Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Festive cleaning

·        Its Holiday forValmiki Jayanti, it's the cool morning breeze with the hint of Chmeli  (a flower) in it. Then comes the articles in festival specials of newspapers and magazines and, finally, the in-built alarm goes off. Yes, it's time for  Diwali-cleaning. Diwali  just after 15 from now. The routine remains unvarying year after year.

 Take out everything, dust and polish and put them back. Admittedly some things do get thrown out, but most find their way back. Some, in the faint hope of getting it in working condition soon. It was a chance remark by our domestic help which made me wonder about the wisdom in hanging on to old stuff.
the cleaning mess

the living room 

Watching me surrounded and submerged in the clutter of decades, smy niece  picked up some baby clothes lovingly preserved by me  and wondered aloud, "What did you  plan to do with these? You could've given them away with the other clothes to  Krishan Pranami  AshramHisar
cleaning mess at dinning area

..." True, her self-interest was evident, but so was the soundness of her advice.
What indeed could be done with outdated clothes, bags and footwear? More than finding any stirrings of delight in my little frocks, I'd been adding to my own avoidable burden by routinely unpacking and repacking them all these years.
What was I hoping for? That my  daughter  will be delighted seeing her  mother's party frock, her own Mickey Mouse diapers, her walker ?
mess in the kitchen
For a my little grand kids  perhaps, but the likelier thing would be that the poor girl  wouldn't know what to do with the mounds of memories she will inherit. It was with immense relief that I saw most of these things carted away to orphanages, which'd definitely find better use for them.
some relief after washing out the body dust! looking cool isn't it My d-in-law
The rest went to the    kabariwala. But, yes, the hoarding instinct can't be banished in a day so I'm hanging on to a few things which still live and breathe for me.

Among them a few brittle letters in a tin toffee box exchanges between my then newly-wed brothers; sage advice from nanu to a headstrong me and some sepia photographs. Clutter, did you say? Heirlooms, my friends, heirlooms. And also something for the next generation to do when they   clean for Diwali.



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