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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

"Mahabharat" Laundry

Dad used to teasingly call it 'Mahabharat' Laundry. No it was not a power laundry as we understand these days and certainly, its name was not 'Mahabharat' laundry.Dad teasingly used to call it 'Mahabharat' laundry as he felt the family characters were like a straight out of  Mahabharata... father was Krshna Prasad, wife was 'bhabhi ji', eldest son was Arjun Prasad, the younger was Ram Prasad, still younger was Laxman Prasad and daughter was Mandodari.

Dad's limited knowledge of the epics did not make him realise the mix-up. There were some characters from Ramayana, as well !!! 

Krshna Prasad had a kholi (very Bombay reference for a small room in a chawl) close to our house...the house converted into an ironing house during the day. 

Happy go lucky Krshna Prasad would keep belting out bhojpuri romantics all day whilst ironing clothes, occassionally smiling and teasing bhabhi ji. No one knew her name. But surely mom must have known because she was the unofficial, self-appointed Health, Safety & Welfare officer of the 'Mahabharat' family. 

My first school love story prematurely ended in crisis thanks to Krishna Prasad. He acted like Madan Puri in my story (not intentionally). 

Neighbourhood cousin xxx at 12 wrote a cute letter, which accidentally remained in my pocket.  Accidentally, it went for washing. It remained in the trouser pocket even when it went for Ironing. Krshna Prasad loyally handed it over to his 'Welfare Officer'.  The Holmes 'Magnifying' glass was pulled. All hell was let loose at home. My poor performance in Goegraphy was called out .I couldn't understand the link.No desert that night for me. I was declared 'Guilty'.

Call was made to uncle next day. Evidence was produced. Cousin xxx was punished. 

We wink at each other even now to recall this when paths cross. She is 57. I am 60. She is a Doctor.

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