Let me tell you something about woodwork…. Don’t even think of it, unless have the patience of an angel and an obscene inheritance….. I realized (rather late to control the damage) that what innocuously begins as the fulfillment of a fond dream ( a library in K’s case) snowballs into something that can bury you under and avalanche….unless of course you have a vice like grip over all your senses…..
Last month we began k’s dream project of building a library….we set to convert our third bedroom to cater to his many thousand books….what began simply as a one side of the room “wall to wall” bookcase project, soon engulfed the whole room…..k has a very impressive book collection…..i haven’t counted, but the movable bookcases that are staring at me in my bedroom right now tell me there are over 3000 to begin with….he’s very proud of them….. no one gets to touch them….and unless you want your head chopped off, don’t even bother asking him if you could perhaps borrow them sometime….i digress…yet again….anyways, after the first three days of work, we realized that the space allocated wouldn’t suffice…..so with a very reluctant heart, I decided, it was one of those sacrifices you make for your marriage, to give up 4 built in wardrobes (overflowing with stuff by the way) to accommodate the rest of the babies…and to make provision(might as well) for any future purchases…..which will be inevitable…..
if I thought that was the end of my woes….i had a fat chance in hell……apart from the fact that we’d need to double our budget(which has quadrupled now), it also meant that I had to find storage for all the stuff that those wardrobes housed….. if I told you that there was an obscene amount of home linen….it would be an understatement………lets just say, even if I don’t buy another curtain, bed sheet, bed spread, blanket, cushions (in several sizes), table cloth, mats, runners, napkins (including exquisitely hand embroidered cocktail napkins which I may never use), dhurries and foot mats for the next 10 years, I will still be able to pull off a new look for my home every month….yes…I have that much….and no, I haven’t bought all of it…..it mostly came in the form of gifts received, from people(amma being the chief culprit) who knew just how to tug at the heart strings of a home linen junkie……anyways…this is just two cupboards of the four….the other two housed my totally unused trousseau and chocolate and baking supplies ( err… not for personal use thankfully…I conduct classes for both)which include some gazillion supplies for packing……
ok now that I’ve given you the inventory, imagine how and where I found the space to reorganize all of this….. but I managed….with the help of an excited at the prospect of “my own library” K and my maid…..who was also the excited recipient of about 10% of my stuff….i had to do some immediate offloading to save the day….
So the new library, is not just costing us an obscene amount of money….it has also swallowed up a third of my storage…..to make up for which, I have had to embark on a carpentry project of my own…..storage boxes under the beds….six of them….(reads – more wood, more money, more carpenters going bang bang thru the day), extra shelving in all the cupboards that exist….which sounds perfectly innocent, but isn’t….it too means more supplies, extra number of workers etc etc….a wall unit in the dining room, night stands to use the drawers that we pulled out of the cupboards we tore down, some repair of the antique ancestral stuff I own and oh yeah…we’re remodeling bedroom number two as well….while we’re at it….which meant breaking down one wardrobe, laying that patch with matching flooring…..and …oh well….i am sure you’ve gotten the point……
Before we knew it…..one small project of two weeks, has snowballed into an almost complete rehauling of our home…. When k and I bought this flat four years ago, I remember coming just twice when the woodwork was being done…..we’d entrusted it to appa’s dear friend….so all I had to do, was tell him what I wanted….. and popped in just once to choose the shade of polish I wanted….. I was very particular that that we’d move in only after all the carpentry was completed…..they did such a marvelous job, for which I can hardly taken any credit, plus I didn’t have to live through it… I guessed it helped that I was working fulltime….and hadn’t the time or the energy to bother about anything else….and come on…I hadn’t the slightest idea of what kinds of things both k and I would hoard…..
Its not like I want to play party pooper…..its just that, its been rather difficult to live with a mess….try as I might, to shut doors, and sweep and mop soon after work ends for the day, the dust and debris is mind numbing…..i don’t have the courage to even think of what my carpet is dealing with….and these people have this insane habit of beginning work simultaneously, which means more mess multiplied by the number of areas they’re attacking…..uff….seriously….i just want this to end now….i keep telling myself that its just another week at best…..
So here’s my free advice to anyone who’s still reading this..............
everyone tries to up sell….not just the girl who does looks disapprovingly at your face at the parlour and asks you to buy some age defying sun block…..
the carpenter will want to nail every wood board in sight…..
the marble laying guy will tell you at a few thousand more you can get the whole floor polished, not just the part you relaid…..
the polish guy will opine that its time you polished every door, window and any other wooden thing you own…..
which means, if you don’t watch out….and dream shiny new dreams, you will soon be engulfed in a project you agreed to when under complete loss of sense…..not only will it blow you into penury and leave everything you own covered in debris till god only knows when….
Decide what you want to get done and mostly stick to your plan…..consider what they’re recommending and tell them you will let them know later….consider the advise, based on your time, state of nerves and cash reserves…..plus of course the actual value it will add to your life…. And then reply…..
its absolutely ok to refuse…I’ve shot down thousand rupees worth of dreams in the last few weeks….. thank god!!
So hear ye all….unless you have loads of cash, the patience of an angel, the resistance of a brick wall and the ability to live in a noisy dust filled home, do not even attempt to renovate the space you’re living in….if on the other hand…..the work is important, for your mental health and the state of your marriage!! Turn a really deaf ear to the noise, blind eye to the mess…..and find a blog to rant….your better half sure doesn’t want to hear you crib!!