On a bleary Saturday afternoon that can be best described by the word 'blah', for all its dreariness, nothingness, for the lack of promises it held for the rest of the evening, I set about a task that gives me the energy and mood for the rest of the day.

We had made semiya upma, our kitchen lacking everything except the basic spices and a pack of frozen vegetables lying frozen in the refrigerator. Lazy to step out of the house in the sun and buy anything back, which must be washed, chopped and whatever, this was the easiest alternative.

As we cooked in the nickel-aluminium (?) wok that Amma had bought for me last year in the hope that I would step up and become interested in cooking my own lunches and dinner, I felt annoyed. At all the brown marks that the wok had come to bear, products of overheated oil in which me and my friend had tried many a time to make something edible (no, I'm not getting into what came out from the wok - things I have cooked deserve a special story of their own, and this blog has come to witness many such in its years).

Annoyed, half an hour later, done eating the semiya upma that might have needed salt but we still stuffed in by coating it with spicy pickle, I set down to scrubbing it clean. I toyed with the idea of soaking it in soap for a while, but didn't have the patience to wait before cleaning it. It was one of those times when you are so bent upon finishing your task that you have no patience to wait for the in-betweens.

I put on those bright yellow rubber gloves and grabbed the mesh of wire that had been strung together to make a scrubber. Turning the pan inside out, I scrubbed with all my might.

Scrub, scrub, scrub. And more scrub.

About five minutes later, I ran some water over the wok. Lo and behold! The scrubbing was working, and the brown parts were slowly turning golden. Encouraged, I scrubbed harder, unmindful of the ache in the right arm that was vigorously promoting my cause.

I turned the wok this way and that, trying hard to reach those unreachable parts near its handles, the rims, and pretty much every part of the wok I could see.

Ten minutes later, when the wok was covered with soap that had turned black (courtesy the metal scrubber), I ran water on it.

The wok shone quite brightly.I put the wet, dripping wok on the shelf, and gave a grin and left the kitchen.

Only remnant of that enthusiasm now is in my urge to go shower quickly, and get all the grime from the wok that stuck to my palms out and feel clean.
It's amazing how confidence can drop to rock bottom levels, hopes can be washed away, and the bits of positive thoughts remaining in your mind can be squeezed out... all in an INSTANT.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm a fool to think positive all the time. It doesn't seem to be helping, so why not just rejoice in despair and take pleasure in being pessimistic?