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I guess you are not writing about elephants today?
Nope. Not elephants.
The evening sky?
Perhaps. But its drab and dull gray today.
You like them that way.
You bet. It means imminent rain… if we are lucky.
Okay. So what will it be today? Emeralds, elevators, enthusiasm…
No, no, no. It is ‘Eureka!’
The Archimedes kind?
Nope, the Forbes kind. Haha.

Today was vacuuming day. So I had got down to it without delay. Someone else has been doing the sweeping and mopping till recently, the traditional broom and mop way. With the lock-down in place, everyone’s doing their own work, bad back notwithstanding. With me in the picture for cleaning day, there was a lot the Eureka Forbes machine had to go ‘Eureka!’ about every moment of the way. Its excitement was palpable as it unearthed dust, mites and cobwebs from every conceivable nook and cranny I directed it to.

The dust, mites and cobwebs, who had gotten complacent over time with no one having disturbed them for a long long time, what with the woman who usually did the cleaning using the broom as if she was afraid she’d hurt the floor, were relaxing in their lair, sure that they were safe for all time to come. To their utter dismay, the attack today was being lead by someone different. They had time only to hear a roar, like an engine gone berserk – yeah, the model I have sure makes hell of a racket – and before they knew it, they were sucked in forcefully and left to languish inside belly of the vacuum cleaner.

The machine was ecstatic, at least it looked so to me, following me around wherever I went, ever ready to do my bidding. Suddenly though, we hit a snag. The machine made a whooshing sort of sound like a desperate banshee wailing for air. Air, air, not getting any air!!!! Well, how would it? Something was blocking its air hole. Apparently, it had tried to suck in a torn ear or part of a chewed up tail of some toy belonging to Luci. It must have been bright and colorful once, but was now a dull gray and almost unrecognizable. I pulled it off, and the machine heaved a sigh of relief, getting back to work pronto.

But someone who was keeping a close eye on proceedings – can’t have mom sucked into the horrible machine’s belly, can we? – had seen the whole thing unfolding. That someone was Luci. She rushed over, tail wagging, an eager look on her face. “Eureka!” her body language said. And also, “Mine!!!!” She grabbed the half chewed ear, or tail, that once had been a part of her toy, and trotted away pleased. There were memories to be refreshed and there was not much time to do it if she knew mom.

© Shail Mohan 2020