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What happens when of your most favourite garment flies away from your clothesline? Read on a cheeky account of a laundry mishap.
Like millions of people all over the world, I hang my laundry out to dry on a clothesline every day. I take special joy and pride in the simple task after spending several years in a land where hanging clothes outside was frowned upon. Several homeowners associations in the United States actually forbid outdoor line drying of clothes for reasons ranging from ‘Neighbours may find it aesthetically unpleasant‘ to ‘Risk of theft or vandalism of clothes’.
So, when I moved back home to Mumbai, I eagerly ditched my clothes dryer and the ills that came with its use. I revelled in the joy of my eco-conscious decision – my fresh laundry, drying so quickly in the hot Mumbai sun, was always crisp and fresh smelling. No neighbours seemed to be aesthetically offended and, being on the 12th floor, no vandals or thieves seemed to have an interest in it.
Things were just perfect and I was especially thrilled when my clothes line managed to hold up against the assault of the Mumbai monsoons.
Then, one rainy day that week, the inevitable happened. The salwar of my gorgeous black and gold suit was nowhere to be seen on the clothes line. I knew it had succumbed to the winds and taken off. Where it might have landed was anybody’s guess!
My first thought was to call the building watchman or manager to see if someone had turned it in. However, I discovered, I was much too embarrassed to discuss details of a missing salwar with these gentlemen. I checked the building ‘lost and found’ bin and found several items of orphaned clothing, but my pretty salwar was nowhere to be seen.
A couple of days later, I ran into one of the sweepers in the building, a nice lady clad in her nine yards saree. I realized she would be just the person to ask about missing clothing bottoms. “Did you notice any salwar come flying down a few days ago” I inquired, “it went missing from my clothes line.”
“Hmm..salwaar? No, I didn’t,” she replied yet continued in the same breath, “Was it black and yellow?”
“Yes!” I shouted excitedly.
“Never saw it,” she firmly declared and turned away.
After much coaxing, it was revealed that one of the other sweepers had found it and had even worn it to work only the day before. My first instinct was to find this miscreant and demand justice!
But, I am sure some law of the clothing line must say ‘finders keepers’. In this case, it definitely was going to be ‘wearers keepers’. So I did the next best thing. I left a message with her for the other sweeper to please come collect the kurta and dupatta as well so that she, at least, may wear a complete outfit.
No one has turned up to collect the rest yet. In the meantime, I continue to line dry my clothes. I am proud that I now live in a place that allows me to reduce my carbon footprint by approximately 2 kilograms per load of laundry dried. I know the amount I save on utilities far outweighs the cost of an occasional errant garment.
I have, however, invested in several extra clothes pins.
Published here earlier.
Image source: pixabay