Till a couple of years back, almost every home appliance in working condition (and those who weren’t, may they rest in peace in our flat aka Those-Can-Be-Repaired Cemetery) were at least older than me, or older. You come in to our humble abode, and I would introduce you to Oven Chechi, TV Chettan, Fridge Chettan, and Washing machine Chechi. TV Chettan became a martyr in the LCD/LED revolution, and we got rid of him (no! sorry Papa, he expired). My other older siblings were going on strong, you could hear them grumbling and bickering and pinging and buzzing. My dad kept saying it’s because he knows how to show them love and treat them like the people they deserve to be. Amma couldn’t have cared less. She would dump the laundry into the spin dryer, he would scream IS THAT HOW YOU DO IT WOMAN and she would scream back THEN WHY DON’T YOU DO IT and he would take it from her and lovingly curl the clothes along dryer wall. Even when she (Washing machine Chechi) threw tantrums, Papa would be patient with her.
Needless to say, none of us could find it in us the patience necessary to handle our extended family.
Now this bout of reminiscing was brought on by the news that Washing machine Chechi had committed suicide. Papa had loaded the dryer when all of a sudden she groaned and puked out the laundry. And moved no more. IN PAPA’S PRESENCE (note the point). When Amma pointed out this fact to him, that never once had this happened when she did it, he meekly tried to impress upon all of us (all this was conveyed over the phone to me – including the NO GIVE THE PHONE TO ME HUSBAND/ DON’T BELIEVE A WORD SHE SAYS ANETA squabble) that Chechi had finished her time on earth, he had no role in it, and that the fact that she stayed alive so long - EVEN WITHOUT THE HELP OFA REPAIRMAN MIND YOU – was because of him.
Amma, my sister and I merely clapped hands and made him order a brand new one.
I just got off the phone with him. He’s reading the instruction manual. Apparently, SHE’S RUSTPROOF ISN’T SHE BEAUTIFUL?
On a totally unrelated note, I can count the number of times he has called me beautiful on one hand.