“My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first one being — hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.” ~ Erma Bombeck

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I empathise with this statement. Really.

There are very few things that I abhor in life. But if I had to pin point one, it has to be the ironing.

I’ve had a doomed relationship with this electrical device since my school days.

Early mornings in Shillong used to be cold. I would just about manage to wake up, iron my uniform, knot the tie in the right manner and rush out of the house, just in time to hear the school bell in the distance. Thankfully, school was just about 5 minutes down the road from our house.

So one fine day, in a winter’s daze, blissfully unaware of my previous actions, I set off for school. My mom and dad had already left for the day for their respective workplaces.

When I came back, all I saw was an enraged mother (and as you all know, that is not a pretty sight).

“Do you know what you’ve done?” she demanded? I assumed she didn’t really want my response to the question and I meekly followed her inside. In the back of my mind, I guess I already knew that it couldn’t be something good.

Look, she pointed at the scarred remains of a part of the ironing table. There was a black pit just below where the iron was placed. Thankfully, the table hadn’t burst into flames. Earlier, the irons weren’t really advanced so once you switched them on they didn’t go off automatically.

I was talking with my mom on the phone the other day and reminded her of this incident. “I still have that table,” she says!

That was around when my hate affair with the iron began. And it hasn’t waned over the years. It has only gathered steam, I must admit. I’ve tried getting myself those devices where you can control almost everything but inevitably I land up burning myself on some part of my body or another. And getting none of my clothes ironed.

Nowadays, I try and keep my interaction with the device at a minimum. The friendly neighbourhood istriwalla has solved much of my problems and taken away the stress of this totally digusting chore. I can do anything else : wash clothes, wash dishes, wash the house etc.

But ironing! Shudder.

15 thoughts on “My least favourite household chore is…

  1. Could not agree more after a hectic Sunday.
    For me “isthriwala” and “fully automatic washing machine” are corporate workers one of the best friends in India. As in western world indulging for “isthriwala” is precious affair 😉

  2. lol. i have the same affectinate relation with ironing. so all i do is get my clothes out of the dryer, and put them on hager. they are good as ironed in two days:). believe me, it works!!

  3. @ anita: tie, shirt, skirt, shoes, socks 🙂

    @ simba: thank god! I would have overheaded 🙂

    @ usha: very true, madam 🙂

    @ kavitha: it’s totally crazy, but true!

    @ santm: heaven sent!!

    @ viewer: glad to hear that!!

    @ vikram: can get away with that sometimes, but not for all clothes!

  4. Hmm, this reminds me of my childhood days as well. The incident occurred one fine day in Kolkata, when I was in Class Six. Being the ill-treated only child of working parents, I returned from school, tired and hungry; dumping my school bag and water bottle on the dining table, and running towards the fridge to see what the neighbors had left for my lunch.

    A few leftover morsels of Aloo Tikka later, I set upon getting done with my daily tasks for the day. You see, being the only child in the family, household chores were almost completely my responsibility. And today was Wednesday, which means the clothes must have dried by now(oh that awfully humid Kolkata weather!).

    Bringing back the large Saris and Dhotis from the terrace, I set up the ironing table(which was actually a decrepit study table belonging to the “angrez saahab” my great grandfather used to work for; a family heirloom I was entitled to once I turned eighteen. Puffing bellows of air into the coal iron, I waited for the temperature to rise, and began changing in to my Khaadi attire.

    It was a sacred moment. As I looked into the mirror, straightening my Gandhi Topi, I noticed the coal iron glowing red, much like the sunset-lit sky visible from the window behind me, and the sickle-starred flag I bore in my hands.

    Walking out of my house on to the streets, I joined my friends, other single-child slaves in the area. We were not afraid: our school had taught us well. We had learnt that it wasnt worth it; the timing was right, and that this was our moment, we could not lose steam.

    My mother approached, terrified at the flags and the procession outside our suburban Calcutta house.

    “What betun, what is going on? Dont you know I’m tired? Go get my tea!”

    “No more mom, not any more”

    “Why, pray?”

    “We learnt this in school today… no more terrorism, our revolution is here to stay… CHOLBE NAA CHOLBE NAA!!!”

    “But… I dont understand, son! What could you have learnt in school that could have led to this!”

    Defiant, I swayed my flag about, raising my head high, without fear, screaming out today’s lesson:



    Yours truly will be touring the country all of February. Would like to meet up if you’re in Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata.

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