JournalismPakistan.com April 20, 2013
Home is where the car keys aren’t and things don’t work but we do
We belong to a house where:
- The remote control has lost its back and the batteries keep falling off so it is stuck with super sticky insulation tape and when the juice in the batteries is running out we haven't the energy to unwrap the tape so we keep pressing and pressing with a success ratio of one in ten tries into progressive decline till it finally runs out completely. No one switches off the TV if they cannot find the remote control.
- The cordless phone is so cordless that it disappears into the vaguest places only to have everyone frantically searching for it by dialing that thingee number you dial to get a ring and then tracking the phone around the house.
By that token the mobile has a dead battery when it is time to take to the road…only one little bar or a blinking light.
- The gas cylinder runs out 45 minutes before guests are to arrive on weekend for a lunch.
- Do it yourself kits purchased by us don't…do it. On the contrary, they fall apart. And the ratchet marked B3 will not fit into the wedge marked C5, that's a promise.
- The bright green shiny indoor plants in other people's houses that respond to a little water and a cold shoulder respond to our love and attention by wilting into a yellow colour and withering at the edges.
- All our sets of sixes are fives and fours, crystal glasses, chinaware plates, even table mats and tea and coffee sets.
- Every inanimate object becomes animate and works on a devilish schedule. That means you will never find a pen if you have to jot down an urgent phone number, the car keys will disappear every hour, the lighter will hide itself in the most incredible places, sunglasses have inbuilt jet engines for whizzing off and the book that was here just a minute ago won't be.
Consequently, at Chez Vohras, much of our time is spent hunting for things, finding them and then hunting for them again.
We live in a house where:
- The wrong number phone calls will only occur on a Thursday afternoon, week days after midnight and early in the morning on a Friday.
- The fridge is full of impulse buying items that no one eats and the mustard expired when Ronald Reagan was President of the USA. But they looked irresistible at the bargain counter.
- The washing machine washes better than Gunga Din but invariably the most expensive clothing is flung in with some 10 Dh tee shirt so all our clothes have either a pale blue or pink veneer.
- Two days after the house is whitewashed and pristine it is a sign for rain to fall and, sure enough, the water will leak into the walls and leave those creped patches. This is called a natural arrangement.
- Every single possible virus in the computer world will pay us a visit.
And we will be the only ones who will lose the satellite image because the LND or some other part will malfunction when the crucial cricket match is about to start.
- House guests will arrive 20 minutes after the water pump breaks down and the shower and taps are reduced to a drip and they will be stuck in the bathroom with soap and suds and you explaining how this never happens, hang on, will get you a bucket.
- Your cracked walls, peeling paint and chipped flooring will add up to giving the place 'character' and 'ambience' and visitors will tell you how charming it is and only you know it is kept together by rubber bands and hope.
- Anything that we superglue will stay unglued. It is like a vendetta. The porcelain items will crack, the Royal Doulton spaniel will break a leg, the crystal lotus will splinter its glass petals and the DVD player will stop working (or jump frames) on whim.
- We spend hours looking for bills, files, warranty cards, gift vouchers, menus and receipts because that is what we do.
We live in a house where:
Things don't work but we do.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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