‘A well-starched pyjama is a piece of art,’ I said after taking out the garment from the wardrobe. My wife shot back, “Then, why don’t you practise the art yourself?” I asked, “What do you mean?”
“The laundry has increased its ironing charges. So, sundry items like your pyjamas have to be ironed at home. From now on, you’ll have to take care of your pyjamas.” “But I don’t have time,” I protested. She sensed the lack of conviction and declared, “Find time or manage with crumpled pyjamas”. She knew I couldn’t.
So, next morning, I hesitantly stepped towards the ironing board. A neat pile of clothes greeted me.
Picking up my crumpled pyjama, I asked my wife, “Are all these clothes mine?”
“Yes and all this is what you have used up in just two days,” she said. I counted the lot — two pyjamas, two kurtas and equal number of T-shirts, shorts and hankies — ten in all. Enough to test the tensile strength of my steel-frame, I thought as I took out the drawstring out of a pyjama.
As I began to iron the drawstring, my wife asked, “What are you doing?”
“I am going about it as an artist would. I’ll first iron the drawstring and then the rest of the pyjama,” I said. She made a face but left me to my artful devices.
Well, it took me nearly an hour to perfectly iron one set of kurta and pyjama and a hanky. But honestly, within a few days, I began to love my morning trysts with the ironing board. It had such a calming effect on me. It was as if the iron was not smoothening the wrinkles of the cloth but of my mind.
But, soon I got a rude wake-up call: the electricity bill had gone up by several hundred rupees. Result: I was barred from ironing. Now, whenever I take out a crisp pyjama, I am tempted to ask my wife — “Hey, what made you think art came cheap?