No, it’s not the nuclear bomb. It’s not the differential calculus. It’s not even remix albums. This is the evil-est-most-estmost thing that man has invented. It’s the Spartek tile. I say man instead of humankind on purpose: no woman can have invented it.
Anyone who knows what I am talking about will instantly know why. All those who don’t will not understand till Spartek flooring invades their lives.
It invaded mine the day I opened the door to my rented apartment. The bright pearl-coloured floor cheerfully reflected the sunlight and welcomed me to my room (pronounced doom). I was sold. I agreed to pay exorbitant rent for the magic hat house with the Spartek flooring.
Some rub-a-dub-a-scrubbing later, all traces of cement, dust, and other closed-house deposits were eliminated. I smiled at the floor and it smiled back at me. (I am not clinically insane. I smiled at the floor because I was happy and the floor is the only available thing to smile at in an empty house.)
Then my cupboard arrived. As two very exhausted (six floors up by the staircase) guys dragged it in, the floor registered indelible records of the cupboard’s progress down the hall into the bedroom. Black streaks across the pearly tiles. The bed arrived. The fridge arrived. The table arrived. Scratch scratch scratch. The pearly tiles did not miss a single detail. They furiously took notes.
It was not too bad, though. At the end of the day, they were still mostly pearly despite the scratches, like wounded soldiers returning to happy homes.
The next morning, the floor turned tyrant with a vengeance.
Scene One: A strand of hair falls off your head. The pearly floor takes note. Calls in reporters for a press conference. The next morning, a picture of the strand of hair appears in all leading dailies (English and Marathi).
Scene Two: One fleck of chilli powder decides not to be cooked and escapes from the spoon. The CBI knocks at your door. Satellites have picked up pictures of a red speck on the pearly tiles and beamed them to Interpol.
Scene Three: You step out of the bath onto a footmat. You proceed to place your bare, squeaky-clean foot on the floor. Suddenly sirens are blaring in all directions. The floor is screaming above the siren sounds. You look horrified. The footmat has not been washed for a whole day. So it is dirty. So you have left a brown footprint. So the floor will kill you now.
So you tie up your hair forever and stop cooking and throw out the footmat. And you lie crouched in bed all day, youre guts churning in fear as you look at the agarbatti on the table, which threatens to catch the breeze and deposit its ash on the edge of the table…
Nuclear bombs, differential calculus, and remix albums I can understand. Why anyone would unleash Spartek tiles on the world baffles me.