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The Right to Put Things in Disorder
by Biswajit Banerji

In any household, how many times a man is accused of using a thing and then not putting it back in its designated place? If on any occasion, the hapless fellow happens to be blessed and free from such accusations then it can safely be assumed that either he is a bachelor or he has, after due consideration, not taken the  trouble to ‘use’ a particular thing in the house which continues to remain in its hallowed place. If he is a bachelor, he already has a wanton license to merrily put things in disarray, but if he isn’t, then further agony awaits him in the form of jibes that he is a lazy, uncontributing specimen who does not care a fig about what’s going on in the house and how the poor wife has to manage everything singlehanded.

The satisfaction that comes from putting anything back in its original place after every use is beyond most men. Why the net displacement of any household object should be minimum and not maximum, post-utilization, is a moot question that has not been answered since the inception of mankind. For most men, the minimum displacement theory as propounded by the conspiring wives, is loathsome enough and deemed fit for summary rejection. Initially, keeping things in permanent disorder begins as a passion that soon assumes the regularity of a habit, finally degenerating into a fossilized dogma. At this stage no amount of good advice, persuasion or threat is going to have any effect other than causing visible irritation accompanied by occasional eruptions.

The other day I had to launch a massive combing operation in the house to locate my specs which had the irritating habit of disappearing when needed the most. All possible hideouts were searched including the most improbable and patently improper places like the shoe-shelf, refrigerator and even the commode flush-top. In my quest, I had committed the sin of ransacking everything that came my way until the house resembled one that was ready to be forsaken and set on fire. The whole exercise was excruciating and as I dropped into the drawing-room sofa, a sharp shooting pain, apparently originating from the damned piece of furniture, forced me to jump on my feet. There lay on the sofa, the spectacles in a state that reminded of artefacts excavated from vandalized ancient tombs. It seemed I had middled the ball perfectly well with immaculate timing to inflict the most savage damage. My first reaction was to curse my glasses for having mingled so seamlessly with the sofa as to render any kind of detection impossible. Then I blamed my friend for his phone-call that had caused me to rush out of the drawing room, leaving the poor glasses to fend-off the elements of nature. My wife, who has the gift of waylaying the most defenseless creatures, came around to say that I richly deserved whatever had happened and that it was a sound lesson. I mumbled something in apparent agreement but secretly thought that it was good riddance because the spectacle-frame was too backdated and a confirmed age-enhancer. Any celestial repercussion of my sacrilegious act has yet not been reported.