Enemy Number 1 | Flash Post 449
Who’s the enemy?
The ceiling fan.
What? Whose enemy?
Dost’s enemy number 1. There’s just a one-way hate relationship there and, if he had his way, he’d banish it had he been the sole occupant of the bedroom.
Has the fan done him any harm? Has it disturbed him in any way? Or landed on someone’s head? His constant fear is that it’s going to come off the hook it hangs from and smash something or the other!
I haven’t figured it out yet (that too after 50 years of having known and being married to him) and it’s been tough but, strangely, the minute he enters the bedroom, his gaze first shifts upwards to check if the enemy is in motion and his arm instinctively reaches out for the switch and turns it off. There could be Madhubala (his childhood crush) waiting in the room for him but switching off the fan is a task he must accomplish even before greeting her. He says he feels cold but, in May/June, at the height of summer when everybody is soaking wet with perspiration and gulping iced water and chilled drinks, downing chaas to keep cool, licking icecream, tying up their hair into top knots to air their necks and trying to locate a fan under which they can stand briefly and catch their breath, this unusual stance comes as a shocker to the three women who share the home with him.
You must be at the receiving end the most because you two share the bedroom besides other spaces in the house. Have you arrived at a middle path where the fan can be on at a minimum notch so there’s some circulation without him feeling cold.
That’s what I do in the bedroom but he wants the fan switched off and refuses to make any sort of compromise even if I have come out of the kitchen soaking wet after having cooked the most exotic meal for him!
Doesn’t he sweat?
Not even a trickle! Except when he eats lots of chillies.
Is that normal?
Chotidi who shared this unusual characteristic with him in the past suddenly finds that her sweat glands have gone berserk. Lately, she’s the one feeling the maximum heat these summer.
Didn’t baridi and you plan the seating in a manner where the both of you would occupy one side of the living room with chotidi and Dost occupying the other side where both of them could sit comfortably without putting on the fan or the air conditioner in their corner?
We did but, like I mentioned, it’s chotidi who is perspiring through the day.
How does she handle it?
The air conditioner on our side just opposite to where she sits is turned on so she gets the cold draft.
How do you then put on the air conditioner at night?
I have somewhat managed to convince him that, with the air conditioner running on 26 degrees Celsius and the fan on one point he sleeps like a baby.
Yes. So he gets his sleep and I get mine.
How does he travel to countries like Switzerland or England or the USA in winter?
With proper woollens but shivering nevertheless!
I feel sorry for the fan though! It’s just doing the task it was meant to do which is give respite to people in the blistering summer months. It’s conspicuous and sits high up on the ceiling going round and round, that too on our bidding—sometimes slowly, sometimes faster—to keep us cool but alas!
I remember the first time we bought a fan for our home in Kolkata. We were ecstatic and actually slept well after many months of tossing and turning and sleep deprivation.
You call them the simple joys of life.