A Brief History of Washing



Rahul quickly put all his dirty clothes into the washing machine, put in some of the new vibrating molecules soap powder, closed the lid and went out for dinner. After a momentous evening with his girlfriend, he came home in a rather good mood. But the mood was spoilt when he opened the washing machine. The clothes were in exactly the same state he had left them. The soap powder lay on top of the clothes, insipid and lifeless. It seemed like this whole vibrating molecules thingy was just a con job.

He pulled out his lamp and rubbed it angrily. Copious amounts of smoke began to emerge out of the lamp. Soon the smoke coalesced into the figure of a heavy man in ancient Chinese costumes. “At your service, master,” he said bowing politely to Rahul. As many of you might have guessed it was a Genie.

Now Genies come in various types. The one many of us might have read of was indeed a very powerful one. But not all Genies are that powerful. Most Genies have their limitations and have specific areas of expertise within which they can grant wishes. The Genie in question here was a Chinese variety known as Dong Ki. Its specialty was domestic chores and transport. Which in effect meant it was a house maid, gardener, cook and chauffeur all rolled into one. But no way would this Genie be able to raise a magnificent palace, bring its master all the riches of the world or defeat his enemies. For that one would require the services of the architect Genie, the thief genie and the warrior genie respectively. The warrior genie was incidentally called the Dong Xi. Chinese names for genie are also apparently as confusing as the human names. But here there is no scope for confusion as there is only one Dong Ki in this story.

Look here!. The clothes are still as I had left them. The powder you gave me was totally useless,” Rahul shouted at the Genie.

The Genie tried to calm him. ”Did you open the water tap and switch on the washing machine, master?

But you said the molecules of the powder vibrate by themselves and I need to soak no more. So I thought I will save power and water.

You seem to have missed the whole point. In order to appreciate the concept of vibrating molecule, you need to know the whole history of washing. It goes way back to the time of your ancestor, the minister at the court of king Raja Raja Chola.” As much as Genie hated work he loved to tell stories. Rahul was also very fond of listening to stories. So the idea of story calmed him down and he settled down on his chair to listen.

Those days there were no cars, buses and bikes. So it was I who managed most of the transportation for your ancestor. One day I was transporting a consignment of special ashes for him. It was very heavy and it was a hard task for me. I was crossing a bridge when my feet slipped and I fell into the water. I was fully soaked. But when I emerged out of the water, the burden had reduced drastically. I was so delighted. From them on the motto was soak more, work less. Every time I crossed the bridge, I would jump in for a soak.

Rahul burst out into peals of laughter, “You are one wicked demon! You have been dissolving all my ancestor’s magic ashes in the water?

Oh. Is that why master seemed unhappy every time I did that? Anyway continuing with my story, one day we were returning after a long stay at a neighboring kingdom. We were passing a bridge and I did what I usually did. But the minute I got soaked instead of the burden reducing it had increased. What the hell was happening, I wondered. Had my master found out my trick and cast a ‘soak no more’ spell on the bundle?

Rahul could not suppress his laughter, “You deserved it, you old rascal. Obviously wet clothes will become heavier.

But, I must say,” the Genie continued, “It was not without its positive side for I found it had become easier to wash the clothes. So soaking was not entirely bad after all. Either it reduced your burden or made washing easier.

In a few more years, it was time for yet another discovery. This was during the time of another of your illustrious ancestors: one of the nine jewels in the court of King Akbar. This time the consignment had both magic ash and clothes to be washed. As usual when we passed the bridge, I jumped in to get soaked. This time there was only a slight increase in weight. Guess the ash and clothes balanced each other. But later I discovered that this new event had further improved the effectiveness of washing process. I assumed it had something to do with the magic ash mixing with the water in which the clothes got soaked.

Rahul gave a whoop of delight, “Don’t tell me you were the one who discovered soap powder!

I made my next breakthrough when I was serving your great grandfather who worked as a civil servant under the British rule. I had just emerged out of the water after soaking the clothes and the ashes when suddenly an earth quake started. It was minor one. So though I was badly shaken by the vibrating ground, I was able to reach home unhurt. But I discovered to my delight that washing had become still easier. So it was ash, soaking and vibration that did the trick.

Rahul was now looking at the Genie with genuine admiration “So it was again you who discovered the idea behind the washing machine as well! I wonder what the world would have done without you. Next I guess you discovered you can manage without soaking and have the vibration on the soap powder molecules itself instead of on an outside machine, eh? But unfortunately this innovation has come out a total cropper!

The Genie grinned sheepishly. “Technical challenges, you know. The molecules cannot be stored in vibrating state as they will escape away. So we need to trigger the vibration just before washing only. For that the washing machine needs to be run. And we need water to bring the molecule in contact with the clothes. So we can’t avoid the water either. But I am working on a better solution to both these issues. Soon a day will come when we need to soak no more


This post is an entry for the soak no more contest on IndiBlogger sponsored by Surf Excel and the credit for the picture above has been taken from this site.


42 comments:

Uma said...

A plot with technical details...as always your imagination flies :)
All the best !

Saru Singhal said...

This Genie comes with a history...LOL...BTW, making the Genie Chinese is really cool and good to know that Genies have categories. BTW, Can I have this Genie? The home maker in me is dying here as I can't afford a maid in US...:)

Awesome writing and how brilliantly you weaved a soak/vibration theory.

All the very best:)

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot,Uma.

The Fool said...

Thanks, Saru. I got the idea to make the genie chinese from a children's book I am reading now where genie warriors called Don Xhi.Yeah, if I find this magic lamp of this genie, I will send it to you.

Arvind Passey said...

Dong-Ki eh? I love that snide reference. Nice walk through imagination... will give a tough competition to the best entries.

Arvind Passey
www.passey.info

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Mr. Passey. A rare compliment from you means quite a lot.

Farila said...

Loved reading this post more than washing clothes with the free detergent powder with vibrating molecules .. LOL. Very creative and very entertaining.

Someone is Special said...

What a post TF.. If you find two Genie, then send one to me bro.. Please.. :)

Someone is Special

Saru Singhal said...

What's the name of the book? I am reading about Vietnam war these days...

Please, I know you don't want to give the genie to me.

@Arvind Passey- Seriously it is very funny. Dong-Ki...

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Farida. This post seems to have stuck gold - catching the attention of stars of Indiblogger.

The Fool said...

Thanks, SIS. Lol. Will definitely send one if I find.

The Fool said...

@Saru - The book is a children's series called 'Children of the Lamp'. It is about 2 djinn children. I read quite a lot of children's books. Yeah - Vietnan war must be interesting. History is also one of my favorite topics. I have read books on world wars, Chinese history, Iranian history etc.

indu chhibber said...

Oh my!fantasy again.But i should not be surprised- you are a master of this art.Nicely woven into the challenge!Good luck!

C. Suresh said...

As usual, your creativity has risen to the challenge and magnificently!! Like Arvind, I too was tickled by the name and the tale :):) Let me know once the genie finds a way to wash clothes without a washing machine :)

dreamer said...

hahahahaha...creative indeed...mr. dong ki had been a story teller. :)

DS said...

Good story and how you bring in a genie in every story amazes me!!

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Indu. I am glad to see my work is slowly interesting you in the fantasy genre.

Subhorup Dasgupta said...

Lovely, TF. It has been a treat following your contest entries, and this one is another masterpiece. It was not just engaging and informative, but the wit running through the narrative had me smiling all through. Great one.

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, CS. I think rather than Genie, the surf people who should be inventing it.

The Fool said...

Thanks, DS. I have off late been reading a lot of books of the Percy Jackson and Children of the Lamp series. Greek Gods come in the former and Genies in the later. So you can see that influence in my writings.

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Tanaya. Good to see you at my blog regularly.

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Subhorup.

Shashiprakash Saini said...

chinese genie and history of washing
loved ur post ur too good in this

jaish_vats said...

Very Creative TF. Good Luck :)

Ranjith said...

Never knew that there was the brain of the genie behind the washing machine! :-)
All the best for the contest!

The Fool said...

Thanks jaishree.

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Shashi.

The Fool said...

Thanks and best of luck to you as well, Ranjith.

jaish_vats said...

Hey TF
I read ur post on the bird park . Interesting . The part where the parrot sat on ur wife's head was funny :) nice pics of the flowers too .

Avalok said...

Good fun and imagination..

The Fool said...

Thanks Jaishree.

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, avalok.

Panchali said...

TF...That was really really nice! I read a genie story after a long long time! A wonderful story jam-packed with adventure n spells!!
Kudos...and all the best!!

Ghazala Hossain said...

Poor Rahul, glad he found a genie. All the best to you :)

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Panchali.

The Fool said...

Thanks Ghazala.

maliny said...

very creative and all the more interesting . . guess its the first time i am commenting on your blog . . better late than never :) because i will be coming for more ! all the best for the contest :)

The Fool said...

Thanks, maliny. Guess you have commented earlier on a couple of my poems. You have probably forgotten as I have changed my blog look and feel and thats a different genre. Do look to see you around more often.

Rickie said...

What an amusing little story! Good luck with the contest :)
I tried writing one yesterday for the same topic but I don't think it came out so great, but what the heck, I decided to post it anyway! Do check it out, but only if you have nothing better to do! :D

http://reekycoleslaw.com/?p=581

The Fool said...

Thanks, Rickie. Will check out yours.

Punit Dubey said...

So, a Chinese Dong-Ki discovered 'Soak No More' of Surf ExcelMatic :P Your imagination really are superb and just too good... :D

The Fool said...

Thanks Puneet. Good to see you back after so long.

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