Sunday, April 05, 2009

Before my sister and I went about cleaning out our house, I visualized myself writing a sentimental blog entry, an entry of remorse, of faded memories that came to life, of regret of a life that turned out different from what I’d imagined. We were after all going to rid the house of all the furniture, the vessels, the books, the photographs, the electronics, the clocks, the clothes, the curtains, the puja room pictures and the idols. We would spend two days getting rid of twenty years worth of possessions. At the end we would give it out for rent so that strangers could occupy the rooms we grew up in. We would trade our personal museum for convenience and cold hard cash.

The horrible truth is we did it with clinical efficiency. I spent most of my time standing on a stool, clad in a baniyan and a pair of shorts as I systematically pulled out box after box from the loft and passed them down to my sister after which we decided the their fate: Stuff to keep, Stuff for charity and Stuff to trash. We hardly spent time agonizing over individual items. I would take some vessels, some books, a small cupboard, a study table and a Godrej Bero. My sister would take a couple of cupboards and some books. My uncle would take the computer table and the fridge. Everything else would be given to charity. We surprised ourselves with our practicality.

While a sense of sadness did prevail, we all had terrible limitations. We lived far away in Bangalore. I shared a fully furnished flat with two other guys and I hardly had any space to spare. My sister and uncle had full houses as well. Where was the room to keep all the stuff?

“You should keep it all” my grandmother said. “It will be useful for you when you get married”. She was right but marriage seemed too distant a possibility to consider seriously now. I was in no mood to have so many possessions. It didn’t seem right for someone my age.

“I don’t want to be weighed down by a dining table.” I complained to my uncle,. “And all those vessels! I don’t even cook!” My uncle however didn’t appreciate the flippancy.

“Dinesh, you’ll have to remember that those items were bought by your parents when their income was very meager.” He said gently. “They didn’t just pick those items up because they fancied them. They worked hard, saved money gradually and bought them because they really needed them. It took them over two decades to acquire these items.” You can’t dismiss them just like that.”

I felt guilty, but I still didn’t want the dining table.

15 comments:

Srinath S said...

well expressed

Anonymous said...

You write really well - i only wish you'd write more often.

Anonymous said...

Do you know Revathi...i read her blog regularly,But now its not accessable.Can you give me her mail id so that i can ask her to give me access.my mail id reks31@yahoo.com

Gokul said...

Hi Dinesh...

Very Well expressed. Its a tough decision to make whether u shud go by your mind or your heart... Looks like u hav become real busy off late...

I was a regular reader of ur blog and revathi's. Infact, yours was the very first blog I had read when my friend forwarded your blog link. Keep writing more frequently... Also can you give me Revathi's mail id, so that i can request her to gimme access.

Rgds,
Gokul.B (gokul.chander@gmail.com)

anu said...

Finally....finally a post...and for some reason as always it makes me say "Beautifully written"...Welcome back...

Sunny Side Up said...

Welcome back bhai... very well written..

Shambhavi said...

Well DD, I never knew how you would have felt when you lost you parents. I always knew it would have been extremely painful, but somehow never could feel it.
now i do.

Dinesh said...

Shambu, I heard. I didnt want to call because I didnt think the time was right. Anyway will mail/call you soon.

Gokul.B said...

Hi Dinesh...

Thanks man.. Got access to Revs Blog. :)

Rgds,
Gokul.B

Tashi said...

hey dinesh... been following your blog for a while now. and since i have moved to wordpress now, i'm adding you to my blog list. hope u dnt mind :)

chirpy-paaro said...

I have been visiting ur blog so often just to see when will you write!!! Finally you wrote!!

Its really hard to decide upon such things. My mom always reminds me and my brother that every single thing they bought for our home matters her a lot. I many a times tell her that we have shifted to different cities and its really difficult to treasure them...

Decisions make your life. So all d best!

Jaya S said...

Bachelorhood. Keeping house. How I understand it now. Glad to see you back again, poignant as ever.

डॉ .अनुराग said...

जिंदगी ऐसे ही हमें बार बार अपने तरीके से कई चीजे सिखाती है

Maj.Malfunction said...

Hmmmm I feel what you felt right now - it hasn't really started yet for me, but I know in a month it is going to happen. Since my grandfather expired almost 2 years ago I have been keeping the old family house here in Delhi running all alone. It is a large bungalow, where I occupy just one room but make sure the rest of the house doesnt start falling apart. Now I will be shifting to Bangalore soon and while it has sunk into my head that something will need to be done with all the stuff in the house, my grnadmother, mother, and her brother and sister I think are still trying to not face the fact that the house needs to be emptied, extensively renovated and then rented out. I dont even know where I'm going to stay in Bangalore yet, but I feel nothing should be just junked or given away. I want to take as much with me as I can, because I know I can use it, and because they have been used by our family for 2 generations now... but where will I keep the huge 6 seat dining table? Or my grandfather's desk that I now use, the beds that have shifted all over the country with my family and were then left here because when we shifted to Bombay there was no place for them... I grew up on that bed, and now I'm too tall to fit on it properly - my feet stick out a bit - but I want to still keep them... Should I pay for transporting them to Bangalore to figure out what to do with them once I'm there? With our pathetic relocation allowance I'd have to spend quite a bit to save this stuff, but somehow I feel it should be done. Still trying to jolt the older generation into thinking seriously about it, but I suspect saving the stuff is going to be up to me and my cousins.

Anonymous said...

Dinesh, you are a born writer. I stumbled on your blog: "I.B.C.D." because I was following that subject, not eavesdropping. You express yourself in writing so beautifully.
DC
Silicon Valley
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