Slab of wood is aesthetically cut to give shape to human intentions and desires, dust is chucked out painstakingly and polished to near perfection. Dreamy layers are suited to one’s mental, spiritual and artistic contentment offering aesthetic glance. It is what we make of life, with joys and sorrows, ups and downs growing in leaps and down as we slouch our head on the soft pillow, listening to the lullaby of breeze and rain. Our life is like the carved wood, polished and left on its own to gather dust again and the sweet memory sounding like the song of perfection, listening to the downpour of emotions that falls like water and gentle sea breeze.
It snuggled cozily between my bed and wall, finding its space and demanding attention for it stood neglected for all these years. Once in a blue moon, it was pulled out and my fingers snuggling on the thick dust to retrieve my treasure trove of memories, flipping pages to relive the days of near perfection. It felt so real and in the current times. It demanded my immediate attention, my green luggage bag that I bought at Mahim on a rainy day on the eve of my departure, leaving Mumbai, my city. It’s been eight years from now. A fortnight ago, I decided to get rid of the blue luggage back that was torn in places, removing old magazines, xerox copies of notes and tiny plastic dabba where the perfume of Biryani flew in the air. It’s the stuff memories are made of. In the end, I decided to throw away the cheap luggage bag that stood like a tower, earning its place in my room. It was time to bid farewell and like some say, decluttering and getting rid of excess baggage makes way for fresh energy. Choking the self-doesn’t help.
As I look back, what dash of memories a huge bag that I bought cheaply off Mahim, outside the railway station held for me. It’s the cheap man’s accessory when I spotted someone selling the travel bags in South Mumbai during the monsoon 2008. I took his number. It was a Saturday when I walked in the cake of mud behind Mahim station, traipsing clumsily past the dingy shops and huts to plod my feet in the workshop. The green bag was packed with memories of the xerox Economics notes while I was reading for my Masters at Kalina campus in Santacruz Mumbai, old newspapers and entertainment magazines such as Filmfare, examination papers, paper files holding handwritten notes, cutting posters pasted in the room and what’s not. I am a hoarder of things, memories, and people reminding me of life as a carefree soul. Some, I chucked out and the rest I neatly kept in two plastic bags.
Eight years can be a very long time in holding on to memories clutched to the chest and never letting them go. It soothes me and, at the same time, hurt me in places. We are all bruised souls, nurturing the wounds. The brutal love tale that wouldn’t make you the same. The unrelated hoarding of things often serves a brutal reminder of a city and its inhabitants, local trains, cabs, people, and friends. It gives you the feeling that you spent a lifetime growing on such things. The good thing that I retrieved hall tickets of exams of the year 2005 and attached slip on your degree document to keep in a single place.
I was showing my handwritten notes that I would summarize sitting in the library at Rajabhai Tower in Fort at South Mumbai, often writing with multiple fancy pens at one time, to Mom. It’s a habit to summarize notes and making skeleton ones as a technique to memorize.Kya karein, aadat se majboor. Trust me, my fingers pained. Just imagine, Mom gave me a sermon for something written almost a decade back that my handwriting is too small and I ain’t going anywhere with that. Somehow, we learned to write on paper in those days and exchange chit of romance notes in the silence library that stood as witness to our romance, a far cry to the days of phone applications downloaded online.
It’s quite a story that my minnow handwriting didn’t earn me marks in the second year despite being quite the disciplined and regular student that all lectures loved in college like their own son. I was berated by my Economics lecturer after the famous KT in SY and she coached me for free in her spare time, saying that the handwriting is too small where I failed to score. I followed Ma’am instruction and the marks magically turned from 30 to 70 plus. Ah! What days!
That’s life, you are tempted to say. It’s not just life but everything. A reminder that you just woke up from slumber after 1000 years to imagining things. Except that it’s real.