Ironing clothes is a big chore. There are people who send them out for ironing and complain and some others who do it themselves and still complain. I clearly belong to the second category.
The isthriwala... now how do we call them in English? Random searches reveal the word to be 'presser'. I wonder if it is because they press clothes or because -by my own experiences- they are hard pressed for time or simply because they handle a lot of 'press'ure, particularly during the weekends. I simply would like to use the term Ironman. Not unlike the suited superhero these men do make our lives peaceful.
Many times you can ascertain the happenings in a household or guess the season of the year simply by looking at the bulk on an Ironman's head, that is, if they are not covered with old worn bedsheets, old veshtis or simply placed inside the ubiquitous 'kattai pai'. Formal white shirts and plain trousers for men, neat salwar kameez, crisp cotton sarees, western formal wear for women on working days, blue formal shirts and plain trousers for men, uniforms for kids on Mondays, white striped formal shirts and trousers for men, shimmering silk sarees and pavadais during navarathiri and formal white shirts and trousers for men. And sometimes when you peep into a drycleaner's shop you can find cleaned and ironed travel clothes and well, formal shirts and trousers for men!
However, some people are very clear about certain things. More the muscle more pressed out and neat and new their clothes become some feel! So they send their clothes to the other side of the city or sometimes country for ironing. My friend for example prefers newpapers to be folded in among her clothes. Another prefers newspapers only in her mother tongue and sends clothes to Telengana.
We on the contrary prefer doing everything ourselves. This has resulted in four iron boxes, two for steaming, one for normal and one more for travel. Plus an ironing table. Plus Sunday newspapers diligently collected and neatly pressed to aid us. Plus a place earmarked for the above activity. Plus an app to remind us of the chore...
To cut a long story short, one morning, after a long week which included lending one ironing box to a neighbour, one box conking out and then simply unable to find the other two, we woke to find a pile of clothes yet to be ironed with school and office hours looming ahead. Even before I could point a finger the husband quipped, "You are the one always ironing out things, so I thought you would have done it" and takes the role of iron man and starts doing his work.
Given the wee hours and barely able to open my eyes, I only wished I became Dr. Strange and possess the time stone or still better....the Hulk!