Monday, 26 January 2009

Miss Tara's Manual of Household Management

1. Vacuum cleaners are useless. You have to use them anyway because they don't make home-type brooms in the god forsaken west (correct me if I'm wrong, PLEASE!! And send me one!) But after you're done, fill a bucket with scalding hot water, pour in some dettol, some floor cleaner (wear gloves; chemical burns are most unattractive. Ask me. I have two.) Get a piece of cloth and swab the goddamned floor. On hands and knees. Every single tile.
It's easier than you think. And it smells great. It fucks with your back.
Get a massage from Man after (or better still: get him to do it. Kick him if he misses large swathes.)

2. You actually have to clean your windows even if the blinds are always down. Otherwise, intoxicated by the success of swabbing exercise, you pull them up triumphantly to let the light in, and there's a dust storm that annihilates everything you've already cleaned. Most annoying. Clean windows first.

3. The person who scrubs the bathroom owns the house. This is non-negotiable. So make sure it's you.

4. If you do not water the plants, they die.
Have compassion. Stick them under the bathroom tap once in a while and say nice things to them as they drink. They flower better that way.

5. Recession chic: Get out the two kites you bought in the bazaar in N. Delhi SO long ago, and decide you will never fly them in the gales they get here, so bluetac them onto the bathroom wall just under the skylight. Since the bathroom is so small and they are so bright, you don't need anything else. Then throw saris over everything. Raani pink goes with: pista green, midnight blue, cobalt blue, peacock blue, bottle green, gold, silver, white, crimson, saffron... you get the idea. Make sure there are peacocks, elephants, lotus flowers and mango motifs on every iridescent piece of everything. Throw silk cushions over all chairs. (Pick these up, a pound apiece at the Evolution sale. And don't ask me to send; they're sold out, I bought them all.)
Light diyas everywhere.
Then get the Scot to lie back on the divan, thus embellished. Viola! Rajkumar in palace! Decor done!

6. Go have a long shower and tell the man you want dinner and a massage to be ready by the time you're out.