People who know me would be aware that I am in a constant race against my laundry bag(s). The concept of the laundry bag, incorrigible and sophisticated as it is, was not familiar to me until a decade ago; those days, clothes did not know how to pile up so much. Or else, they were someone else’s problem.

As a wife and mother and house-maintainer, I am conscious of the goings-on in the different laundry bags around the house. They have a way of attracting clothes to them when I am not looking. Just when I think I have half-emptied one, it shows me that it is half-full. And when I think I have finished washing, the washed pile sits there, waiting to be folded.

And if, on an exceptionally busy or sick or otherwise-engaged week, I fail to track their status, they fill, overflow and the family is left without good socks, good shirts or even bedsheets.

You would wonder what the big deal is, when the entire washing is done by a machine which works tirelessly without complaining, every single day. But I would gently point out to you that even those with a dish-washer in the house find it tiresome to pile up the dishes into it. Every effort, however minuscule, is an effort. When everything becomes machine, we find joy in whining about the tiniest exertion.

As time passes, I realise painfully that this is not a task that is ever going to end; of all the projects I have undertaken in life (and career), this is one of those assignments that come under the title of “ongoing support” which translates to “NEVER-ending” work. However much you work on them, however well you meet your deadlines, however brilliantly you manage your time, however appreciable you consider your results, tomorrow the bag is going to be full again. That part of your life becomes a constant, whirring Pile-Wash-Fold-Reload cycle.

In that endless race, I find that my laundry bag and I are equals trying to inch forward towards the chequered flag that does not even exist. I might fall by the wayside, but the darn laundry bag would continue to go on.

And on a grey, dreary day, I wonder what I would do if it were not for this laundry bag and its annoying desire to keep me engaged.

Here’s to my laundry bag. And to our everlasting friendship, rivalry, race, love.