The Terrific Comedy of the Missing Sock
I wash my clothes in the washing machine usually once a week. I don’t get time to wash it daily; or rather I feel it to be a mundane job most of the times, unless on any day if I need to kill time (oh no, I don’t believe in violence, reference here is to passing time aimlessly).
So on that fateful Saturday, I set the clothes of my entire family for washing in the washing machine. It is usually a very easy task, given now we have automatic machines which wash as well as dry the clothes. Well… so my job is to pick the bundle of clothes and drop these in the machine. My dearest mother usually hates this ritual. As I perform the only human touch with the clothes involved in initiating the machine, she shrieks in horror! She would like to put in the clothes — one by one — turn each piece of clothing inside out and then brush off once, God forbid if any pest or rodent be hiding inside the teeny-tiny pocket! Huff! Who said machines make your life easy?!
After the washing was done, I was in charge of spreading the clothes on the clothesline for ‘further’ drying. My job was done, or so I thought. The next day, I found all the dried clothes magically folded and neatly arranged in the cupboard. More often than not, wherever this magic happens, a mummy is always found in the 10 m radius. I think the magic I witnessed was a similar one. But I felt there was a gap, I got back all my clothes, except, well… one of my purple sock.
We all know, socks are worn in pairs… sold in a pair, purchased as a pair, washed and also dried in pair. But I was so surprised to learn that these Siamese twins lost each other in the process of drying! So here I was with one of the pairs, eager to unite it with its lost twin sister.
I went about enquiring everyone about my lost sock. The entire family could be seen ruffling through their clothes stacks to search for it. The operation would have hardly lasted 5 minutes, and these people gave up!
“No, it’s not there in my pile.”
“Why don’t you re-check your pile once more, must be squished under some bigger cloth?”
“Big deal! Buy a new one!” (HAW! I gasped, shocked by the audacity of the suggestion. Can they ever imagine the plight of the surviving sock? I guess not.)
I frantically searched the laundry basket and its surroundings… scanning every inch inside and outside. I ran unto the terrace to search for my dear lonely sock among the clothes of the entire apartment on the clothesline. My torch would be feeling very proud to be part of such a prestigious rescue operation.
These socks are silly clothing, they tend to drop out being so small in size. Mine are anyways smaller than average Indian girl, that too this being an ankle sock. I couldn’t believe… a full day of searching and still no clue about the lost sock. As I lay in my bed that night, I made up my mind to search the terrace again first thing in the morning.
Early morning, the mission was very crucial for me to let go off my sleep on a Sunday morning. I started step by step, retracing the path I had taken to the terrace. My just-awake eye peered onto each and every step of the staircase, with me mentally feeling lucky that there was no living being around to witness my meticulous search operation. I would have spent around half an hour on the way to the terrace only, still no clue of the sock. Oh, where are you? The entire terrace was empty, the clothesline also empty with not even a speck of dust on it owing to the late-night rain… and still no sock.
Feeling exhausted, as the last attempt, I searched inside the washing machine. Well… to be really honest, I searched too much inside. I searched under the machine drum, around the inlet and outlet pipe, still nothing. I was going to reach the conclusion that I have really lost the other pair.
What happens when you cannot find the other sock of the pair? I am not sure what you would do, but this is what I did. I kept the surviving sock in a safe place, i.e. the lonely corner of my cupboard and continued with my daily 1–2 minutes search for the other one. The picture of the single sock got etched on my mind. This tragic chain of searching went on for weeks.
Whenever, I would come across a single sock, whether on the bed or the cupboard, my heart would be aching thinking, “Ah again this single sock. I wonder where the other one is.” I would restart my brief search for the other one, thinking I have lost it, which would be actually lying in the safe place waiting to join back its pair. Funny! Sometimes we keep going on in circles, going on searching something outside, which we already have safely secured within us!
Here I found the missing pair, but since it is only 1 in number, I confuse it with the pair I already have. This is human nature to look out for missing things, overlooking what he/she already has. The treasure lies within us. The answer is already within us!