25th October 08
Over the past few weeks I have been going through, what I understand it to be, the most depressing phase of my life. I never knew what exactly depression means and how it gives you a fuckall feeling all through the day. I don’t feel like going out of the walls I live in. Some times I feel like sleeping for long hours which is to say for 18-20 hours, sometimes I can’t sleep at all, I lay awake on my bed all night or spend the whole night staring at the laptop screen even when I have nothing to do on it. I have been skipping work every other day, and even when I am at work I am being un-productive.
Every thing around me either irritates me or makes me angry or hyper emotional inducing sudden large drops of tears. Heck! I even had a few drops rolling down my cheek watching Obama win. As I heard Arnab Goswami echoing on Times Now, “this is uh one man’s uh historical journey…” I felt a lump in my throat and I went, “Fuck you Arnab, making me emotional over something I just don’t care about, what are you, the fat lady from the Opera.”
Nothing, absolutely nothing in the world is right. I mean take a look at my life, what have got here? A broken car, broken house, broken health with no one to call, no one to love, no one to make love to.
I can’t even remember how many months have it been that the tube light of my bed room isn’t working and needs a replacement. It so happened that both the bathroom light and the bed room light stopped working at the same time. I couldn’t replace them because I don’t have a ladder and a screw driver.
That brings me to the question I was pondering upon when I first rented this house. To quote myself from one my my previous post ‘Her Daughter’s Home’,
“Money or master card can buy big furnitures and gadgets but not the small things that we grew up with, we never wondered where did they come from, never wondered when was the first time our parents bought them, the old rusted tool box, the hammer, clutch, those zillion iron nails of small and big sizes, the measurement tape, the old heavy Iron, the ragged cloth on the rickety iron table, the large tin cans where mom keeps monthly ration of rice and wheat, the strange looking spoon which is used to pour oil on the kadai…Life seems so incomplete without those old insignificant items.”
So I need a ladder and a screw driver.
Ladder because the tube light is very high and I don’t have a stool or a strong chair to stand on and reach it. When I told my folks that I need to buy a ladder to fix the light they laughed till the point they cried. Sis said, “Have you completely lost it? To replace a bulb you’ll buy a whole ladder? Oh I have an idea why not buy a whole new house. Lol”
According to them all I have to do is ask around my neighbourhood and find some local boy who would happily do the job in consideration of a Tenner (a Rs.10/- note I mean).
I can’t explain to them that it is not so simple. First, I hate doing this asking around business. I can’t go about the neighbourhood seeking help. I either do my stuff on my own or I don’t do them at all.
Second, even if I did ask someone to come and change it what are the chances of me finding a tall enough guy to reach the light which is at a height of some 10 feet? Very bleak. That means that boy would also have to get a stool or a ladder with him. And since one person can’t carry all that stuff alone, couple of boys would have to be deployed to get the task done. Now, I don’t want so many people in my home fixing a small thing.
Third, it’s not Delhi where the answer to every small and big errand is a Tenner. This is the ‘international city’. The minimum they accept here is the dollar equivalent ie Rs.40/- to Rs.50/-
Trust me I am not exaggerating. You do actually need a ladder. Otherwise tell me, in which other city do you find FM radio channels airing ads by a certain company manufacturing and retailing high quality aluminum ladders? I mean did you ever come across anybody selling ladders?
But tune into any Bangalore FM channel and you’d hear two women talking. The first woman goes, “hey I need a maid.” The second one says, “aah ok, what kind? I can find out.” First woman replies, “Well she should be well behaved, educated and at least 7 feet tall. You know she should be able to clean the lofts, change the bulbs etc. all without hurting herself.” Then a man’s voice enters the scene and says, “It is easier to buy the Bathla Aluminium ladder.”
Point I am making is that you need a ladder in Bangalore to reach the heights this international city offers you.
So, as I was saying because I don’t have a ladder I have still not changed the tube light of my room. I use it only to sleep. The remaining time I spend in my drawing room.
Coming to the bathroom light, I have now managed to fix it but allow me to still explain why the bathroom of my house is still a cause of pain.
To begin with, the light. That brilliant thing is embedded in the ceiling inside a glass frame. To take out the bulb one has to unscrew the glass frame. Since I don’t have a screw driver I couldn’t change the bulb for a long time. And all these while an entire portion of my house remained dark. The house anyways doesn’t get any sunlight.
Which by the way could also be one of the reaons of my depression. They call it the Seasonal Affective Disorder or in more common terms the ‘winter blues’. Occurs when there is lack of vitamin D. As it have turned out I have lost my sunshine. Reminds me of the Manic Street Preachers’ song, “You stole the sun from my heart.”
So in absence of the light, I needed to light a candle in the bathroom everyday. The other day I was watching a movie after taking a shower. When the movie got over I switched off the TV and all of a sudden it became extremely quiet. In that silence a strange sound hit my ears. The sound of a sizzle. First I thought a tap is leaking but soon I smelled burnt plastic. I rushed to the bathroom, the toilet flush tank was on fire. It had been on fire for I don’t know how many minutes or hours. All I knew was that I had left the candle burning on it.
It seems there is no end to the perils of staying on your own. And all these while I couldn’t call a soul to share the frustration.
For 24 years of my life I have known that if anything in the house gets broken you call the CPWD. All my growing days we have lived in Central Government quarters. CPWD takes care of infrastructural matters related to the quarters. Here in Bangalore I don’t know where to buy a new toilet flush, where to get a mason man or whatever you call them who does these kind of fittings. So I continued living in a home which was dark, dingy and broken. Even the wash basin tap wasn’t working.
To add to the trauma one fine morning I spotted a vicious cockroach in my bathroom.
I almost lost my mental balance that day. I can’t explain how much I despise those creepy bugs. I feel like I live in a dungeon or a shit hole when I see them. Ugly creepy bugs and insects are often associated with anything that’s evil and hellish. How can human beings coexist with these bugs. I try so hard to keep my house free of these yet they come from somewhere. And right when I was going through the frustration of having spotted one, I spot another one.
Even killing them is a disgusting task. I usually spray the Baygon cockroach killer but in doing that one has to be very careful. You have to quickly run away from the bathroom closing the door behind after spraying, otherwise they start fluttering and crawling in all direction which totally freaks me out. Anyway, in utter anger and terror with trembling hands I sprayed at the two creeps and ran out of the bathroom leaving them to die.
It took 10-15 long minutes for them to stop crawling like crazy in all directions, I was getting late for work, enough frustrated by now I took the small table inside the bathroom, reached the glass frame and quite simply broke it. Thankfully the bathroom ceiling is lower than rest of the house. Same evening I brought home a bright white light .
To tell you about the car, somebody stole my side view mirror. I can’t find a carwash guy. The wiper blades are broken, right side headlight barely glows, the stepni is punctured, the water sprayers don’t spray water, rear speakers are not playing any sound and the black car looks grey most of the time because of the dust. And of course the health has been perpetually broken, I already wrote about it here.
To be continued.