“It washes, it rinses, it even dries your clothes ……………You are ready for the show!” In mid 80s , the commercial of an Indian brand that introduced washing machine in the country caught my fancy. No beating, no rubbing and no rinsing to be done by hand! One just has to load the clothes into the washing drum and the clothes come out clean and bright in a jiffy. How fascinating!
I found it remarkable but could not comprehend how all the functions involved in washing could be carried out mechanically. At a time when washing machine was an alien concept in India, a couple of washing machine companies that existed during that period had to try hard to create a market for the product in the country. I can’t ever forget the demo organized by a well known brand of washing machines in the Gym Hall of the college during the preparatory holidays for the potential customers, we, the faculty members. I was machine struck.
Impressed with the ‘wonder machine’, I bought a fully automatic washing machine. I was jubilant as I thought that the machine would liberate me from the tantrums of the kamwali bai and her shoddy washing. But, little did I realize that I would be at the receiving end. Ever since I brought home a stylish, trendy looking washing machine, it had been a Pandora’s Box for me. Every day, there would be a new problem and a challenge to deal with. Whites no longer remained white, started turning pale. Every now and then a coloured garment would bleed turning all the other light coloured clothes in the same hue. It was, indeed, most frustrating to discover the loadful of laundry tainted in the shade of blue on one day and the other day turned into red. My two little brats made their clothes so dirty that the stains won’t go away. I might have been able to say a good-bye to the maid but it was a constant struggle to get the desired results. I realized the magic shown in the commercials didn’t work in the real world.
My most embarrassing moment was, when my school going ten year old son complained, “Mummy, how come the uniform of other boys’ is white, a little bluish, but mine is yellowish?”It was too much of an insult for me to bear. I decided to sort out the mess. Determined to bring the whiteness back in the whites, I took care that I washed white and coloured garments separately. I began to use bleach and Robin to give a slight bluish tinge to the whites. I can’t help mentioning the super quality detergent that I started using. Undoubtedly; I learnt the art of washing clothes in a machine in a hard way, through trials and errors.
Now that I have acquired the knack, I am enjoying the experience. I load the clothes in the washing machine at my own convenience and the rest is taken care of by the machine. I call it woman liberation – freedom from the drudgery of washing and also from the tantrums of maid! I am loving it!
(Published on Momspresso blog on 27 Dec 2018 )