Tuesday, 4 August 2015

A hoarder's memories

Its when you start packing for studying overseas that you realize how hard it is to leave stuff behind. It's then that you are faced with the hard decision - the nightmare for every hoarder - what to pack? what to leave? 
As I walk around and try to put things in, I am overwhelmed with emotions - How do I leave behind these precious things - time capsules which hold so many stories and memories?

Do I leave behind the small black purse studded with tiny glass mirrors encased in orange embroidery, when it brings back to my mind the time I bought it in Mantralayam - saw it and instantly fell in love with this perfect accessory for the 13 year old girl I was then ? How do I leave it when I can still see how amused my family was when I refused to let go of it for the rest of the trip?

Do I leave behind my books which are tearing apart at the seams because of the countless hours spent reading and re-reading them? These are my friends who I laughed, cried and dreamed with, utterly lost in worlds and lives which are as real to me as my own. 

How can i even think of leaving this old perfume bottle behind? It was the first perfume my dad bought her, over 20 years ago, still full because we are yet to find a reason precious enough to use it .

A part of my cupboard is filled with dupattas - colourful shawls fraying at the edges and faded here and there. After all, these were the very dupattas my mother wore when she was my age -  A tangible connection between two 19 year olds seperated by decades of life. 

Well, what about the decorations on the walls? These colourful pieces of art are the testimony to countless hours of effort. They bring back to mind the joyful satisfaction of having created beauty in different forms.

And lets not forget the furniture. The beautiful antique book shelves and carvings passed on from generation to generation, the sturdy wood table which my father once studied for HIS exams on, the chairs that my great-grandfather used in his office and the most beautiful of them all -  my gorgeous queen sized rosewood bed, complete with 4 pillars and delicate carvings on its high head boards. This bed makes you feel like royalty and has been the site of several games including "lets build a fort" and hide and seek. You see, my mom bought this bed with her when she got married to dad and carefully decorated its many carving spaces with pictures that she lovingly collected from postcards.

Do i leave behind my life sized teddy bear Jaggu and my favourite childhood games ? Or the art supplies bought during my "artsy phase"? The many friendship bands I collected faithfully from the different people who were a part of my life at different stages? The colourful woollen ones I made ? How can I possibly even take this intense feeling of "myness" which I get the minute I step into my room or the warm feeling of home which I am submerged in the minute I step through the gates?

If I think about all the material things I am forced to leave, it will probably run into pages and pages. You see, the objects that we own are precious to us not just because of their physical value, but also because of the tales they tell and the smiles and tears they bring back. They suffuse us with a warm glow when we just spare them a thought. 

But we do need to let go of them at one point right? We need to let go so we may welcome new things into our lives. No, they will not be forgotten for the stories they hold will forever be alive within our hearts. But at some points we do have to let go.
And so we let go....
After all, You cant pack them all! :P

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