’. Unlike their predecessors, they are smartly turned out, highly overpaid and overrated. They are young and generally come with a smartphone with a boyfriend at the other end. They are slowly becoming extinct.