Of Pots, Spices, Brushes, Rags, Detergent and Anger Management

You know the way feminists and men who have a soft spot for women say that if a woman cheats there’s a story? Well, I think that a woman who is down with some bug, say a nasty flu, is working her way through the kitchen is a story waiting to be told.

I am one to take cleaning and culinary art to the next level when I am in a bad mood; especially when I am furious about something. Let’s just say I learned a handful of things in anger management class that were not exactly spelt out in bold letters. Like the lesson about channeling negative energy into a good project. I know for a fact – a scientific fact – that anger is indeed energy. So when my adrenaline gets pumping and I am set on “fight mode”, I make sure my hands are up to something good so my tongue will not get me in a bad place, as it is wont to when I am boiling over.

I love cooking. I have loved cooking for about a decade now, maybe longer, and it has served as a great way to keep me out of trouble when the little red guy with pitch fork is suggesting that I give a few people a piece of my mind. Now, that is not to say that everything is solved by a little oregano, tomato paste or olive oil; but it has helped salvage one or two friendships. And that’s good enough for me, because I like things that work. And I have lived long enough to know that nothing has a quality assurance of 100%. Not even a really good recipe.

Another obsession of mine I cleaning. Let’s just say that some people like everything in it’s place and would rather it remained that way until it was necessary to bring about change. Change has to be my least favourite word in existence, but I have learnt that it isn’t such a bad thing. Say when you use a chicken masala mix over plain boiled potatoes just waiting to soak in some flavor before drying up in the oven. So change is good – sometimes – and should therefore find a welcome mat outside your door – sometimes. Back to the cleaning, I like to vent out my disappointment and hurt at wall stains, dusty surfaces, floors laden with breadcrumbs and hot messes in bedroom and living room closets. I was more than just a little OCD when I joined campus, but was soon forced to relax by the various temperaments that became my friends, roommates and group discussion members. I still obsess a little over the original order of things and tend to feel relaxed after general cleaning or completing some house chore or the other, but I have come a long way.

I find myself turning up the volume and grabbing a floor rag when I am upset and feeling pretty much okay after sweating it out for an hour or so. The foam and bubbles with their sweet fragrance must have some aromatic therapy too, I reckon. Usually, a couple of minutes with the rough bathroom or toilet floor will do me some good, but I like to cover more ground while the juices are still pumping – so I start with the easier tasks so I am not worn thin too quickly.

Then there is the glorious nap that follows to help rejuvenate. This is just a story for another day.

My little piece of advice to the world and especially those who care to listen is this: if after a long day at work a woman decides to lock herself up in the kitchen, laundry room or bathroom for an hour or so, let her be. It is quite likely that, in her wisdom, she has spared you a little bit of hell and resolved to deal with her demons the best way that she knows how: cleaning up.

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