Okay. So we are shifting and all that. From our current strange-scary-eclectic-nomadic-neighbours-but-friendly-strays to a fancy schmancy "gated complex", with a "Singapore Garden" (Every time the hero sees this, he grimaces with an almost physical pain and moans "I paid 2 lakhs extra for *@#&*@! #** Thing?") and some El Greco, almost –El-Fresco statuettes, which I find quite baffling.
So the last few months have been spent running around figuring out carpenters and plumbers and geysers and other exhausting utilitarian household durables, and finally the countdown to the shifting has begun.
Shifting unfortunately, means packing. Packing implies that one needs to have PACKING materials. Not too many choices – bags (all forms and shapes and sizes) and cartons. One of course, can't go around buying bags – there is the minor matter of where to store the dratted things after the shift. So cartons it is. Or so that was the logical conclusion that S and I had arrived at, at the start of this tale.
The next task was procurement of these said cartons. The big-fat-fridge carton, seductively inviting us with its alluring empty spaces, was already married to the fridge. The cooler box standing stiffly to attention in the gallery plastered with the trappings and photos of commitment defied us to come and defile it with anything else. The poor, squat microwave morosely stood lonesome and carton less. The pressure cooker carton's spirit was willing, but the size was not.
The geysers and the fan boxes, the MIL (who had got a head start in the packing race) had cunningly earmarked for her stuff.
Thus we start on the marathon Quest for the Holy Cartons.
Started out innocuously enough – turn the house upside down to see whether there are some cartons coyly lurking in some corner. We were lucky enough to locate ONE which managed to hold all of ten books (in a household where books outnumber the sum total of every other article, 2:1).
Okay. So no cartons at home. No problems. Let's go and buy some of them.
S: "Hi, we wanted to buy some cartons, would you have some?"
They seem to not know what cartons are. The supplies apparently dematerialize from the warehouse only to spontaneously recompose into the supermarket aisles.
Me: "Hi, do you sell cartons?"
An icy Goddess looks down in disdain at me and huffily says" No we don't".
Apparently we have trampled some sensibilities there.
Apparently, cartons cannot be brought over the counter either.
We decide to abandon the supermarkets and go to the friendlier climes of the mom & pop stores and see if we can sponge some off.
Grocery Shop 2
Me: (trying to ooze some charm) "Bhaiyya ji aapke paas khaili cartons hai?"Produces a agarbatti sized one. Some long explanations ensue. Interspersed with many questions on how and why we are shifting and the genealogy of the old and the new apartment till we satisfactorily establish some convoluted biradri-ka-rishta between the Pop's apartment and ours. We emerge triumphantly from the shop, carrying three cartons (medium sized) and one agarbatti box.
By this time, S who is notoriously low in patience in matters of a domestic nature is trying to wriggle out of the exercise. We can use the bags he proclaims grandiosely. What are they for? When I demur with murmurs of disproportionate baggage to bag ratio, he shushes me with a "well, we can always ferry luggage, empty it and go with empty bags across cant we?"
Well apparently not. We don't have places to empty the bags in. Unless we dump everything on the middle of the empty floor. But the MIL will have none of that.
So we (that means ME) are back into the carton quest.
The other day I go to our factory for a film shoot. Even in the midst of all the chaos my mind keeps on darting to the nice plump boxes sitting in the corner of the warehouse. While the crew is having lunch, I actually sneak there and try and juggle it around to see whether I can quietly pinch some. I exercise tremendous self restraint and refrain from doing so (partly because there is a CCTV balefully eyeing me and partly because it weights a ton)
Back in office I have the bright idea of raiding the supplies closet. For my pains, I get two coffee soaked apologies for boxes and a whole lot of amused and sceptical glances (!!!)
Yesterday, I MIGHT have reached a new low though. After weeks of dreaming about boxes and cartons. Big strapping durable boxes. I saw one such one JUST outside my house.
A 29 inch television box.
Quietly standing outside new neighbours’ house.
No neighbours in sight
Easy get away route.
The rest I leave to your imaginations.
P.S. I had written this about ten days ago, but since we WERE shifting, i didnt get around to posting it. Subsequently we have shifted. More on the Battles with the brooms and the murder of the mop and the chasing cooks later