Off the shores 8
Weekend Well-spent Working Worthwhile
Saved a lot otherwise
Rajiva Shanker Shresta
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All fun and no work make sometimes a weekend dull and gone by. The one last spent was something different but well-spent for the wonderful results it brought us quite long-lasting and saving some money as well. Worthwhile taking such a trouble as it is not only invigourating but quite satisfying with what is achieved out of such work accomplished. Such is the joy of homework that literally brightens up the room otherwise left unattended, good only for storing goods some purchased in bulk saving some money out of the offer or deal. A portion converted provides extra room when four rooms were not enough for visiting friends and relatives. Even a billiard table and theatre at the other end give an empty look that never saw the need to get the long-pending work done to have a warm look in space cool otherwise. Yes the portion of the house neglected with other rooms capturing all the attention, space and time - is the basement downstairs. If nothing else, it was cool environment there that deterred me from staying long trying some shots with the long cue not touched all these years after leaving the Yarrows in Shimla as an IA&AS probationary officer in 1973 or watching a movie from the many blockbusters lying in the shelf would have been an invitation attractive enough. Not a wise option either - utilizing leisure time best for me is to indulge myself in any other way than with my favourite pastime of writing to contribute to the Sikkim Express for the weekly column every Sunday now for the third year in a row.
It is not easy either to work in weekends which are more for unwinding having slogged the whole week. As such it requires much of cajoling and appeasing yourself head and heart to take up something worthwhile as well as productive to make the weekend well spent. Pampered since long in such weekends our body too understands to procrastinate and better leave it for another day or build up enough stamina and courage take up the challenge doing something worthwhile rather than while it away in leisure. Previous evening homework was done choosing the right colour to warm up otherwise cool basement and boost the environment there to sit and enjoy in leisure days ahead. Even for friendly social gathering the place was not of much use as much of the time was spent in spaces above. After making up the mind to take up the assignment and to set the mood right at some place outside to fill the body with goodies that the stomach seeks to fuel it with extra energy to set the mood right, we head for an eatery outside to Devi Indian bistro but found closed, reach Hot Breads Indian Hut to enjoy the type familiar. Once done we go to the paint store and after much thinking and consulting Vimal decides for the colour what should be the best with a matching combination to compliment. Before jumping right into it, thought good to be prudent as well for sample quantity to try with some necessary instruments as printed on the stirrer of FSC 100% Wood - Lowe’s Don’t forget your project essentials! PREP Primer/Tape/Caulk - PAINT Brush/Roller/Tray - CLEAN UP Cleaner/Rags/Gloves. Coming home with a patch painted with each of two colours purchased was enough to have an idea fair enough that the choice made was quite near but the result desired. This demanded something lighter on the wall to go with the length and breadth of the room in consideration of our project. Enough for the day it is decided to get something in a better shade to go well with the décor as well matching with the colours of the doors, columns and ceiling too.
Some homework done overnight we decide for a brunch outside to start dull Sunday morning with in a different locale altogether than what we had previous evening. Nudy’s not only had the change much needed with a crowd American and fare good enough to meet our gastronomic desire that moment. Welcoming were the painting hanging on the wall depicting local old houses in best of colours. Satisfied with the fill enough we head to the nearest store for the value of the paint needed with the best price offered as we decide from the wide range of shade cards in different situation dedicated to colours only. During the process my eyes go to something written on a board near the checkout counter that I show Rachna mentioning some additional savings offered if word COLOR was sent to a particular phone number given. That should definitely be over and above the deal she just got online. Yes they had some extra ten dollars to clinch the deal one-third less the total sum which was welcome as something extra was well enough to what we had in store for us after all the efforts together.
Next morning first thing to see was the progress done as they both worked till late night to rush through the job. Soon I found Rachna sneezing a lot and Vimal too with mild headache that stopped them both from working but little disheartened perhaps for the exhaustive task deemed to be on. With one more tin of paint Rachna got before the deal lapsed, they had given themselves just four days to complete the project with a day and night as well gone waste. Next evening the heavy screen of the theatre was brought down with Tejas’ help as the portion covered by it and behind the billiard scoreboard also needed paint. Another spell of work in the night and on the final day brought the result quite impressive. Small stretch of the corner wall in front was left undone as it would help enhance the décor if done in the darker shade, I observed. Even if left like that it would match with that of the entrance and staircase that took some time to think over and decide. Once finished, the work not only gave a sense of satisfaction but of accomplishment as well having achieved something worthwhile all these months in recent years. If nothing else, it also saved getting someone doing it that would have meant spending something additional by way of wage around five hundred dollars. It was quite an amount to be spent on a task that was made possible well utilizing the weekend that would have turned more expensive if gone holidaying like any other weekend otherwise. Well it was worth enjoying all the while working through this short term project giving brilliant result just in two shades to compliment bringing a sense of achievement for days and days together. The place turned warm and cosy making more enjoyable out of the space otherwise unused to go live with more activities together in festive season ahead. Briefly, money was saved in two ways – a. by not engaging a person from outside to do the work and b. having not gone a weekend holidaying yet once again saving all the hassles travelling on a trip otherwise ruined by weather turning rainy due to the cyclone that passed over during this period. The wise say Money saved is the money earned. It is the hard earned money worth utilizing the best way for which an occasion comes often and aplenty but hardly comes the opportunity to work extra hours with our mind and body used to only good things in life without understanding the joy and worth of the labour capable gone unrealized before. Screen fixed back with Karthik’s help, Vimal checked the system to bring wonderful result of all the exercise worthwhile - best we come back soon here to relax and enjoy the toil, putting away the work awhile.
Finally to end the story without leaving anyone guessing what shades were used to go so well there – Rachna was telling us of seeing many things thereafter in those two colours only while Vimal too saw the same everywhere which we also agreed finding so common- blue and gray!
Next week: Life ordinarily stitches – Little helps much needed
This is author’s personal account of memories updated to cherish and treasure often on a detour here and there en route to share the joy of the journey called life while in the US. Some names, places and events mentioned are just to connect with and no malice whatsoever intended. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org