Bottles, of all things. Tchah!

by Ashish

Where do the bottles go, anyway?

Every home has one article that it keeps losing all the time. Everybody who has ever stayed in one knows this.

For no apparent reason, and through no discernible cause, the said article keeps vanishing, no matter how focussed an eye you keep on it, and how often you replace it. Spoons lead the race in this regard across households, of course. You’ll buy six of ‘em, nice, new and shiny, and before the month is over, the missus will be complaining about how there are only three left, and what do you do with them anyway – throw them in the trash? And before you know it, you’re standing in the checkout aisle, pulling out another six, nice new and shiny spoons out of the shopping cart and depositing them on the checkout counter, going “Hey, didn’t we just….?”

At which point the missus focuses a particularly steely gaze on you, and you rescue yourself by bending down to pick up the 5 kg atta pack.

But as I was saying, its mostly spoons. Forks, perhaps, in other households, while candles have also been known to hold their own in this regard.

We do things differently, of course; we lose bottles. Don’t ask me how we do it – I have no idea. But I can confidently attest to the fact that we must have worked our way through at least thirty bottles in about eighteen months, putting our monthly average at around a bottle and a half. And while India has not gotten around to doing an annual survey about this statistic just yet, I’d back our household to come out tops nationwide.

Because if you apply some thought to the matter (and I have), you will realize that it is, on the face of it, deucedly difficult to lose a bottle. A spoon might, admittedly, make it into the trash every now and then, or maybe your maid is a bit of a kleptomaniac with a particular weakness for nice, new, shiny metallic objects… but a bottle?

You know the kind of bottle that I’m talking about, right? Those PET plastic bottles that come in a six pack, in attractive packaging that confidently asserts that these bottles are made of non-degradable plastic, and will remain odourless and food compatible (whatever that means) practically forever. They are usually colourless and completely transparent, although we have occasionally experimented with a fetching shade of blue, and on one particularly memorable occasion, with an arrestingly deep shade of pink. I’ll confess here that losing that particular batch wasn’t the worst thing to have happened.

But as I was saying, we have gone through about five of these packets in about a year and a half, and we’re no closer to solving the mystery of where they go. The maid can’t very well slink off with them, they can’t land up in the trash, and although we have our fair share of visitors, none of them are known bottle-borrowers. Books are another story, but bottles, no. I don’t think so.

Lately, over the last six months or so, we’ve given up on buying new ones. Instead, we use mineral water bottles that have been purchased on car trips, trips to the movies or at airports. And here’s the really worrisome part: these disappear as well! There was a batch of Kinley’s that had decided to stick around, and I really did think we had turned a corner, but before you could say PET, they upped and moved on, leaving us with their successors (Bailey’s).

The only good thing to have come out of all this is that I’ve become a bit of an expert on which bottled water to buy. Aquafina is by far the worst, in my opinion, because the packaging is rather flimsy, while Kinley is the best. Nice, thick plastic, and the shape is very grip friendly. Bailey’s is not half bad, while Bisleri is passable. My current companion is a brand called Kelvino, and while it isn’t bad, it is nowhere close to the outstanding quality, aesthetics and grip that Kinley offers. Honest.

As regards solving the mystery, we’ve given up. You know how it is. After the fifth patch of spoons, you give up and accept that it just is the way of things in this particular household, and make room in your monthly budget for spoons (six). That’s pretty much what we’ve done ourselves.

Every trip to the movies, we pick up a couple of Kinley’s. It’s healthier than drinking Coke (and cheaper too!), and what’s more, our household needs them.

It’s been a bit of a crisis over the past couple of weeks, however. No movie has been worth a visit to the cinema, and if things persist this way, we’ll end up having to see Band Bajaa Baraat this weekend.

I’d have gulped, but my throat is dry.