Thrice a week atleast, I grab a bucket full of wet clothes and spread them out into the sunshine.
Often, I am helped, handing me one soggy item after another so that I could peg faster. Sometimes this reminds me of childhood when mom would hook the line with the wired pole and hoist it high into the roof to keep the sheets off the ground.
One of my fondest childhood memories involves my mother and the clothesline that stretched across our huge balcony in delhi.
In the present times, left to me, the clothes would not have any particular arrangement, even if the sun or wind were positioned differently..but that thought would deprive my little one of direct access to the possibility of dipping his hands in the bucket and making merry.
My mom grew up with line dried clothes. She lived in north Kerala where it was hot and dry. There, like in most small towns then, they line dried the clothes so the cotton sheets and towels got that stiff feeling. I used to participate for years when I visited my grandmother. That’s what I love. I noticed that the towels are kind of scratchy when I get them off the line and I love it! I feel like they actually dry instead of just the smearing water around.
Now, I live the advantages of a high raised floor in Mumbai..in this regard, with vast open space and no adjacent blocks to cover my view..which means uninterrupted flow of breeze as may happen.
Sometimes, when the sun is dipping and I pull a chair to read besides it..I love watching the clothes flap in the breeze and shine in the sun’s reflection. There is something soothing about it.
I genuinely like hanging out clothes to dry. Most of the time, it’s a few minutes of peace with my thoughts, Iam on auto pilot mode and mechanically doing something with my hands. While my body is busy doing something rote and routine, my mind is free to wander.
And of course, in the not so rare situation that my four-year-old joins me, he hangs the clothes in all sorts of artistic ways (which I often re-do when he’s not looking)…he plays an important part in handing me one as needed.