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Iron lady

By Nickunj Malik - Nov 30,2017 - Last updated at Nov 30,2017

All my friends know that whenever I am going through a stressful situation in life, I twist my ankle. I tread carefully and put my feet with utmost caution — one in front of the other — while walking, but still manage to fall down. The pain is unbearable as the ankle swells to double its size, but secretly I am thrilled, and my scream of agony is muffled by a sigh of relief. And that is because this is a sort of turning point in my stress-graph, after which my problems start to get fixed. 

Another good thing is that I never twist both the ankles at the same time (the nuns at school taught me to appreciate every small blessing) which makes the recovery faster. Also, I have not fractured any of the delicate bones — the talus or the calcaneus — till now. Therefore, nobody takes my falls very seriously and expects me to simply get up and hobble on, which I do, to the best of my ability.

But of late, it just stopped. I do not know why and I cannot seem to do anything about it. My stress levels were on an all time high during our recent relocation, and everyday was a potential ankle twisting day. In fact, there were times when I was walking on so much of unfamiliar ground, that it was inevitable I would fall flat on it. But alas! Nothing happened, not a single tripping. Can you imagine? 

So, other than getting a cricket bat and banging it with great force over my foot, there is no way I can injure my ankle. “Such an action will make me fail my compulsory health test for the new residence permit as well”, cautions the voice in my head. Mentally unstable expatriates are not welcome in any country, we all know that. Soon, I start exploring other, less neurotic methods of dealing with my anxiety attacks. 

Now, I do not have an opinion on domestic chores because I am indifferent to them. When there is a necessity to do something because the cook is unwell or the housemaid is on leave, I do the job quickly and efficiently. I can manage the cooking, cleaning and washing-up part but where it comes to ironing, I am a total disaster. The hot iron scares me with visions of burnt fabric and I never got around to using it. Which is strange because I have always loved the idiom “iron out”. It literally means to remove wrinkles from something, especially a piece of fabric using a flatiron. “Its extended meaning is to solve, to ease, to remove minor difficulties, troubles or problematic details [of or in something]” I read out, from the Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. 

Impulsively I take out the ironing board from the hotel cupboard and plug in the iron. Then I place a wrinkled dress on the rectangular board and start ironing it. The wrinkles get smoothened wherever I move the hot iron and as the creases disappear, my worries start to vanish too. Instantly, I am hooked.

“The hotel laundry is something else,” my husband declares. 

“My shirt is so crisply ironed,” he continues.

“I ironed your shirt,” I tell him.

“They’ve elevated it to an art form,” he gushes.

“I ironed your shirt,” I repeat in a louder voice.

“What? But you can’t iron,” he exclaims.

“Well, I taught myself,” I confess.

“In that case, thank you my iron lady,” he smiles.

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Comments

What an unusual affliction, ankles spraining due to mental stress! The worst of the wags could manage to locate the brains of their targets in the knees.

Ironically, it was the neglected iron that brought out the iron in the lady.

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