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There comes a time in everybody’s lives when their sanity, patience, and endurance threshold are tested for quality standards. This can be achieved by subjecting our homes to maintenance, otherwise known as painting. I begged, pleaded and threatened our building caretaker in that order for the past six months for painting the house and stalked him until he started running at the sight of my shadow. Finally he messaged me on whatsapp “Madam shall we come tomorrow? Sure? Confident?”
So these are the same guys who frequently come to change the lights, pipes, and unclog blocks in the kitchen sink. Their proficiency to paint a wall is comparable to the kiddo using water color. The paint they brought saying ‘yeh bahut mehenga paint hai madam’ was as good as water. This is how painting is done when the quarterly goals of the maintenance department include ‘Paint the fourth floor apartments’ and all you have is two hours to finish it. Meanwhile some of our friends invited us to their homes to spend the night until the paint smell was gone. Well what do they know about the smell of water?
So the highly deceptive, pretend painting went on in full swing, with the furniture positions maintained intact as the wall behind them is clean anyway. Logic, people. Who is going to look behind the cupboard, c’mon! Whatever the kiddo wrote on the bedroom walls was also preserved, because they apparently assumed that the picture he drew was incomplete. ‘Picture abhi baaki hai mere dosth’ types. I have never come across such thoughtful and logical painters all my life. Coming to think of the whole ordeal, they were even concerned about our health, hence brought odorless (colorless) paint. I feel pity for my friends whose homes stank of paint odor. We should not just acknowledge these guys with regular wages; they need standing ovation for going out of the way to make sure nothing changes in the house. Literally, nothing. Meanwhile I couldn’t help noticing the man of the house walking up and down displeased and highly irritated. The last target, the living room is where his first family is lodged; the home theatre systems. His priority, concern and last but not the least, his love.
The living room escaped the highly professional water coloring because the man of the house did not want his first family to exist within the confines of cheap paint. When you have a tiger for a pet, you also need the Gold Hummer for it to travel. So there was texture paint, surfaces meant to reflect and contain the sound, and a lot of technicality involved in what we, cheap humans consider as mere ‘painting’. Meanwhile some of our neighbors started wondering whether we have additional secret rooms as it was taking longer than it did for them.
The dining table and chairs were moved around to keep more relevant stuff, which of course did not include food or humans that he shares the apartment with. Dismantled home theater speakers sat comfortably on the chairs while I had my meals standing and kiddo had his on the kitchen slab. Stuff from the living room was moved to other rooms. My time on those two days was effectively spent finding misplaced toys and arranging food for the professional painter. When the husband is gadget savvy, be prepared to be treated like a third wheel.
Finally the walls are done, and things kept back at their rightful places after a night of toil and backbone strength test. It looks like a brand new apartment. Finally it smells of paint in the living room.
And I guess we are back to being his first family ;-)