I decided to do some homework today. Yes, I do work from home and have been doing so for a few decades; tapping away on laptop, making enough noise with the keyboard to hopefully keep the neighbours fooled I am gainfully occupied!
But today I decided to do some homework, and since we had decided not to keep the maid for the period of the lockdown, there was, I found plenty to do.
The wife, a doctor, left for the hospital, a little worried as she saw the gleam in my eye, which quite often meant trouble when she returned, in the form of angry driver or disgruntled gardener. As her car pulled away, I pulled out broom and mop along with a little plastic scooper, which I found much to my chagrin worked only if the fan was switched off, otherwise it automatically scooped everything onto chairs and dining table. But then learning the rudiments of the job was something I had foreseen, and soon, broom and scooper, behind both a determined me, pulled every bit of dirt from crevice and hiding place and had sitting room and two bedrooms looking spick and span. At least, that’s what I thought! I decided to tackle the other rooms the next day, and proceeded with swabbing.
Now, let me hasten to explain that my powers of observation are very high, but try as I might, all I found myself doing was running the swab, after little Brahmaputra’s, Sutlejs, and a Ganga, that ran all the way to the next room. But soon with a bit of effort I dammed the rivers, swept rising waters under the sofas and beds and hoped fervently they would not disappear into the earth like the holy Saraswati and appear elsewhere.
The home appeared clean when my wife returned, “How do you like it?” I asked looking pleased.
“You had a haircut? Trimmed your beard? Nice!” she said, removing her mask as I looked pointedly at the ground, where she looked also, “Oh you’ve changed your chappals? Nice!” she said again.
It was while we were sitting for dinner I realized that for nearly six months, it was the wife, who after putting aside syringe and stethoscope would shoulder broom and bucket and do quietly what I had just done. Never had I commented on how clean the room, how sparkling the floor or gleaming the furniture looked. I stared ashamed as smirking floor winked at me.
‘Twas when getting to bed the wife, looked at me and said, “Good job Bob!”
“Today’s column?” I asked.
“No, the floor!”
“Thank you! Thank you!” I repeated gratefully and started falling asleep, happy.
Homework needs to be appreciated I realized the hard way, as smirking floor winked once more at me, and looking closer realized it was the hidden rivulet resurfacing to give me a wet grin of agreement..!
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