Monday, April 30, 2007

Happy Birthday

I made a life decision the other day. I decided to confront one of my big fears. As you may recall, I feel somewhat uncomfortable around the 8-legged creatures that roam the streets and inhabit my bathroom, so I decided to pick myself up by my cheek-bones and just deal with it. It was all very Dr. Phil. The other day I forced myself to just stand there while the beast eyed me up and down and yesterday I had a breakthrough. Everyone at the office knows of my little spider issue and so Sharad called me into his office to see the giant spider lurking under the desk. I may have exaggerated about the size of the spiders in my bathroom, and while this was nowhere near as big as the one I came across in Lucknow, it was large enough to take off a finger if it was so inclined. It had the spindly little legs and looked about as harmless as a spider can. I decided to touch it, and touch it I did. It was only then that Sharad told me that the spider I touched has a chemical or something on it’s body that will cause the skin to blister. Go figure. I ran into the washroom and washed my hands while singing “Happy Birthday”.

Why that particular song? Well, a couple of years ago I was watching Oprah and she did a show about the bacteria and fungus among us and it turns out that for effective disinfecting, one must needs wash one's hands for at least 15 seconds, approximately the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday”. Ever since then, I have been having celebrations for one whenever I visit the washroom. So not only did I touch a spider, but I have a near death experience to go with it. Ok, so maybe not near death, but a near near death one.

I live in a flat not of my choosing with furniture that has nothing to do with taste and am now sitting in my living room which is ruled over my a piece of, er, art. It is a framed peacock made entirely of seashells which I assume were collected at the seashore by Suzy. No, not THAT Suzy, a different one, with a “Zee Y”. So in this temple of bad taste and I was surprised by my latest finding this morning. There I was in the bathroom, having one of my celebrations while my dust coughed and wheezed, sniveled and sneezed when suddenly something about the shower curtain caught my attention.

Now, I can honestly say that I have the ugliest shower curtain in the history of showers. And not just one, but 2 of them, side my side. Whenever I have had to look at them, I have developed temporary blindness and just ignored them. I have always been one of those people that need to find the pattern in things and I realized that my shower curtain had no discernable pattern and today my idiosyncrasies got the best of me and I took a better look. The whole design, which I have concluded is supposed to be tulips had the appearance of being handpainted. Handpainted kind-of-tulips on a sort of flimsy rubberlike plastic. And they appeared not to have ben painted by just anyone, but by a 4 year old.

I couldn't resist the temtation to investigate further. I gave them both a thorough going over and indeed, they are both completely hand painted. I was stunned. Not only were these the ugliest shower curtains ever to walk this earth, but they had been created in love. Someone had thought this through, had chosen colors, brushes and made unsuccessful attempts at shading. Yes indeed, they were nothing less than a work of love. And like many works of love, say a lopsided cake, burnt cookies or any piece of macaroni or bean art, it was like an ugly baby, a face that only a mother could find beautiful.

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