Cleaning Up My (H)ead, One Room At a Time

There are very few things about interior arrangements that I take seriously. But one that I religiously believe in is that your living space (whether office desk or bedroom) should be free of clutter. Because things piling up around you somehow begin to create unmanageable piles of nothings in your head. So every now and then I have a de-cluttering attack and today seemed like a good day to suffer from it.

There I was among a pile of things that had begun to live together without disturbance. Today I was going to disturb this house of the rising junk. Newpaper clippings that were four years old. ID cards that carried passport pictures of someone who looked like me.

Diving into the piles of things (many of which beg the question: What was I thinking when I kept them so long), I found some things I had forgotten about.

The more than 16 cards I got on my 16th birthday, from people, some of whom (okay most of whom) I have no connection with at present.

The belated birthday card hand drawn for ‘Dear Mumma’ (Man oh Man I could draw and colour with perfection).

A polaroid picture of mom and me having coconut water at the beach in Bombay . The camera we had wasn’t working and we had no pictures of that trip (which was our first to the city). So going all out and doing the touristy thing we thought one picture would suffice to sum up our trip. Now it hangs beside a chidhood picture where mom and I are looking heavenwards (actually at a lizard on the wall) and dad clicked.

Guess what else I found and have enjoyed ‘reading’ the past few minutes. Slam books (remember those?!). For the uninitiated, these were snippets of useless things we wrote about ourselves for the benefit of our friends. I found some prize-winning things in them. For instance, in “Lines for me” a friend had written “Hazel eyed idiot”, another thought I was “a waste of good protoplasm”. That stands out among the humdrum “You’re sweet and generous and a great friend”. Blah Blah Blah.

I noted that very few of the friends have actually become what they fantasized about as a career back then (Or atleast thought fashionable enough to write in a teenage tell-all diary).

Elsewhere, in an ‘Autographs book’ one had made spaces for everyone to write notes to yours truly. So pages were reserved for Grandma, Dad, Mom, Brother etc. The space reserved for younger brother has an arrow pointing to his name and states in my handwriting “You’re a fool”. Now that all those years of screaming and hitting are over, one can just smile at memories of us being enemy number one to each other.

The de-clutter my space expedition was certainly worth the toil. Now I’m waiting for the positive effects of the same on my mind. If only things worked as plainly with respect to the latter. Things your better judgement tells you to discard often stay rooted and things of utmost importance are lost somewhere behind the piles of everyday life.

As my eyes scan the perfection that is my room, I know there’s hope for the mind. And there’s no sleeve-rolling expedition required. Just a recognition of the perils of singing junkyard blues in one’s head.

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