My financial life is uncomplicated, as befits anyone without money. That does not mean I’m a yogi. I have my fair share of temptations. These past few weeks I’ve been tormented between buying a Dyson hairdryer and a Dyson vacuum cleaner, given both hair and house are in a mess perpetually.
But I’m not your average weakling – I’ve been toughened by past experiences. I admit I’ve fallen for the adverts of other hairdryers, shampoos, conditioners,straighteners where the thin woman with thick hair turns this way and that and the hair swishes around like shiny velvet. My hair will swish only if the wind hits a certain speed. Like gale force. Still, when I saw some photos where I looked like Slash on a bad hair day, I said enough is enough and bought this ungainly hairdryer that looks like an X-ray gun and straighteners and anti-frizz serums. I used them now and then and lost interest because really, I can do something else in the 45 minutes that it takes to tame the mane. Like maybe finishing another seventy pages of the book. And what is the point of all that effort if you then think I want to eat sandige with the sambar…and after that five minutes of frying, you are back to square one? But this Dyson people were saying in ten minutes my hair will be swishing like a horse’s tail. Still, I haven’t given in…that much tough I’ve become.
First consideration is I’m a responsible global citizen. So, I’m thinking should I buy so many gadgets and increase carbon footprint? Everywhere it is only forest fires and earthquakes in the news. Okay, I did not think you’d fall for that. It’s actually the £££. First of all, both the hoover and the hairdryer cost more or less the same. On top of that the cost is equivalent to a return fare from Gatwick to Marrakech on low-cost airlines. So, I’m thinking why should something that cleans four bedrooms cost the same as something that dries four strands of hair? And why should something that dries hair or sucks up hair cost as much as a thousand-mile journey? In any case why at all should I be placed in this position? I must choose between glamour and hygiene – I must be the sexy woman whose hair swishes when she sneezes in the dust…or I must be the woman with a dust-free home who looks like a Masai Mara lion. And what shall I say to the interesting men I shall surely meet in the future? Hi, I’m so-and-so and I have a dust-free sofa? I tell you, this is somehow discriminatory, (I don’t know how, yet), so I was just planning to write a very strong bullet-point letter to old man James Dyson. I wanted to write arre, first see how you can introduce decent ceiling fans in this country then do all these fancy-geency innovations. But something happened.
One Mr Johnson Kwame, Regional Director of an anonymous bank in Ghana chose me out of 7.6 billion humans on this planet to share 7.5 million USD. It’s on email and all. He’s addressed me as “Dear Friend”. My mind races and I bring out the calculator. There’s nothing like a dose of capitalism to cure these moral dilemmas. What about carbon footprint you ask? I've already planted many trees in my garden - I've single-handedly brought down the price of this property. So I've paid my price. Ah. The calculator tells me I can buy hair dryer, hoover, package-holiday in Marrakech and still have change left over. I checked the calculator twice. Wait a minute, I can throw in some more things. I’m not reckless but still…
So, first priority is I must upgrade my kitchen gadgets. Earlier when a friend had generously offered to give away his wet grinder, I had politely refused. There is no place on my counter, I’d said grandly. But the way my writing and PhD is heading, it is better to have a backup plan – and selling dosa batter by the kilo looms large in the future. I mean I can't rely on this Ghana money forever...I firmly believe: easy come, easy go. I’ll probably throw in an InstaPot too, so I no longer appear primitive. Okay, a quick check at the calculator. Looks like I can afford the commercial popcorn machine as well. There’s no place to install it…so maybe when The Husband heads out, I’ll set it up on his work desk. It’ll take him at least five years to figure out there’s something different about his study.
Talking of The Husband, I decide not to tell him anything till my list is ready. Otherwise he’ll go off-tangent and start proposing immature things. Like domestic drones and stuff. Or he'll join hands with K next door and buy some grass raking machine. Or worse, that Tesla-gisla car. I’ve seen some model of this car in a mall. Nice colour, I had demurred politely. Like my red Kanchivaram. Still, can it vacuum? No. Can it dry my hair? No. It’s just a bloody car. Which will be driven from home to Tesco and back. On top of that, only two doors. You must clamber in like a chimpanzee if you have to sit in the back seat. And if you are big-bottomed, this can lead to disastrous situations especially if driver is already sitting. Don’t ask me how I know…it’s NONE of your business, actually.
Okay, I must put one more thing on my list. What’s the use of money if it can’t fulfil childhood dreams? So if you see a woman taking her pet giraffe for a walk…
© Sumana Khan - 2018