I have found a new spot in my house. A small patch of floor that I previously didn’t know existed.
I have lived in this house for more than a decade and yet, this new found space stares at me and teases me, “look at your face”, it seems to have a laugh. But, that’s me — finding new spots, new strips of floor, new ground to watch, admire and clean up.
When this journey of quarantine began, I had no idea, it would last this long. I started cleaning the floor on a whim. I stopped all external help and I decided to get my hands dirty — quite literally.
I never knew that little space existed till a few minutes earlier. What if, I just let that be? I took a deep breath and walked away smiling with the secret knowledge of my latest find
I used various forms — a broom, a hoover and mops of all kinds. It was during one such adventure that brought me face to face with this previously unseen part of my humble abode. “Wow. Look at that”, I mumbled when I first saw that.
That little space tucked neatly behind the large door was a forgotten and neglected part of the dwelling. Apart from the usual swirls of dust, mint and what not, also lay a small broom.
The minute my eyes spotted the broom, I did a little dance. This broom used to be a playmate for my son when he played with toys. He would hoist himself on it and ask me to ride it with him.
I would balance myself delicately along the long rod and we would fly to far away magical lands. But now, it lay there gathering dust along with spider webs and what not.
I got down to work — wiping the broom clean and scrubbing down the spot. The new acquired floor gave me an impression of having found a whole new region — a space we could dance and have a party.
After my little landmark victory, I began to look for more nooks and crannies — behind doors, behind sofas, beds, between furniture — who knows where they may exist hidden in plain sight. I did find a few spots — a small corner in the living room behind a corner table, a hairline split space behind a bookcase in the study.
A major breakthrough
These discoveries didn’t warrant huge celebrations but I rejoiced in the knowledge of my new findings. I cleaned them, I pushed my furniture back and triumphed in the new carpet area of a few inches. But my big break came in last week — a new find. A major breakthrough.
I was busy cleaning up the bathroom — scrubbing away the wash basin with rigour. I wanted them spotless and smelling fresh. I wiped down the counter to leave it sparkling in the lights when I found a little ledge. Ok, I lie.
It is not a ledge — something between a groove and a ledge. There it lay between the counter and the cabinet below. I let out a tiny whistle — well, not a whistle but you get the drift.
It was a miraculous little find which I had no knowledge of. I crouched down to get a better view. A neat little space with a fine layer of dust and cobwebs stared at me. Along the edges of the groove was a strutting army of ants crawling determinedly somewhere.
A little hole in the place was probably their home and they went about their business unaware that someone had noticed their existence. The next instant, I got down to business.
I wore my gloves and wanted to clean it. As I brought my scrub closer to their home, my hands shook.
I never knew that little space existed till a few minutes earlier. What if, I just let that be? I took a deep breath and walked away smiling with the secret knowledge of my latest find.
Well, I don’t know how long this adventure will last, but till such time, my hunt is on for the next spot!
— Sudha Subramanian is an author and freelance writer based in Dubai. Twitter: @sudhasubraman