Saturday, September 08, 2007

Procrastinater, no longer (hopefully)

Am I procrastinator? I never seriously thought so. OK, I would like to tackle the easier, simpler and non confrontational tasks before the more complex ones. And occasionally, I’d like to shove the really unpleasant task under the ever present pile of papers on my messy desk. But this time, I really outdid myself. Could it be then, that I am a confirmed and beyond hope procrastinator?

I shifted residence (3rd time in as many years) in May end this year. This was peak work season. I managed two days off from work for the shift. We moved in to this really large apartment but without any woodwork what so ever. Just large bare rooms. Worst affected was my kitchen. There was just a long counter – a slab of black granite. And so all my kitchen ware, spices, grains, cereals etc were piled just any how on to the counter and left for a weekend when I could sort them. June, July and then August came and went. We settled in properly, the logistics, the maids, the shops, the electricity, telephones etc…except the kitchen.

The mess was incredible. In fact, the very sight of it was enough to have me shuddering and making a dash away from it. The few times I had to cook (maid was absent or the dish I wanted was beyond her) I spent an inordinate amount of time looking for the ingredients. I went out and bought stuff only to discover more of it lurking on the messy counter top. And occasionally, I’d have to get rid of something putrid from among the stuff which had been lying there neglected for quite some time.

And the guilt – oh god!

Since my maids were not going to lift a finger to remove the mess and neither would A, it would HAVE to be me. OK. So what if I tackled it bit by tiny bit. Perhaps all the large containers on day 1. All the smaller ones on day 2, all the Indian spices on Day 3, etc. Workable? Yes. And I’d feel a little less guilty with each passing day. So, I began on Sunday and finished on Wednesday. Wow! I felt like I had just scaled the Everest.

The kitchen is looking NEAT, everything in place and easily available and to my Surprise, did I actually buy so much and of nearly everything? I am after all the Timid Cook and the most adventurous that I have ever been was when, nearly four years ago, I tried to make Ras Malai (my first and last time …. And no it didn’t turn out bad… it was good…but the effort was too tiring).

The guilt which had rapidly evaporated on seeing my organized kitchen is back full force. I have spent so much on stocking up and yet in the last three years, have used less than 25% of what I have in my kitchen. Wasteful, zero planning / organising skills and WORSE - procrastinator.

This is what I found:

I have seven types of lentils – moong green and yellow, masur, chana, arhar, two types of rajma, lobia (am not sure if the last two are lentils)
3 types of breakfast cereals,
2 types of rice
4 types of cooking oil – mustard, vegetable, and two bottles of olive oil
11 type of sauces including teriyaki and black bean
10 Indian spices – cumin, coriander, poppy seed, ajwain, saunf, kalonji, black and yellow mustard, black and white sesame seed, radhuni, cardamom, cinnamon, mace, black pepper, red dried chilies, chili flakes, cloves green and black, thyme, oregano, basil and one mixed herb
Fried garlic and onions
Sooji, soya bean, dalia….

I am going to take a photo of my now tidy kitchen (should have taken one of the messy one too...but its too late now) to remind myself of the perils of procrastination.

PS - Now that I think about it, my desk at work was always messy. And ocassionally when things got really out of hand, once in 6 months or so, I would take couple of hours of tidying it up. And it would be such an event. People would gather to see. The housekeeping would provide me with a large garbage bin to dispose the useless papers and other stuff. A colleague V, would always click pictures on her cell of the before and after and send me the jpgs.

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