Drip drip drip, my blue ship ..

A few days ago the flush tank in one’s upstairs bathroom sprung a leak, as flush tanks are wont to doing. While this in itself wasn’t a terrible thing, the fact that it happened on a well-timed Saturday morning, was. You see, one has come to terms with the sad reality that the powers that be, aka the maintenance folks that are supposed to do nice things like maintain one’s apartment, don’t take kindly to being called on Saturday mornings. One could perhaps call them, but getting them to actually come home on a Saturday is much like applying makeup on a pig — an interesting idea that can be executed in several different ways in theory, but all resulting in the same futile outcome — it doesn’t make a difference.

So one did the next best thing one could think of. One found a bright yellow plastic bowl that generally loiters around the house for no reason at all, and one stuck it under the flush tank. Water go drip-drip, bowl catches water, bowl emptied, bowl go back under tank and so on. Simple algorithm really. All Saturday and Sunday, one dutifully emptied said bowl of water, waiting for Monday morning to arrive.

And arrive it did. I walked into the bathroom, eagerly picking up bowl to empty it one last time, when .. <toink> .. bowl was empty! Ye kya ho raha hai, beta Duryodhan? I asked myself, looking around to see if the water had found a different escape route instead. But nopes. The tank was there, the bowl was there, but no water. The simple story of a bathroom leak had apparently turned into a thrilling case of a missing leak.

Now, kahaani-mein-twist-twist notwithstanding, I could no longer call maintenance. C’mon, it is one thing to have your blog readers snigger at you when you tell them sad tales of flush tanks that mysteriously stop leaking, but it’s a whole different level of gut-wrenching humiliation, when a workman arrives, armed with a gut and a wrench, and looks at you convinced that you are hallucinating. To add salt to your wounds, he will tell you gently, that the water was probably dripping into the tank like it is supposed to, and I, silly girl, just didn’t know the difference. And so, to avoid that moment of distress, anger and inevitable murder rampage, I waited for the dripping to resume.

And I waited and I waited and I waited. But as old bathroom wisdom will tell you — waiting for leak in bathroom does not always make leak happen. Um, well .. yeah. So one tolerated a hideous yellow bowl, sticking out like an eyesore in my bootifool lavender-and-white bathroom, staring at me emptily, mocking me, challenging me to make that call. I think I heard it gleefully cackle once even, but that might have just been the pipes conspiring. (Paranoia? Me? Nevvver.) But I was adamant. Water drip, maintenance come, I point, they fix, I smile smugly. That’s the way it was gonna play.

And along came today morning. After a cursory glance at the still empty bowl while I brushed my teeth, I went downstairs bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to start my day. I sat at my machine, ready to check some pointless mail, when .. <plop>. I looked around, wondering what that was about. Having no idea what makes a plop noise, I continued to work when .. <plop>. Again. So, before the story turned into the case of the unfathomable plop (everyone seems to want starring roles in this story, what to do), I decided to investigate. And what did I discover?

Plop, as it turns out, is the sound water makes when it drips from one’s ceiling and hits a glass table. No, not any ordinary glass table but one on which my precious, my lappytoppy sits. So I had a minor aneurysm. Then a nervous breakdown. And then a panic attack. And finally, after all that, I calmly picked up my laptop and relocated it to a warm, dry couch.

Now water plopping from the ceiling meant only one thing. The bathroom was misbehaving. So after muttering some unprintables about sipping dog-blood and what not, I scampered upstairs to find that the flush tank had exploded (or so it seemed), there was water water everywhere (nor any drop to drink, for all you Coleridge fans), and that the resourceful ants in the bathroom were building an ark to escape. And using my bathroom mats as improvised rafts, no less. I contemplated about what to do while I sang paanii paanii re, khaare paanii re from Maachis, and realized that lyrically pertinent Gulzar songs from Chandrachur Singh movies were not really going to help matters. So I did what any self-respecting bathroom owner would do. I emptied the bowl and picked up a mop.

I mopped to the rhythm of plop-plop-plop,
I wish this leak would stop-stop-stop!
I thought I could make a poem out of this,
But sadly, the idea has to drop.

And naturally, I was hop-hop-hopping mad. It is one thing that it stops leaking on a Monday morning trying to taunt me. But how can it go from Mandakini’s-clothes-in-a-Raj-Kapoor movie to a Mandakini-in-a-Raj- Kapoor-movie, that too without warning? (That’s ‘from nothing to an abundant Ganga‘ for those of you with movie-deprived childhoods. Tsk tsk.) So I called maintenance —

Me: Hello, I am calling to report a flood.
She: Whaa?
Me: This is an emergency. The upstairs bathroom flush tank is leaking. There’s water all over the floor which is now seeping through the floor of the bathroom and dripping down from the ceiling of the living room. Dripping onto my precious, um, I mean my stuff downstairs. So please come urgently. And oh, did I mention this is an emergency?
She: <calmly> Ah? So the bathroom is leaking?
Me: <trying to be calm> Yes.
She: Right now?
Me: (No, in an earlier incarnation of mine. <bhoot hoon main playing in background>)
Me: Yes, now.
She: There is water on the floor?
Me: There was water on the floor until two minutes ago. I just mopped it.
She: Oh.
Me: Yes, I put a bowl under the drip, but it is dripping fast and will overflow anytime.
She: I see. So there is no water on the floor now?
Me: (If you ask me questions for another five minutes, there will be!)
Me: There is some. And the water is seeping downstairs into the living room ceiling.
She: I see.
Me: (You do?)
She: So tell me..
Me: Yes?
She: Is this the downstairs bathroom or the upstairs bathroom?
Me: ($%@&*#?!!)
Me: <channeling Zen Buddhha> Upstairs.
She: Would you consider this an emergency?
Me: (Yes. And when I get my hands around your neck, you will consider it one too, I assure you.)
Me: <seething> If the water is seeping and leaking into the living room ceiling and dripping over the couches and tables, wouldn’t you consider it one?
She: Yes, ma’am, I would.
Me: (Yeah? Ya think? Really now?)

But wait. The story is not yet over. As Sangeeta Bijlani sang to a roomful of villain sideys in Tridevye to pehlaa jaam hai, abhi to shaam hai. So after asking me my apartment number and contact info, she says —

She: Okay, someone will be over.
Me: (Hallelujah!)
Me: <eagerly> But when?
She: Um. Some time today or tomorrow.
Me: Eh? Today or tomorrow? Why the multiple choice answer?
She: Well..
Me: What part of it being an emergency do you not understand?
She: But we are blocked up, ma’am. Two of our maintenance guys are sick.
Me: <in despair> But my flush tank is sick too! Oh woe is me! The water will seep down, the wood will soak, the ceiling will weaken, it’ll all come crashing down on my head and I’ll never be able to see my precious ..
She: <interrupting me> I’ll have someone over today itself, ma’am.
Me: (Aha! Theatrics and seething! THAT is the magic formula!)

As someone I know likes to say, that was then, and this is now. The maintenance man arrived, took off his shoes politely even, the leak was fixed, the ants were drowned, the rafts have been recovered, washed and dried and the bathroom is fully functional and back to its pretty lavender-and-white. And my precious is back on its table. And the story? Well, it’s over. What did you expect? It’s just a leak.

76 thoughts on “Drip drip drip, my blue ship ..

  1. gvenum

    Would you care to add “spell check” and if possible “grammar check” and if if if possible “nonsense check” in your comment section. I think I am missing my crack for the day. Oops! Not again. And I totally agree with your “assessment” that you are horrible and evil too :)

    I thought Karthik role in AN is of a free-lancing romeo on the streets. BTW, I remember he was so popular among the ladies in that role. Oh yeah! I am keeping the sophisticated villain role to myself. Heh heh!

  2. deitaDi

    bAncan, late ga elgindi.. navvalEka sastunna.. eeDa aapees la andariki inni rOjulu doubt unDE, naak saTkAinchindani.. iyyAla total kanpharm aithadi

    translation – Got the joke late, howling like crazy. All these days my colleagues thought I was looney, this confirms it for them.

  3. Mythili

    How did this discussion lead to unmentionable (well, no more) body parts ??? Wasn’t this the post about a certain flush tank?

    [gvenum] I think you ought to be thanked for turning the entertainment value of the commentspace up several notches !!! Good job. Also apart from playing the glamorous villain role, you shall be contributing towards the script too. Well, obviously.

  4. Megha Post author

    [deitaDi] Ooh yes, I remember Vijetalu very well. And yes, it is Vetrivizha in Tamil. That song (undaali ..) is one of my very big favorites from that era of Raja, featuring a very pretty Amala, I remember :) Incidentally, I always thought it was undaali nee gundello but I seem to be confused. Living in eyes or heart, what difference? Same apartment, different room, after all.

    [gvenum] So glad you agree :) And no no. If I added a ‘nonsense check’ most of the comments here would go into moderation and this madhouse would never be the same! Then how would we all sit here and laugh our asses off at the unintentional comedy that is generated by the likes of you? Heh! I just crack myself up sometimes!

    [deitaDi] Heh heh heh :) Your colleagues are a bit on the slow side, aren’t they?

  5. Megha Post author

    [Mythili] That poor post about the flush tank .. went down the drain. Not that I am complaining :) Not my fault though. Pliss notice, I have been nothing but good here. See the angelic glow? Oh. The horns, you ask? They’re just there to hold the halo in place. Really.

  6. deitaDi

    [Megha] Yep, the correct lyric is

    Balu: unDAli nI gunDellO, nEnE nIvu gA
    Janaki: unDAli nI kaLLallO, velugE nEnu gA

    about the colleagues being slow, figured that the day they decided to hire me :P

    [Mythili] you remind me of “bheem” in that “Jaane bhi do yaaro” clip

  7. Sriram

    I thought Karthik role in AN is of a free-lancing romeo on the streets. BTW, I remember he was so popular among the ladies in that role.

    That is why I didn’t pitch a fit. I’m sure Megha would attest my talents in that field. * waits for an anvil to be thrown in his general direction *

  8. Sudo Nimus

    To quote a line from a terrific movie and an equally awesome post, “Yeh kya ho raha hai, beta Duryodhan??”

    *goes off in search of a mirror to find out what the fuss is all about?*

  9. Mythili

    [Megha] Ah! This is why you call your blog OBDB?

    It has now been established that this blog is the official bimbette of the desi blogosphere. People visit it for its looks, not for what it has to say. Tsk tsk.

    [Sudo Nimus] Now, do you really need a mirror?

  10. Sudo Nimus

    [Mythili] I think I do, which is not to say that the really kind attempts to render it redundant (the mirror, not the hitherto unmentionable) are not appreciated.

  11. Mythili

    [Megha] – No. Not your fault at all. Nevertheless your contributions are definitely Commando, The Bull! ;-) :P

    [deitaDi] – I hate doing this … but remember you are looney! Not your fault though! *pat pat*. Now run off. Shoo!

  12. anantha

    Hmmm… to think all of this started just because someone asked me about the tears I shed for Team India!

    What are all you guys on? Sugar? When did this post become a spiel to me and my future love life? Let me be! Unless any of you is a hot single woman1 (or someone who knows Amala2), please cease and desist from any speculation.

    When I evoked that Thalaivar parallel, I was equating Thalaivar’s character Surya to me and Mallu star Mammooty’s character Deva to the Indian cricket team. That should have been the focus. But no!

    My tears have become the latest thing to be focussed on and made fun of, on this blog. Just like my Hindi skills, my porn watching and my soft side! What next? My “single and ready to mingle”-ness?

    Let me be, you horrible people, let me be! In spite of being envious of Prabhu’s dancing in his 80s movies, I don’t want no part in some random movie-type incident. Unless the talk of Amala’s possible presence next to me with a translucent dupatta/towel/bedsheet is true.

    [1] Call me… the [megalomaniac] that owns this blog knows my number.

    [2] Call me… the [megalomaniac] that owns this blog knows my number. I heard she’s (Amala, that’s who! Are you stupid?) no longer with that hairy ape otherwise known as Nagarjuna. Tell her I like cute puppies and kittens too.

  13. deitaDi

    [Mythili] manufacturing defect, what to do.. I sink you didn’t get why I called you bheem.. want me to elucidate/enunciate/enlighten?

  14. Megha Post author

    [Sudo Nimus] Aha! So when Agatha Christie wrote The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, this is the crack in the mirror she was referring to! Damn! Who would have thunk?

    [Mythili] Yay! Horri the Bull and Terri the Bull from my earlier comment welcome their stud-cousin, Commando the Bull. Much happiness at the family reunion!

    And OBDB is simply for reasons you quoted above. Just a pretty face, empty inside, and all that hoo-haa. But the pondy trips that the commentspace goes on are typically about male unmentionables – soft-cores, erupting volcanoes and the latest addition to the list – the infamous crack in the mirror. Not sure if that gives this blog any added bimbette status. But we’ll take what we get.

    [Sriram] Er wait. I have to attest to your talents? In what? Success with the ladies or freelancing Romeo? Will gladly do either, if compensated generously enough for it.

    [deitaDi] Yes yes, that only. Different room, same apartment, as I said. Lovely song though :)

    [anantha] Arrey, what is this? I have already made fun of your single-and-ready-to-mingle-ness. Apparently I didn’t do it heartlessly enough so you seem to have forgotten it. Will remedy it soon.

    And hello? You mentioned drops of love, and we promptly arranged for a flood on you. (And got a flood upon ourselves of another kind, which is an entirely different matter.) We brought translucent dupattas, rain-swept valleys and blooming flowers to set the scene and create the right mood. We even bribed the electricity board waalas to cut off your building power supply just for the disco-effects. And you ingrate! You accuse us of making fun of your tears? You should drown yourself in that lava/lou puddle, out of shame. Hmpfh! But we are nothing if not nice. So if people ask, your number shall promptly be given. See .. what a deep wishing well we are. Sniffle.

  15. shishir

    some people have all the time in this world….i must say…
    request email if u want to thrash me..

  16. gvenum

    Aaaw! Thankoo! Thankoo! For all the nice words and encouragment I will definitely consider you for the role played by Nirosha! But the focus of this story is soft-cores and all that goop, so you may not get a significant part. Let me know.

    What are you complaining about, Mister! Without this halla-gulla you would have not had all the attention and possible access to hot oomens. You should be really thankful that you have a soft-core amid that violent exterior.

    M2M that was! I agree, Anantha should drown in the lou puddle for all the babblling he did. BTW can Bah, the bull join the family reunion too!

  17. Bhanu

    Nice read.

    So, how did you know it was time to empty the bright yellow plastic bowl?. Oh…U had an algorithm for it too …volume divided by volume of drip drip by the minute !

    Look forward to more such posts where daily lives can be seen through your lense.

  18. Megha Post author

    [Sudo Nimus] :)

    [Bhanu] Glad you like. Yes, the dripping was at a steady pace, so I could maximize my yellow-bowl-emptying efficiency :)

  19. Bhanu

    10 ideas -

    1. Transfer yourself to the doorway of the bathroom so that you can keep an eye on it every 49 seconds.
    2. Put series of mirrors in a periscopal manner such that you can monitor the bowl from downstairs.
    3. Put your laptop with a webcam and monitor it from your desktop below.
    4. Throw bunch of clothes around and under the yellow bowl so that any overflow is promptly absorbed.
    5. Put the yellow bowl in a bigger green bowl
    6. Hire somebody to stand at the doorway and blow a whistle whenever the yellow bowl is full.
    7. Cut off all water supply to home until the maintenance man arrives (check into a hotel for daily routines).
    8. Use the drip to water your plants by transporting them to your bathroom.
    9. Call K.Balachander and tell him ‘thaneer thaneer’ .
    10. Let it flood a bit…call insurance company and paint your apartment with the colors of your choice.

  20. Drifting

    Useful tip for the jobspace too – mayb I need to wax bipolar between ‘Zen Buddha’ and Meghaesque pseudoangst on a more regular basis..

    Drifting: Dear Conference, as requested last month to no avail, I urgently need xyz123 SAP access..
    Global Help Center: Hello Drifting, please fill form on following link http://dudgetsnowhere.com..
    Drifting: Hello GHC, as I told u last month to no avail, the link is defunct, nothing is found..
    GHC: Hello Drifting, thank you for your feedback! Please fill in service satisfaction questionaire..
    Drifting: #@!!.. (to no avail)

    and so it goes, scampering around witlessly.. tail-chasing de ja vu. Daedelus’ imagination couldn’t hold a candle to it.. but Megha tell me, what would u have done if the maintenance man was only going to come the day after, .. or the day after the day after.. there’s the rub, methinx.. :P

  21. nomadz

    stumbled on ur blog today….
    enjoyed the post and the ensuing comments were fabulous:)
    looking fwd to reading more of ur writing.

  22. Vidya

    This is the second post that I am reading after the one on Ijaazat and I had a great time laughing. My God, the way you had written is just BRILLIANT. Thanks Megha for a wonderful few minutes.

    Excellent post. Will have to read your blog more patiently now and should remember not to read it at work :-)

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