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Thursday, November 05, 2020

Chp 834. One Underwear Challenge!

I never thought I would be stranded at a deserted and secluded place for more than a week, and lived to tell the tale about it. 

Ok, I'm exaggerating, it wasn't that bad, but I was indeed stuck for 10 days at our farm outside the city because of the sudden Aizawl lockdown declared on 26th October. That too with just one underwear! 

I'll mention about our farm and what we're up to, including the issues we're facing, in another update. In this post, I'll just mention about my experience of being stranded at our farm without any spare underwear! :D

To keep it short and simple, we have this farm at Neihbawih, which lies under Sihphir jurisdiction, and recently, we started repairing and renovating the farmhouse so that we could stay there for a night or two. Currently, it has just a basic makeshift electrical connection (four light switches and one plug point) and we still need to do a complete electrical wiring overhaul. We fetch water by the bucket from a nearby rainwater harvested water-tank a few meters away from the farmhouse. 

Last Monday, I went to Rony Enterprise, Chanmari, and bought a Honda GX35. It is a 4-stroke brushcutter that runs on petrol. It is quite expensive and costs a whopping 22K, but it is super light and efficient. I tried out the cheaper models in the shop that were in the range of 15K, and they were all heavy! Considering that the person who would be operating the machine would be none other than yours truly who had never done much of manual labour in my life, I decided to buy the more expensive (but lighter) Honda brushcutter. 

And so that same day, I went to our farm at Neihbawih to try out the machine. It was awesome! The operation manual was very simple - Just fill the tank up with petrol, inject some petrol into the engine using a pump, switch on the machine, and then pull the cord to start it. After that it came to life with a very low rumbling sound. I attached the harness belt across my shoulder, and once I was ready, I revved the engine by pulling the trigger and the machine roared in all its glory as the extremely sharp blades spun at 294 RPM, slicing off any weed or plant with the slightest touch. 

It was kinda fun too. I managed to clear two entire terraces of weed and shrubs in one go and my back or arms didn't even ache a bit. 

Our plan was to stay for the night so I could continue cutting all the overgrown plants the next day, while my mom and maid would clean up the farmhouse and surroundings, and then we would all return home the following evening. I said goodbye to our driver Zorema as he took the Bolero home, with instructions on what to bring the next day. 

As Zorema disappeared downhill, I continued cutting for some more time until my machine ran out of juice. I had another litre of petrol in a can back at the farmhouse but I decided to save it for the next day as it was getting dark. 

Everything was going on smoothly, mom and our maid had cooked a lovely hot dinner and I went through it thoroughly, famished from the work done that day. Once I was done with dinner, at around 7:00 PM, I decided to walk up to the edge of our farm near the cliff, as it was the only place in the area where there was mobile data network. 

Once there, I took out my phone and swung it in the air wildly to get data reception, and soon enough my phone buzzed as WhatsApp messages started coming in. As I scrolled through the new messages, I completely froze because there was this image that was being circulated in all the groups I was in. It was a message from DIPR: 

Yup, an emergency meeting had been called in the evening that day because of the sudden spike in CoVid-19 positive cases, and so a Total Lockdown had been enforced in AMC (Aizawl Municipal Corporation) area for a week! 


I was cursing, but at the same time I knew I shouldn't do that because a lockdown was the best (though not most practical) remedy to curb the further spread of CoVid-19 cases. I thought about being stuck at the farm for a week, and a few things didn't worry me much, like we had good supply of water and electricity, we also had abundant vegetation surrounding us, with enough rice, eggs, oil, packaged food and gas supply to last us a month. 

I also had a few change of clothes in the farm so that wasn't a big deal. The only problem that worried me like hell was that I didn't have any spare underwear!!! 

Yeah since I was planning to stay at the farm for just one night, I didn't take any spare undee with me. That was going to be a big problem for me. :D

The 10 days passed very slowly. Every day, we did certain work like clearing the rubbles and wooden planks near the farmhouse and neatly storing them in the storehouse, or cutting off more grasses around the farm. 

Other days we would be chopping off shrubs and small trees around our old chicken coop or demolishing our old pig sty to make way for a new building. 

And all those hard work meant getting dirty. 

With no spare underwear, I had no other option but to wash it while wearing nothing :D I covered myself with a towel for the few hours I had to wait for my undee to dry. Sometimes it took longer to dry, depending on the weather, but I must admit, the background view was breathtaking :D

Do the photos above take your breath away too? I mean, the view, not my undee. :D

While waiting for my undee to dry, I would do other tasks again, like arranging slabs of stones to make a footpath or painting our new water-tank stand to prevent future rust, while being in commando. :D :P

And then it was back to the old routine of wearing my clean underwear, and then washing it, and then waiting for it dry, and then wearing it, over and over again.

Somebody asked me how I was coping with just one underwear and that it must be smelling pretty bad, but considering how everything is so fresh in the farm, this is how I imagine the above image would be advertised. :D

And then day before yesterday, when the AMC lockdown got extended for another week, we couldn't stay at our farm any longer as we were running low on petrol (for the brushcutter), rice and other supplies, and so I called up my friend Tlantea who is a member of our Chaltlang Local Council, and he sent me a permit immediately to return home. Even though I rejoiced at the thought of finally going home, I swear I heard my underwear exclaim in joy even louder! :D

Ahhh so that was how I spent 10 days with just one underwear, or as I like to coin it, "onederwear". :D

This was my Onederwear challenge! 

I know, one shouldn't air their dirty underwear in public, especially in the clean and pure air of Neihbawih, but I thought this might help those who will be in a similar situation in the future.

The worst thing about being stuck at the farm for 10 days was that I didn't have proper internet network on my mobile, and so I couldn't check my FB timeline feed or even my friends' WhatsApp statuses or Twitter feed. 

But at the same time, not having data network was also a good thing because I wasn't spammed with thousands of discussions and debates in various WhatsApp groups and Mizo FB groups about the ongoing American Presidential Election. Who will finally win the Presidency, will it be Donald Trump or Joe Biden? To me right now, the only entity worthy of winning this esteemed title is my underwear. :D