Carpenters are an elusive species in Goa. It’s easier to locate a traffic signal (the other non-existent thing in Panjim, for those not in the know) than a carpenter who 1) shows up when he says he will, 2) understands what you need and 3) acts on it with alacrity. So when I finally dialled the personal number of one who came highly recommended, and he agreed to come check out my home on the very same day (gasp), I was tempted to perform a mini nazar-utarofying act to banish any evil eyes that might have put a spoke in our plans.
As the day approached, I felt my excitement levels spike. A carpenter. Was finally. Coming home. I would have shelves. The TV would have a real place of its own. My gazillion frames would be up on the walls, rather than hanging out in a pile on top of a cupboard. And then, arrive he did. On time, at that. (Be still, my heart!)
He was quick to figure out what I needed. And then came the best part, he made intelligent, proactive suggestions. The kind that made my home-maker knees go weak. He talked raw finishes, two shelves where I thought there was only place for one and even hinted at finishing the job off in under a day. (ZOMG. I could bear it no longer. Was this guy for realzz?)
I wanted to throw my arms around him in an embrace of gratitude, but I held myself back for fear of chasing him away. I really didn’t want to be carpenter-less again, after all these months of looking high and low now, did I? I was going to try and keep this one all to myself for as long as I possibly can, but my plans were foiled almost immediately by my neighbours. Yes, plural. Not just one, but two of them, who trotted up to my house to inquire if the body neatly sawing off my bar table in half in front of my home was, *choke*, a carpenter?! I barely answered in the affirmative, when I was urged fervently by both to have him go over to their homes too.
“We moved in Feb and my books are still lying unpacked, in cartons!” begged one.
“Just two little nails, is all I need,” cajoled the other.
Carpenters are an elusive species in Goa, you see. So I agreed, “but only after I am done with him,” I added quickly.
And so my latest run with the evasive, slippery kind of carpenter began. And what a run it has been. Bar table chopped, oven shelf made, frames put up, TV shelf fixed and immediately my life feels sane again. The clutter that was hanging around waiting to be dealt with (when I got my hands on said evasive carpenter) is done and dusted. The unnecessary stuff shut away into lofts. Spaces are now beginning to look the way I had imagined them.
With space comes possibility. And with possibility, lots of trial and error. Until finally things begin to fit. Much rearranging, shuffling and moving, heaving and hauling stuff around and finally we have some breathing room. No more makeshift TV table hogging space in my study, the piles of frames tucked away into corners collecting dust and attracting them creepers have been dealt with, several functional changes changes done and our home looks homely some more.
Nesting is testing some more. But the wait has made me realise that I am a warm tones, earthy feel kind of home-maker. I am about comfortable, kitschy Indian spaces, that wear a minimally done-up air of homeliness. I realised once more, like I did here, that I am more in love with the idea of a Pintrest-ey warm home, but in reality I prefer to balance the coziness with sparce-ness. Given half a chance, I clear out the clutter, move things away, remove the unnecessary, leaving just a touch of colour here, adding a practical change there, yet making my presence felt all over the place.
Nesting is testing. Carpenters are elusive. The wait is painful. But its usually worth it.
Now excuse me, please, while I go kiss my carpenter goodbye.