My Everest

I remember the night before my 6th standard maths test. The first time I felt a terror so deep, I felt paralysed. That same dread has revisited me at various points in my life. The night before my 10th Biology boards exams, the moment I learned that the ICSE 10th standard results were out, the night before my first exam in Germany and the first couple of seconds of my very first job interview. Dread for what was to come next, of the unknown.

This dread that has only visited me a half dozen times in my life, has come to rule my evenings for the last 1 year. All my years of schooling, at the Uni and all the years of my mother nagging me and there’s one thing that I still cannot do – keeping a house. I can model components, write code, make presentations, spreadsheets, all while speaking german but I can’t keep a house.

The mornings are great! I hop out of bed! Me! The morning zombie! Who has loathed waking up early for all 20 something years of my life! I hop out of bed and cannot wait to get to work. It’s the evenings that I dread. Those couple of seconds that it takes to turn the key in the lock fills me with a fear, that was hitherto unknown. Every fibre of my body screaming to me to just the turn back in the lock and run back. You would think, just what awaits me behind those closed doors. An abusive husband? a demanding one? an alcoholic one?

I happen to be one of those lucky few who has a husband who actually does all the cooking and most of the cleaning. But after a long day, neither he nor I, have the patience or the energy to cook up something. Let alone do the cleaning up after. Because of this, most of our dinners last year have been out-sourced to restaurants or deliveries. Unhealthy, expensive junk! Needless to say we both fill out our clothes much better than we used to. After some serious decisions we decided to cook more this year and so far, it’s been working. But I continue to question myself – how long is this to last?

The prospect of thinking up dinner, rounding up the ingredients and the cooking in itself drain more than whatever little energy I have left in me. With the weekend come more chores – vacuuming, dusting, grocery shopping, laundry…… and the list goes on and on! My life seems to have become an endless stream of folding clothes, doing the dishes, making shopping lists,… No matter how much I get done, there is always something left to do. It’s no wonder that its only last weekend, a year after moving in, that we finally finished furnishing our living room. Okay, so may be it’s not completely done. But we have a couch, couch table and a cupboard for books and knick-knacks. That counts right?

I want to come back to a nice and clean house everyday. I want to enjoy my time at home. I want to be able to write a little and find time for other pursuits when I’m at home. I want to eat healthy meals and I want to go for a run or exercise but I can’t bring myself to do all this when the house is not how I want it to be. And no matter how badly I want it, I am not the  domestic goddess I need to make my house nice and clean. This is my undoing!

So if you have any tips or tricks for this nerve-wracked 20 something who is at her wits end when it comes to keeping house, do write in.


Published by

Manasa Manjunath

Bengaluru girl rediscovering my roots. Automotive engineer on the job. Avid reader, erratic blogger, frequent traveller & eternal foodie off the job. Chatterbox all the time.

7 thoughts on “My Everest”

  1. I hear you sister! Sailing in the same boat as you with similar priorities / desires to have a lovely home. And I know it’s not that common to have a housekeeper (like in India..assuming that’s where you are from by your name).
    A few things that may help:
    1. put things back where they belong
    2. use it – wash it or rinse and in the dishwasher
    3. prepare the base of the dishes you want to cook for the week and in the freezer in boxes for day wise) or simply cook a few dishes and put in the fridge.
    4. home made rotis and can be made and frozen ( I pref cling wrap in sets of 3..thats what I can eat)
    have a few other time saving tips from parents when they were here for a couple months (and oh god do I miss them terribly)… but its specific to South Indian cooking and will ramble on if it’s relevant..

    if you come across any tips pls do share..


    1. I am from India. Bangalore to be specific so the south Indian tips you mentioned, yes please!! The putting things back and the dishes aren’t the biggest problems. It’s the cooking!! And the cooking over the weekend, definitely something to try. Thanks a ton 🙂


      1. Boil up daal for the week…put in little containers for rasam and sambar.

        Soak tamarind for the week…same drill.

        Chop up veggies and put in the fridge. Get a good veggie one for birthday and love it absolutely.

        Dosa or idly batter is a life saver…stay good in fridge for a fortnight. Grinder is the best thing I bought (and giving the responsibility to husband too)

        Anything else.. I’ll sure let you know.

        Having said all that.. haven’t cooked myself in a week!


        1. That really helps!! Unfortunately, I don’t have a grinder. I’m from Bangalore but I’m currently in Germany. So ingredients for Indian cooking can be problematic to find. I have the spices and stuff but when it comes to vegetables, it’s rather limited. And I guess the main problem stems from this.


          1. Glad could be of some help (dads tips for fresh easy cooking daily).
            chickpeas and kidney beans are good options too.
            Had no idea vegetables is an issue in Germany. Close to so many agricultural counties I thought decent varieties would be available.
            Non-veg is quick and easy to cook if you marinate and freeze…that if you do eat meat!

            another thing I can think of for grocery is online and collect sort of thing of that’s an option.


  2. Buy organic rolled out chapatis. Takes three minutes to make 6 chapatis. Eat raw veggies with hummus/ pickle/ ranch. Cooking vegetables are overrated. Listen to audiobooks while cleaning- help makes it a little less daunting. Read Marie Kondo’s book- Life changing magic of tidying up.

    Also, my mother kept our home absolutely spotless and cooked delicious meals For a long time, this was the birthplace of guilt for me. How could I possibly not do these seemingly mundane chores that my mother so effortlessly carried out day after day, year after year? It wasn’t so long ago that I realized that my mother probably hated it too but couldn’t bring herself to openly accept it. Thanks to patriarchy. She had a master degree and a job but all that was going to be useless if she didn’t know to cook and clean, obviously.

    I feel a tremendous pressure to cook and clean too even though no one forcing me to. I am slowly learning to reverse the way I have been conditioned to think for a better part of my life.


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