The wonder machine

“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. The company has long been closed down but the jingle still rings in my mind. No beating, no rubbing and no rinsing to be done by hand, just load the clothes into the washing drum and the clothes come out clean and bright in a jiffy.

I was amazed. How could  a pile of laundry  be handled without any manual labor? The functioning of the machine  remained a puzzle for me till the time I  saw its  live demonstration . Back then, washing machine was an unfamiliar concept in India. A couple of multinational companies that started their business in India 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, us, the faculty members. In wonderment, I saw all the operations of washing, rinsing and drying being carried out by the machine. If I have the liberty to coin my own terminology, I would say I  was ‘machine stuck’.

Needless to say , I was jubilant when I brought home  a fully automatic washing machine.  I thought that the machine would liberate me from jhik-jhik with the kamwali bai and her shoddy washing. But, little did I realize that I would be at the receiving end. Ever since I bought a stylish, trendy 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, they started turning pale. Every now and then a coloured garment would bleed turning all the other light clothes in the same hue. It was, indeed, most frustrating to discover the pile of laundry tainted in the shade of blue on one day, and red,  the other day. My two little brats made their clothes so dirty that the stains won’t go away. I might have been able to say good-bye to the maid but could not bid adieu to my washing woes. I was under constant stress 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 started washing 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. I learnt the art of washing clothes in a machine in a hard way through trials and tribulations but it was worth the effort.

Ever since I have acquired the knack of washing clothes in a machine, piles of laundry don’t bother me. I load the clothes in the washing machine at my own convenience, and the rest is taken care of by the machine. I feel liberated- free from the drudgery of washing clothes and also from the tantrums of my maid. Needless to say, I love the ‘wonder machine’ and am enjoying the freedom it has given me.

(Published in February 2024 issue of Woman’s era) 

12 Replies to “The wonder machine”

  1. Very interesting!Madam ,I never imagined such an amusing article could be written on washing machine.Mine experience is also same.

    1. So true, I’m sure we all went through the same experience at one point or the other. Very well described my dear. Three cheers for your superb write up. 👍

      1. Thank you so much Sukhi .
        I am glad the article resonated with you . Oh yes, we learnt the technique the hard way. I remember when children were school going , I always kept a bottle of ‘cuffs and collar’, another chemical in my arsenal to clean their white shirts .

  2. Wow Rama !!Such an interesting way to pen down your learning experience of washing clothes in washing machine is really really amazing. Only you can create this wonder with your words and style of writing. You have turned washing machine into fictional character. Awesome job done my brilliant darling 💞

    1. Omg ! Neelam, your comment ! Only an accomplished writer like you can comment so brilliantly . Frankly, I can’t.
      I just pen down what I experience and feel . It makes me very happy that you read and appreciate . Always grateful to you my dear friend .
      Lots of love

    2. They say ‘beauty lies in the eye of beholder ‘….I say magic lies in Rama”s pen and you can transform the drudgery of washing machine into an amusing narrative…. Keep regaling us with your unique writing style…God bless 🙌

      1. Thank you so much dear Mrs Dhawan for your lovely words .I feel humbled and honoured at the same time .
        In gratitude.

  3. Interesting experiences penned down brilliantly, Rama. You write so beautifully about the everyday experiences

    1. Thanks Alka for your words of encouragement. There is no figment of imagination.It’s an account of my learning experience through trials and tribulations. Glad it makes an interesting read .

  4. Dil se likha Rma about mastering technology of washing machine in daily chores… Reminds of an article…. Grandmas Passion For Washing… Published in d cover page of Reader Digest… In 1980s..I inhale d fragrance of washed dried colthes as my dadi tells me to collect these from rope…. Lovely..after 45 yrs same energy u created Rma…. Where holding many responsibilities u turned technology in ur service…luved ur article.. Be blessed.. 💞🌹

    1. Anjana Bhatia
      Thanks Anjana di . Always a delight to read your comments,the stories that you recall , the anecdotes that you share ..

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