There are days when I am exhausted by the mechanics of the day. Is it just me, or has it become really complicated to engineer the basic needs of our lives? As a child, nearly everything we needed to run our home (groceries, milk, eggs, veggies and fruits, stationery items, etc) were available at our doorstep, in the nearby marketplace or were home delivered. Today, in a suburban city like Gurgaon, where paying power is relatively high, supermarkets abound; however, going to one is an exhausting experience. Too large, too stocked, too lit, you need to get out your car and drive somewhere to meet your basic needs. Supermarkets do home deliver, but to be unable to choose your wares and deal with delayed delivery schedules is inconvenient as well.
Take milk, for example. In the good old days, the milkman delivered milk at our doorstep. Even in Mumbai, where fresh milk was unheard of, I remember the glass milk bottles being left outside each night, to be replaced by the milk lady early every morning with filled glass bottles. Now, I buy milk in plastic packets. Where we lived earlier in Sector 56 Gurgaon, the local grocery store delivered milk packets home. The grocer issued us paper tokens for a lumpsum amount we paid him. We had to hand over the requisite number of tokens to the delivery boy every morning. The system worked well and the grocer was happy to get paid in advance for milk.
Here on Sohna Road, where people are richer, residents have a problem paying a bit extra per litre so that the grocer can retain a delivery boy to do the rounds. Milk is available at a grocery store nearby, but it runs out soon. At other times of the day, you need to drive to a nearby market to buy milk.
Sometimes I feel something is wrong with me. Everyone else seems to be able to sort out these tiny things; in my head, household chores remain a scramble of hectic, often unplanned, activity. It’s exhausting! On days like this, I wish desperately for a simpler existence….