Tuesday, September 28, 2010


A lot of mothers, when they hear that my kids have a room a piece, will ask if they keep their rooms tidy. In my humble opinion this question can be answered only with foot notes and clauses. In the first place the whole room is not theirs. There will be "papa's stuff" (hereinafter called PS) tucked away in many corners because the room was occupied by the desperate child after many days of "pleading with papa to clear away his stuff" and in a fit of "this is the best I can get" when papa helplessly wandered around the house trying to ascertain where the remainder of his stuff can be safely stored. So only depending on whether PS is out in the open or under lock & key, will the neatness potential of the room be ascertained. PS is very vast in quantity and varied in its potential usefulness, though I suspect if we got around to figuring it out we could probably run our household on its antique value.

Lest my kids are reading this and feeling like martyrs- (though only I have the license for that on my blog <evil snicker>), the rest of the house is also theirs to keep untidy, a right they freely make use of. The reasons for spreading out in my room could vary from the correct temperature (only in my room), to the absence of noise (the crazy neighbours all live on their side of the house), correct lighting or correct position of bed to lie in (!!!) Of course they leave these little tokens of love for their dear parents and I could wake up the next morning having dreamt of battling with Alexander of Macedonia, only to find a fat history book under my pillow. (No, I'm not recommending this as a tool for study, it just explains why my neck feels like Alex chopped it off with his sword).

So let me sum up: neatness really is in our bones. (That's where we get the feeling someone else in the house is dying to clear up, ha ha). It only has a bit of a time lag. We'll definitely clear up somewhere in the hazy future (and definitely once a year before Diwali). Till a few years ago I used to spend 3 days preparing for a party, of which 2-11/12 days used to be spent in cleaning the house. Then I began to feel guilty about the deception of fooling my friends into thinking I was someone different, so now I only spend the mandatory 2 hours cooking. Anyone who is hungry enough will find their way up to the dining table, that's for certain.

A few years ago my 10 year old daughter's classmate came to our house for lunch. She sat gingerly in my daughter's (at that point, and for obvious reasons,) very neat room looking pretty nervous. I figured she was just shy. Then my daughter took her for a tour of the house. Slowly I could see this transformation in her. When the tour was complete she looked at me with a happy smile & told me "Aunty, this is the most untidy house I have ever seen!"

I think we pipped her's to the post and only just!


  1. Hahaaha...Anjali!
    Good one.....I know the feeling...the 'neat' house for guests, parties etc. takes up so much energy, that one is left with none to entertain the guests.

  2. lol ! i love the 'Alexander of Macedonia, only to find a fat history book under my pillow ' part the most Anjali ! :))

    i guess everyone has the same story regarding keeping the home presentable, occasionally, atleast for the guests & for very close childhood frnds ... ;) wishing you a happy cleaning for Dipawali !

  3. Same thought, different context--I've written about neatening up for parties too!