Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Watery woes

My mom is a huge stickler for cleanliness, and maintains all kinds of weird rules in the house. I am glad I inherited some of it, that ensures that I maintain some standards in my house. I am also glad I didn't acquire all of it, because in my book that borders on pathological OCD. Now for all the 22 years we lived in Bombay, we never had a water shortage problem. The move to Hydie has brought with it this new problem, and a new facet of my mom's OCD comes to fore.

The water management issue is a whole science in itself, one that only my mom fully comprehends. The rest of us are best off if we follow instructions to the letter and not ask any questions. I was given my introductory lesson the day I set foot in the apartment. There are two sources of water: Manjeera river water, which can be used for cooking purposes wonly (and is supplied every alternate day so has to be collected and hoarded in every container possible) and bore-well water, which is hard water and can only be used for dishes, in the bathroom etc. Bore-well water is supplied 24 hours, but every alternate day or so the pump breaks and then we don't have that water till it gets fixed. So that has to be stocked too. Now of course, to the layman's eye, water is water, but god forbid you end up mixing one for the other, as they say in telugu, your forefathers will descend upon you. So these two kinds of water have to be stored separately and used appropriately when the need arises.

Now all types of water is collected and stored in the kitchen and tiny surrounding area, between kitchen and bathroom, for lack of any other space in this matchbox apartment. So this zone is what I refer to as the high stress zone. If any piece of plasticware or metal used in either kitchen or bathroom crosses across the divide, the sky will fall down.  In the high stress zone the buckets and respective mugs are color-coded. Red mug for red bucket and yellow mug for yellow bucket. The red bucket sits in the kitchen and is used to collect hard water. There isn't enough space in the tiny bathroom to store an water there, so one has to carry water into the bathroom, using the yellow bucket. The red mug can be used to transfer water from the red bucket into the yellow bucket, but only for that, and constantly ensuring that it doesn't actually make any contact with the yellow bucket. Yellow bucket sits just outside the boundary of the kitchen  while the transfer is in progress. This yellow bucket can be carried into bathroom and used to pour water into smaller yellow bucket inside the bathroom, and then has to be brought outside and left to be refilled. It cannot be laid on the bathroom floor under any circumstances. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in dire consequences, mostly high pitched.

During my first few days here, my mom had very little confidence in her daughter, Ph.D., to be able to follow these instructions correctly. So every time she saw me hovering in the zone of stress, she dropped everything she was doing and came to supervise me. I was able to extricate mom from her favourite saas bahu serials and also compel her to hurriedly hang up on important phone calls (the kinds that call and ask for my date, place and time of birth and photograph) , all to ensure that I was using red mug with red bucket and yellow mug for yellow bucket, never mixing the two. It didn't help that I badly needed to pee and the nervousness from her watching over me wasn't making anything easier.

Now finally the trust has been established, I can pee without duress and mom doesn't have to miss another "jo hua woh theek nahi hua" type scene.  But simultaneously, the probability of me getting hitched to a "nice" Andhra boy who is a software engineer and lives "there only" (some random state in the US) has gone up by a notch. Such are the trade-offs in life. Sigh.

P.S. Answering comments made me want to come back to blogging! Who would've thought? (OK, no need to spam, shameless people).


ferret said...

bhelkome back :)
now lemme go read

ferret said...

hey why do these rules sound familiar, only change bucket colors :)

>>P.S. Answering comments made me want to come back to blogging!

@sakshi,neihal and aarti - tgfi wishes to thank u for all the spamming.. err commenting :P

Sakshi said...

I remember the summers back home when my mom stored water and then supervised it's use.. I have to tell her about color coding the system :P
And since you are back, we will refrain from spamming as long as you keep updating.

For Neihal and Rebellion, Ultra confidential -
Only to lull her into false security, girls.. ek din ki baat hai :P

Rebellion said...

ROFLLLL. That was tooo cooooool Lajjo. I soo loved your post :D

You're mom's cute and beware of someone trying to fix you up permanently :P Lemme know if you need any bhai-giri type help ;):P

@ Ferret
Thanks. I knew she'd miss us ;):P

@ Sakshi
Don't worry sistah, I hear ya ;):D

Born a Libran said...

I gave up on the instructions wonly... Now wonder your mom was nervous :)

Neihal said...


for couple of paragraph I was like, is she living in my building, off course we have a different river supplying the precious meetha paani. Now you would appreciate those half dozen posts on water that I have written.

And and do tell your mother she has a lifetime fan in me. Now only if she could train me. Or I could have my mom over for couple of weeks.hmmm.....should weigh the pros and cons first :P

It didn't help that I badly needed to pee and the nervousness from her watching over me wasn't making anything easier.

I grew up in Rajasthan. So I can safely say BEEN THERE DONE THAT !!!

PS: see not spamming. NOT SPAMMING.
and just to set the record straight we never did. :D

@Ferret. Commenting it is dear. No spamming. ;)

@Sakshi: Right on!!

sd said...

Very nice post there! Acchan hain, you have not quit blogging as yet :)

ggop said...

The whole water shortage situation in India depresses me. :(

Pri said...

And she's back!

Um I was under the impression that the minimum quiet time required to constitute a BREAK was at least 24 hours. I was wrong.

Your mother sounds hysterical. Don’t you love mothers?

Ooh and what’s the problem in checking out the local sceneries? Andhra boys [I was going to say golti but I don’t know if its derogatory. is it?] can u be cute u know. at least the ones in Bengluru were.
Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman...sigh!

Prashanth said...

And I thought those water jug puzzles were tough...

Shek said...

all you people having such a blast at this comment space...that too without Shek! Bahut nainsafi hai yeh!

Hilarious post, Ipanema Girl. You are definately back with a bang. Now, if the colours of the buckets were red and green and god-forbid, someone in the house was colour blind, that would have been an interesting post. Bathroom ka balti would show up in the kitchen!

Good luck with the sharing the birth date, place, time, pulse rate, palm lines(for palmistry), facial features (for face reading), shoe size and comb colour. Not to forget sharing the mug-shots that are oh so popular in the arranged marriage scene. If you guys are looking, I know this fantastic astrologer in some galli in kolkata who will predict all kinds of cool things about you and your hone-walla-hubby!

Yes, I am still mildly mad at astrologers.

sumit said...

aise breaks to allowed hain ;)

yeah am alive...and very soon will be active on blogs again.....IF,my new job isnt very very hectic :P

greensatya said...

Trust a Phd to come up with such lucid and detailed description of a complicated & complex system.

The color coding stuff is a great idea. What if one mug breaks ?

greensatya said...

Oh and welcome back to blogging !!

harshad said...

lol..yea...i can connect to that!
loved the post!

sumit said...

and haan we have lived in water shortage areas...where mom used to get up at 4am to fill water....but she never used the colour coding....now after reading the post m thinking ki wat wud have happened if she did ;)

Anonymous said...

U should simply mix the red and yellow mugs once to escape meeting yet another there only boooi.... :)

Try doing that... ;)

Anonymous said...

And that somehow reminds me that Aunty and myself are similar in the OCD thingy... U gotta know me to know me...

and Pri, Gult guys are bad-lookers... dont even expect anything!

Sakshi said...

@My Sistahs- No updates.. you know what to do!
@TGFI- thanks for taking WV off.. we love ya :D

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

:) thanks for the wb and for being my thanks-spokesperson. :p

so what colors at your place? ;)

let me know what colors your mom picks too. ;)
and yeah, i see you didn't refrain for too long either. :)

:) will let you know if i need help, fosho. aur band karo apna spamming! :@

abbe i was nervous, not my mom!

yeah, i sympathise. i knew you'd relate

:) yeah, looks like i haven't quit...yet. :p

it is kinda. but it's a way of life here. doesnt make it any less depressing i guess. :/

you were very wrong. way off.

plis give me intro to vangipurappu venkata sai laxman.

now what puzzles are you talking about????

LOL @ colour-blindness. my mom would've told me to quit working on obscure parasites and find a solution to colour-blindness first. ;)
thanks for the astrology tips, abhi wahaan tak nahin pahunchi. ;)

i won't ask why you're mad at astrologers. i am too.

thank-you hain, for permission for break. ;) NEW JOB! KAB? KAHAN???

hehe thanks for welcome back. and said system was devised by mother of a Ph.D! ;). If mug breaks there will be curfew in high stress zone until replaced. Perhaps there's a back-up already in place.
I asked my mom the same question and got yelled at! :@ :)

hey harshad,
heh. glad i'm not the only one who's witnessing such stress.

yeah, waking up early to collect water..happens here too. :)

coco captive,
hehe, i'll try and tell her it was your idea. muahahahahaha. btw i thought you had some streaks of my mom-like OCD in you. we are working on a cure. please be patient.

Abbe sakshi besharam kahin ki

Anonymous said...

I knew it!

Shameless people indulge in some dramas just to attract some comments.

It is people like who insult the great Rajni God.

Shame on you!

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

po ra vedhava.

Perspective Inc said...

Oh God, I soooooo hear you on this!!

Shek said...

@Ipanema Girl
You cant be mad enough till they tell you that the person you marry will die on you within a year while getting a divorce with you. Thats got to be one messed up year!

Anonymous said...

I soooooooooo love u when u say that - po ra vedhava....

inka emanna cheppochu kada...

Anonymous said...

ose picchi pilla nuvvu andaru telugu biddalu paripoyaka mundare pelli chesukove, lek pothe alage musaledaane lag undi potavu

Shek said...

WTF is going on here

Janefield said...

ROFL @ post and comments! :)))))

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

hydie blues eh?

oh man. that is screwed up indeed.

inka chaala cheppali, stay tuned.

confused vedhava,
naa pelli avakapote ni summa emi poyindi? ekku egaradu, aa pilla to anni cheppestaanu.

seriously. :)


Tachyoson said...

But simultaneously, the probability of me getting hitched to a "nice" Andhra boy who is a software engineer and lives "there only" (some random state in the US) has gone up by a notch.

- hmm so you are being processed for re-export?

Amrita said...

Ha, that sounds like my dad except it was Delhi and he can;t give it up even now that we;ve moved to a place where water is more plentiful

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

processed for re-export!! lol! more like being analysed and scrutinized for it. grrr.

hi amrita!
i am just relieved to know i'm not the only one going through this. :-)