Iam exhausted. That is one full sentence - it explains my kitchen experience during this lockdown. For the first two days, i did not really feel the small waves of pressure that would grow into a full tsunami of house work. Since we live in an apartment complex, all maids and drivers are denied entry and we have to fend for ourselves. Many friends of mine who live in US constantly berate me for fussing over housework and having a train of maids to follow me around. Be that as it may, for over 25 years of married life and before that as well - I have never done much housework, especially cleaning dishes. This brings us to the topic of this post - my thoughts and confusion on how to effectively wash dishes without taking a bath in soapy water. The first lesson learnt is that to clean up dishes, ensure you have very less dishes to wash in the first place! How to do this is a different subject matter altogether. For the first few days it was hectic, there were vessels in the sink, around the sink and underneath the sink. There were three different types of scrubs and scrub holder bowls. You know, the steel scrub, the new scrub and the used scrub. On day two, I sneezed for the first time in this washing journey. I remembered I had bought my maid a pair of kitchen gloves. I had given it to her about a year ago so that her hands were dry after each wash. But of course, she never used it. I dug it out from some long unused cabinet and started using it. It was great to see dry hands after a bucketful of washing. I was impressed with the gloves. I recommended it to my neighbour who promptly sent her son to our grocery store to get a pair. Why do I mention this? it is to highlight my poor planning skills, should have got an extra pair for myself too. About 3 days into using the gloves, I was assiduously scrubbing my serrated knife, which my good friend from US had gifted me - when one of the serrations tore into the glove and created a long rip. And there ended my love story with the kitchen glove. I called up the grocery store to check. They said only essentials are available. I argued with him that this is an essential - you don't want to have people sneezing or getting a cold in these times. The man, very much used to my pet peeves and grievances on his store essentials quietly commisserated with me and gave his apologies. So, it was back to gently using the bare hands. On and off, I could feel a pain in my fingers which I let it down to under-use and scrubbed away manfully thinking that it is a good exercise- lifting heavy pans, cleaning them and putting them back in their rightful place. But arthritis does not take kindly to lifting stuff - heavy or light. My right thumb first gave way.. and then my fingers swelled up a bit. But I pursued relentlessly three times a day... After about a week of experimenting with the process, crockery first? steel next? tawas and pans later? or vice versa? Should I use two racks one to hold the dirty dishes and the other to hold the sparkling clean dishes? Wait, you might wonder why the take on 'sparkling' dishes. Well, I ran out of the cleaning soap bar and I vaguely remembered a gentle discussion with my maid sometime back. While she preferred soap bars, I advocated the use of a cleaning liquid. As is the case, the maid won the fight and we settled on a truce. She uses the soap and I use the cleaning liquid whenever the need arose. The need, as you may well know by now, had arisen. I quickly dug into my cabinet again and found this dishwashing liquid that gives 'sparkling' results. Of course, this required another bowl to hold the liquid, the same bowls that I had alluded to earlier - if you have read this content keenly. My elder sister, who quite clearly is cut from another cloth in our family genetics is the perfect homemaker and working woman. She had once said that while washing dishes, she plans out her day or thinks of her life's issues. I realised that all I can think of while washing is how to get rid of this task fast and drink that cup of coffee! To be fair, I do think.. being a process person, I finally placed my spoon holder first and all spoons go inside it after a wash. I tied a cloth to the tap to prevent water from splashing, in my mind's eye I identify the spot to keep the food processor blades and I keep them there! I think this article is getting to be too long. So, let's conclude by saying that by May03, I shall have the process in place. Did I mention that in-between I managed to sew an apron with a plastic lining? I used a garbage bag for the lining. My sisters called me up and asked me why I was not using the dishwasher? Well! I ran out of dishwasher soap! Take care, be safe and social distance yourselves.