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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014
The idiot's guide to home management
Ashish Shakya
December 02, 2012
First Published: 00:18 IST(2/12/2012)
Last Updated: 00:20 IST(2/12/2012)

Here's a brain-teaser for you: What do you do when you leave home in a hurry and return a few days later to find that you'd left a couple of unwashed pots and pans to fester in the kitchen sink, thus turning it into a vat of toxic slush that smells like Mithi river hooked up with Mulayam Singh's armpit?

On the bright side, the sink complements my refrigerator really well. Because as of now, my fridge is loaded with cartons of Chinese food cooked sometime during the Ming dynasty, jostling for space with assorted containers of slop that could deflect bullets, flanked by what used to be a banana and now looks like a forlorn zombie penis.

This is just one of the delightful scenarios one encounters if one is an idiot in charge of a house. So now that my expert credentials have been established, I'd like to present an Unofficial Guide to Home Management For Men Who Don't Know Any Better.

If you're a first-timer looking to move, realise that the old real-estate agent maxim still holds true: it's all about location, location, location. (This is also the founding principle of Israel.)

I managed to find a not-so-expensive apartment in Bandra (West), partly because I got lucky and partly because the kitten sacrifice worked.

Now I know that when you say Bandra, most people think of Bandstand, Pali and hot women that were manufactured in labs as a cure for impotency. But you must realise that there are bargains to be found in the dusty, neglected and hence cheap corners of popular suburbs. For example, my window opens to a stunning vista of about 16,000 vehicles going both ways in a one-way lane the size of a bandana, as hawkers stand by, casually launching rockets made of saliva. Security consists of one comatose watchman and about twenty stray dogs that spend the entire night bravely barking at cars, rickshaws, pedestrians, rats, leaves, individual air molecules, etc.

Once you land a place, your first instinct is to throw a house party. This is a great idea if you're a fan

of tailing people and placing coasters under their drinks, or being on Puke Patrol, or walking in on random people defiling areas of your house that you were waiting to defile with someone special.

Also, there's a new house-party trend that's emerging these days: instead of liquoring up and then basically ordering in bags of Type-II diabetes, people are now having cook-offs. Con your friends into this because then you'll get to sit around and drink while they compete to cook you the best meal possible. This trend can be attributed to the popularity of shows like Masterchef Australia, thanks to which everyone I know is now a food critic.

This is what the average conversation during a cook-off sounds like:
Friend: Mmhmm. I like that when I bite into this, it yields at just the right instant - not too soon, not too late. The spices and the salt, combined with the stubbled texture, create a delightful ménage-a-trois that exemplifies rustic zeitgeist, giving me little mouthgasms that sing to the deepest parts of my soul.

Me: Dude, it's Kurkure.

But the most important aspect of having your own house is that now you have somewhere to take your special lady friends to, once you've negotiated rates and stuff. Learn from my place, which is set up perfectly in this regard.

First up, the elevator music is -I kid you not - 'Here Comes The Bride', which is a really smooth way of letting the girl know that I'm some sort of serial killer. Then she enters the house and sees the furniture, which is straight out of a Gujju wedding reception and works only if you're trying to seduce Baa.

But after that, it's pretty smooth sailing. That's when I take her by the hand and gently lead her inside, to the kitchen. That damn sink isn't going to clean itself.

Ashish Shakya is a writer and a stand-up comic. He co-writes the TV satire, The Week That Wasn't. Sometimes he's even sober while doing so.


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