Did you know? I sure didn’t. I wonder why I didn’t notice it all these years. We completely miss the obvious things hanging right before our eyes, don’t we?

From the machine point of view, the blog I posted on laundry was callous and insensitive and inhuman. For an appliance that has served faithfully for close to twelve years and was like a member of the family (despite being left out in the sun and rain all day and night), that must have been a little too much.

I must confess that I had not been kind to it all these years. Thankful for its services and even polite at times, but not exactly affectionate or kind.

The blog was the final straw. I was making an attempt at being a little funny and philosophical and introspective, but if we look at it through the machine’s eyes, the laundry bag got all the credit; the machine got but a small mention. So thoughtless of me.

No wonder, one week later, it ground to a halt. Protest. Strike. Bandh. Inquilab-! No amount of cajoling could make it change its mind. I tried sweet talk, and I tried indifference, I tried anger, and I tried all tactics I normally reserve for my son. None worked.

The thing with these home appliances is that they have the customer care executives on their side. Yes, I don’t know how many calls I had to make and beg and plead and threaten and frighten and everything to try to make the technician come to take a look at my problem. The technician, I understand, feels the machine’s pain. In all its intensity. They are a team – like Krishna and Arjun, perhaps. One giving the other courage. For, today, ten days after I lodged a complaint, apart from two phone calls from two guys who expressed concern as though my laundry pile was keeping them awake at night, nothing has happened. (Their phone calls were not spontaneous, they were the result of my continuous nagging of the call centre people and their supervisor.)

My washing machine is headed towards its longest break ever. The tech guys, if I repent enough and apologize thoroughly enough, may come in sometime next week, and take the thingy to the hospital. (Who knows how many phone calls from my side it’s going to take before they turn up at my door.) And then, they tell me, they may have to replace some part, and it is going to cost much.

Long, long days of pain ahead.

Between the words of the tech-guy-on-phone, I pretty much heard these: ‘Lady, you asked for it! Now learn a lesson.’

Punishment enough for a blog, I hope. I repent! I repent!

Meanwhile, a couple of days ago, this person caught up with me on Twitter. What, has the entire country heard of my laundry troubles??

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Make sure you take good care of your appliances and let them know you care. If washing machines have such feelings, who knows what pains your fridge might be harbouring? Or your iron box?
Or – God forbid! – your television?