But Amma you are not a lady! yelped the toddler son.
The conversation regarding who is a lady and who is not was an amusing one that lilted with the gentle evening breeze rustling over the early October trees still in bloom and blew all over the place before finishing on the note that I am no lady.
Paati (Grandma) is a lady. You will be a lady when you become a grandma. Now, you are a mom, just a mom, he says firmly.
All these mind altering conversations happen the evening prior to the sixth visit for repairing the despairing spirits who own the dishwasher. The dishwasher itself is beyond repair.
I know what you are thinking. Has the girl (or lady) lost her marbles completely? I thought she filled every available nook and cranny of the blogging space available to her years ago with this dishwashing lark of hers. As if her tales weren’t enough, we also endured those horrendous diagrams.
Not again, you moan. I understand you, and as much as I would like to say that I travelled down a time warp tunnel, it is not so. The pesky d.washer gave up a few months ago. The husband and I tried avoiding eye contact with it for a couple of months to see if rest would jog things along, but we had to finally agree that it was gone. 7E was something even the great wide internet space threw their hands up with. Picture the doctor in the Indian movies taking their glasses off and nodding sadly. I am doing that now. I have my glasses in my hand and I am nodding sadly. But 7E it is and shall be.
The dishes have been flopped and propped about all over the counter every time they are washed for months now. When folks accuse me of slacking off making idlies or critical grandmothers look the children up and down and say, “Oh how thin they look. Do you feed them enough?” I’d like to invite them over to the sink. Barring the slightly bizarre notion that I revel in washing clean dishes again, how can this many vessels be dirty if I was not feeding them enough?
Anyway, the next day, the technician is downstairs on the call with Samsung technical support. A mellow fellow whose name I am unable to sing no matter how many times he says it. Each time it sounds different. Tsung or Tshawng. There have been days when I have walked into the kitchen to see the husband crouching next to this fellow and peering into the depths of the dishwasher looking like microbiologists looking for life on Mars.
Twang looked miserable at the thought of picking up that phone to get on with his technical customer support buddies and took a long gulp of water before calling. Every time he sees 7E, he looks like lightning struck again. The husband and I exchange a look that says (Gandhi-died-in-1948. 7E-started-months-ago. Deal with it.)
I heard the static from the phone line, the clipped tone in which the customer service rep recognized him, and I heard the faint groans from Tsung and the dishwasher. After what seemed like an hour, I went downstairs to give him (the repair guy not the dishwasher) some moral support. Tsung had the customer service rep on speaker. At long last, I asked him if I can talk to him instead. He nodded and asked him, “Customer wants to talk to you.”
“No. No! I don’t want to.” responds this technician on the other side quite unaware that he is on the speaker.
What a useful device the phone must be in these situations. If the fellow was fumbling along with instructions in Isting’s ear in person, he would have found it a dash sight harder to avoid my piercing eye and my necessity to ask him man to man, I mean lady to gentleman, I mean mom to man (for I don’t know whether the guy on the other end is a dad.)
Ysung ties himself in knots and is deeply embarrassed by his colleague and tells me that he will have the service desk call me again.
As promised, the day after Tsung mopped himself out of the house, I got another call from the Samsung Service Desk. I crackled and bristled a bit. I told the voice on the other end of the call that we are very busy folk who have important places to be with important things to do. I asked them what it would take for them to just replace the unit since nothing but the outer casing is the version of what we bought two years ago.
This is where I have got to admire the gall of the person on the other side. The sheer cheek. She said, “Can you hold”, and before I could answer, smartly switched on the hold-music designed to extract ear worms through your nostrils. Just like that she had un-bristled me and un-crackled me with one brilliant stroke. When she came back on, I felt like telling her off and asking her a crisp question or two on what she meant by putting this infernal music on when she was the one who called me, but I used her tactic on her. Brusque. And I asked her to call back when it is convenient for me and hung up.
The son is right: I suppose I am not a lady yet.