Friday, October 17, 2008

Operation Clean-up.

At 233 Khetwadi Main Road when I was a child, the bathroom to the back of the house on the west side used to be reserved only for washing the cooking utensils. That time, coal was used for cooking and heating the bath water. The coal ash was collected and stored. It was then used for scrubbing the cooking utensils. As my mother used to use grated coconut as well as coconut milk in the many delectable dishes she cooked, at least one coconut was cracked open every day. The fibre off the shell was used as the scrubbing pad or sponge. On the window ledge of the wash room, there used to stand a brass pot filled with ash and topped with a bit of the scrubbing fibre. I keep remembering me watching our family retainer scrubbing the pots and pans over his shoulder and sometimes offering to join him. I was never granted my wish. Little did I realise then that, some day in the far future, I would finally be granted my wish minus the coal ash cleaning powder and the coconut fibre scrubber. Instead, we would graduate up to Vim or Pril and plastic fibre scrub pads. In contrast, I have tumbled downhill from silver tongue cleaners to plastic or stainless steel ones over the same time span.