Things are not well in Suruj’s house. There seems to be a spate of broken occurrences. Cupboard doors are off their hinges. The fridge isn’t cooling properly. The 4-month old electric kettle has started to leak. The back door lock gets jammed every once in a while leaving somebody locked out. On Suruj’s husband’s TV an unexplained patch has appeared from the inside and it seems to be getting bigger everyday (Yes Suruj’s husband has his own TV because he’s one of a kind and and when you’re one of that kind you get to have your own TV. Everyone else in the household has made peace with it by now.)
Literally things are falling apart. It seems to have just started overnight. As if the house had come alive while we were sleeping and collectively agreed to start breaking down. Of course, this has lead to a series of blow ups between different members of the household. Like who-broke-the-cutlery-drawer-handle which is now lying in the fruit basket with the overripe bananas. It usually starts when someone needs a spoon and gets their fingers pinched trying to open the drawer by sticking their pinkie in the tiny gap between the frame and the drawer! The fridge is entirely on Suruj for always ‘overstocking the shelves’.
So days are now being spent on the phone. Pressing through a series of options to be disconnected 4 out of 5 times. If in the event, someone does pickup you’d have to wait for 2 minutes till they finish their yawning. There are complaint/reference numbers scribbled and stuck on the wall above the phone. Days are also been spent in dragging items to repair service centers. Some days are spent waiting for the repair guys to turn up. We have learnt that a 11am appointment is actually a 3pm next day turn up.
Nights are spent poring through instruction manuals about random patches on screens and overturning bottom drawers for old receipts/warranties; anything that will say we are still within the safe period. Suruj’s husband is adamant that we paid for extra warranty on his 6-year old TV (you tell me who issues out 6-year warranties?). Necks are strained from trying to get serial numbers of appliances from tricky places. Hours are spent on-the-line trying to find replacement parts only to sometimes end up finding that that particular model is discontinued.
Dinner time has become a rant swapping session where one concisely narrates their battle of the day either on-the-phone/or-with-the-repair-man/or-at-the-store-where-one-bought-that-‘useless-piece-of-junk’. A lot of energy is also spent huffing, puffing, kicking and the usual venting on the social media.
But amid this crumbling times and terrible customer service; the paper warranties and the help on the other end of the line is…reassuring. They give you a sense of protection against breakages. A comfort that things can be fixed. Insurance companies can be bastards but the fact you are covered for unanticipated damages gives life a little bit more space.
And it keeps us sane. That our broken stuff can be fixed.
But what about the matters of our hearts?
Is there is a service center where we can call and dial: 1. For an Exhausted-from-Life Heart or 2. For a Over-Burdened Heart or 3. For a Broken-Heart and 4. For All Other-Heart-Issues? Or perhaps a door-to-door service people who come tend to your heart instead of you dragging it out all the way to the service center?
Remarkable isn’t it that we can get a replacement warranty on our tea pots but not our hearts?
In this age of ‘instantaneous’, we have access to immediately fix our problems. Replacement parts can be searched and ordered for delivery the next day, same day service calls for your car batteries can be booked via text messaging and locksmiths can open your locked-in keys within 45 minutes of placing a service call. But the state of our heart? We are still in the dark ages with this one.
The true matters of our hearts is not something to be discussed at dinner tables or written about on blogs or snap-chatted to contacts.
This is something we vigorously dab and keep it in check all day. Something we let spill quietly in the solitude of the night muffled into our pillows. Something we slip in loud gulps between jets of water in our morning showers. The matters of our hearts, we blink away while waiting in line for our electric kettle with our repair tracking number in hand.