Today, the day I begin writing this post that is, is a Saturday. The plan, you see, is, or rather was, to have finished writing the first draft of the current week’s post by this point. That, however, did not happen this time around. You see, the week started a little late for me; on a Wednesday. That, was because I was working over the weekend, and so, the time I get to think about what to write, was not there; but then again, in all fairness, this is a two week ritual, nothing written on stone.
Sunday, is usually reserved to polish the blog post before hitting the post button. I don’t have the luxury of having an editor!
So, you can understand the condition I was in, at the beginning of the day today, with no real ideas in my head; and the last couple of days having already passed with nothing concrete yet.
Today, however was going to be different.
Today, after I was finished with my morning run, my father asked me to clean my room. You see, Diwali will be here soon, and one of the rituals regarding the festival involves cleaning up your homes. Something to do with making sure that the Goddess Lakshmi visits our home. And so, some time past nine in the morning, I began pulling things down from the upper echelons of the cupboard in my room, and putting it on the bed; as a result of which I had a real hard time finding my bed afterwards.
It was actually sometime in the middle of it all, when I had all the stuff on my bed, and I was deciding what to keep, that I decided to write about this. It was when my brain was telling me, that maybe, I was going to decide to start studying for that paper, that I decided to write about this.
About our tendency to accumulate stuff.
Think about it, what is the oldest thing that you own?
For me, it was the comic book I had bought sometime in my childhood; I don’t remember when exactly, I do, however, remember that I had to beg for it, and my mother had caved in, picking it from that stall on the Patna Railway Station. That, and a copy of Nandan, which was of course, something my mother had bought for me. Because hey; comics!
I threw that comic out today.
The Nandan, not surprisingly enough, has been passed on to my younger sister.
The things we own, the things that are not just the things which they originally were, but rather the things they morphed into; in due time.
I have been fairly obsessed with materialism; reading about their effect on happiness, and the ways in which material possession end up acting as sources of happiness. I have also read up a lot about minimalism, and personally, I find the concept pretty awesome. The idea of being able to carry all of your belongings in a suitcase, and a laptop bag, and/or a backpack is pretty appealing to me.
In life, we are all hoarders, to a certain degree.
Today, I struggled, to throw away my signed shirts, from my last day at school, and college. Functionally, they serve no purpose; none. But, it was so hard to throw either of them, because they reminded me of that last day at school, and college. Each statement, fading, and otherwise, reminded me of the moments I had shared with these people; these people who co-owned my memories.
Does that make any sense?
Today, when I began, everything seemed important; the notes, the printed sheets, the notebooks, the reports, the bills, the photographs; but then, as soon as I threw that first thing away, as soon as I made up my mind, and decided to really look at things for their inherent value, things became much more clearer. And as I started cleaning the cupboards, I saw the increasing empty spaces that stood in their wake.
And it felt lighter.
I felt happier.
Maybe that is what is required in life at times, a purge, and a reset.