Many young men see the larger than life movies and imagine themselves to be the main protagonists living the high life, romancing some damsel in distress and when time permits, saving the world on the side. Of course, no one wants to be the protagonist in the ‘Contagion’ or other such disaster movie.
But this is exactly what has happened to many of them. However if they are not from the medical field or from the police or from the essential service fields, then they belong to the humble WFH category.
WTF, they are either WFH or WAH category. While everyone knows WFH, which is, Work From Home, what is WAH, one might ask.
While the Indian WAH, is an exclamation of admiration for something or someone, an English WAH is a cry of fright or a cry of distress. I remember that in the comics which I read in my childhood, a crying baby always had an expanding bubble pointing towards itself, which went ‘waahh…’, to show that it is crying.
So, in these COVID times, WAH is WORK AT HOME, a syndrome affecting all households due to the disappearance of the MAID. While the ladies of the house were equally affected, it really brought out the English meaning for their not so better halfs, atleast in India.
In most households in India, where ladies are also the earning members, they were used to managing their household responsibilities with loads of help from the maids. However one fine day, the maids stopped coming and the ladies were cooped up inside the house with their not so better halfs. This was a recipe for disaster.
While for both of them, WFH was manageable, it was WAH which stretched and tested their relationship to the fullest.
While some of the not so better halfs remained on the disaster path of not WAH, many of them decided to, or maybe, were left with no option but to help their better halfs to WAH effectively.
So this is a story of one of those who chose the second option and his discoveries around the house. A house he usually returned to, late at night to eat dinner and sleep, only to rush off in the morning, with a half eaten breakfast.
Discovery 1 – human beings shed hair more than their pets, and those hair are the most difficult to sweep from the floor. Such hair has the uncanny ability to jump over the approaching broom, with atleast two sommersaults and rush back to where it was resting in the first place. So there is no option but to pick up the hair between two fingers, which is easier said than done.
Discovery 2 – many things which you forgot, ever existed in your house, are to be found below the bed, especially if it is having a very low floor clearance. One of my friends found a cassette long after the cassette player had been dumped recently.
Discovery 3 – sweeping the floor is a very good exercise, if done meditatively. If it is done superficially nothing good will come out of it. Neither the floor will be clean nor your haunches will be strong. But if you use the mop, your forearms will be stronger.
Discovery 4 – washing clothes in a washing machine takes loads of time, especially if you wait for it. My friend finished the entire Da Vinci Code by the time the washing was over. And then, untangling the clothes from each other was much more mysterious than untangling the plotline.
Discovery 5 – the progress from a map of a country to a round shape was hastened due to the lockdown. I am talking about the shape of the humble chapati. It is a much more intricate job than sculpting an idol from stone. But a few have already given up and delegated that job to their better halfs. While a few of them are happy with their foresight, when they had decided to buy that chapati making machine.
Discovery 6 – transferring the chapati from the board to the pan is another skill altogether. The first many times are spent in retrieving the chapati parts from the pan and reimagining them into another round shape. As some great personalities have wondered, why should it always be round and not any other better manageable shape. Randomness in shape is more welcome, after all, variety is the name of the game, when it comes to food.
Discovery 7 – keeping up the constant movement of the chapati on the pan is a very important aspect otherwise one might end up with eating a crunchy, hard one instead of a soft, easily munchable one.
Discovery 8 – one day, the time comes when your better half feels confident to pass on the fine art of kneading the dough to you. Please brace for this day, as it is bound to happen sooner than later. So there you are, trying to balance the atta and the water with just a pinch of oil, in exact proportion so that it progresses from powder stage to a dough stage, without much of overflow spillage onto the kitchen platform. One of my friends discovered that it has all the characteristics of clay, and when the better half was not looking, made the most hideous dolls from it. When she finally saw his shenanigans, a shriek escaped her mouth followed by a swoon to the ground. His temple still displays the bump, just above his left eye, where she swung the roller in her hand and made contact, as she went down.
So on and so forth the discoveries will go on. I welcome my fellow not so better halfs, to contribute their own discoveries and help the WAH club. Why, even the better halfs can contribute too.
Will you be the English WAH or the Indian WAH, that is the million dollar question.