With Eid just a few days away, my cousin-brothers in Karachi, aged 19 and 22, decided to help out their mom by cleaning the house. My aunt is very particular when it comes to cleaning, and despite having a full time job, she still musters up enough strength to keep the house neat and orderly. A lady comes in daily for a few hours to do the cleaning and laundry, but my aunt is never satisfied and would end up doing the task herself.
My aunt’s only daughter is now married and settled abroad. My aunt has been recently diagnosed with hypertension and is on medication. And since it is mandatory to clean every nook and corner of the house a few days before Eid, my brothers, for the first time in their lives, took it upon themselves to do this crucial task.
They mutually agree to start off with the living room. Karachi is a very dusty place. You wipe your furniture clean in the morning, and by noon, dust will settle ever so gracefully on them.
“Ammi, just relax yourself. We’ve got this covered!” yells the younger brother from the living room.
And so, armed with a vacuum cleaner, the brothers step in to face the challenge.
First, they vacuum the entire carpet. Then, they push the sofa aside, revealing a generous layer of dust on the floor. The younger brother spends a frustrating five minutes trying to suck the dust with the machine. The dust remained subbornly scattered on the floor. It didn’t occur to both of them that the bag in the machine is already full and the filter needed cleaning.
The older brother assesses the situation and announces that he has a plan. He decides to take over; he pulls the floor brush off the machine’s hose and turns on the blower. This brilliant technique of his worked; he is able to successfully lift the dust off from behind the sofa.
Only problem is that the dust is now all over the room – brown powdery dust, lightly floating about everywhere.
Alarmed, the older brother orders the younger one, with great urgency in his voice, “Get two old tshirts, wet – stat!”
The younger brother rushes back into the living room a couple of minutes later, with two of their old tshirts, soaked in water.
“Quick, now wave that in the air,” instructs the older brother, holding one the tshirts and swirling it in the air in an attempt to catch the dust.
At that exact moment, my aunt decides to come out of her relaxing state and get a peek into what her noble sons are doing. Luckily, my uncle is nearby; he probably had caught her before she fainted.
PS: My own house is still a mess. While the public sector enjoy 12 days off straight, we get three days. I have tomorrow to clean the house and prepare our clothes. Eid is on Monday, InshaAllah.