Sunday, July 29, 2007

Spring cleaning!

If I were not so abashed at being so prolific, I guess I'd write everyday. Maybe twice or thrice, even. Just to get things out of the system. You know, I've discovered that I'm not a clutterbug.

Actually, I'm a limited clutter-bug. As in, I can let things accumulate for a bit, unlike people who will throw a fit at new papers on the table. And THEN I'd throw a fit. And throw everything out as well. The dim point of all this is to say I'm not a person that gets tied down sentimentally to broken watches, leaking pens, worn belts and chipped china, and that when push comes to shove, I can shove pretty clean.

As I've been doing over the past week, thanks to some three painters who are turning my home and health upside down! Have you ever had to paint your house, while you were living in it? And you were stuck with three/four/five strange men throwing things around and raising noxious fumes in your little hovel?! Then you know what I've been through this past week. One thing I've learnt to do though, is to breathe through my mouth like a diver would; grasp mouthfuls of air outside of home and then try to use it inside! But that is totally beside the point.

The whole painting thingie has morphed into a springcleaning adventure of sorts, not that I arranged it, but these things tend to happen and you realise you are such a tiny wedge in the big cog of life! :) Sorry, couldn't resist that! Well, I've not been in the house for very long, so I din't find treasures from childhood like one of my favourite DD soap heros, Wagle of Wagle Ki Duniya, did in one serial. I can't remember very well, but I think he found some stuff that set him back to his childhood and growing up. His eyes went misty with all that heavy recollection.

My eyes too went misty, just mundanely, boringly, with all the dust the painter chaps were chasing around the house. I din't find old broken baby-cycles or my 1st standard report card. The latter at least would have been fun. Quite disappointingly from an emotional pirouette point of view, I found, left over from a wedding trousseau, a. A million wall clocks; b. 100 Portraits/idols/frames of Lord Ganesha; c. 35 'fancy' nightlamps; d. 10 casseroles; e: 45 sets of glassware; f:A few good paintings and folios that I can frame.Why do people buy such wedding gifts!!?!!

And, I decided to re-distribute stuff that I would never use, or gift anyone else for their wedding or naming ceremony or Poonal or 60th wedding anniversary. Being a re-cycling freak makes it difficult to allow the co-existence of the only-one-that-gets-rid-of-old-stuff-at-home personna. It requires more strategic planning and just a fractional delay in flipping the undesirable/unnecessary remnant into the charity bin. I've given away tonnes of clothes, lampshade, lamps, Ganesha frames, slippers and stuff that I'm quite aching with all this giving away.

BUT, despite everything - the trauma, the physical labour, the deep psychological scarring that resulted from the painting process, a lung that's probably full of Tractor Ivory white paint fumes - I'm sort of pleased. For, the house looks less cluttered now. The way it should be until its time again to throw out the bathwater.


Friday, July 27, 2007

A real letter

Just a couple of days ago. I wrote a real letter, you know-with pen on paper. I stuck a stamp on it and shoved it into the "Other than Tamil Nadu" slot in the Post Office. Right now, if I got the box right, an owl or a plane should be carrying it across the seas to its destination in Singapore.

And I'm pleased as punch!

In the days when I had just one e-mail account(good old Hotmail!)and orkut could
well have been a lean-meats store in Kampuchea, I used to love writing letters.

Really. I used to pack thick sheafs of papers filled with my large, right sloping cursive, mostly in black ink.I even had a stock of different types of paper, of course, to fit the personality type I'd be writing to, the flowery pages, some traditional auroville handmade paper, the cigar-banana thick sheets. Frequently,I'd buy coloured pens, ink ones, sometimes to make fancy illustrations on the margins, just in case the writing got colourless. And I'd walk to the General Post Office to buy just-released stamps to put on the envelopes.

I don't know if all the various people I was Pen-Pals with enjoyed these letters:To the firangi ones, I wrote about the rich history and culture of India and the south; to those in other states, it was unending accounts of the history of Chennai and its most famous locales! To read them now, you'd think I would have turned out a historian, albeit an immature one, or worse, fascist! Maybe, I have, actually. Historian, not fascist. I do chronicle stuff for a living. MAturity, I hope, was acquired over the years!

And then, I used to meander, just like this. Start with one thing and then run away with another...And leave my poor readers to make sense of the thing... I surely do hope they weathered the reams and went until the last when they'd be assaulted by an absurd amount of hand-drawn smileys and exclamation marks! Mercifully, I wouldn't end with love and kisses! Or would I?!

Anyway, Naveen my friend, the letter I wrote to you a couple of days ago is slimmer, on real good handmade-paper; with close packed right-sloping cursive, slimmer now; and has no smileys; some exclamations and certainly no history of the world! Thanks for writing to me, first, a proper letter. Somewhere, something told me, one good turn deserves a letter! And there you go!

I might waltz into Landmark tomorrow, not even look at Harry Potter, walk to the stationery section and pick up some of that strawberry-scented paper I've been hearing about. The next time, I can compensate for lack of reading material with exotic smelling material. But, that's the next time! Until then, I'll just go and check my Orkut scraps!

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007


It is only because I'm so excited about my new camera (yeah, you heard enough about that one!) that I'm committing the nearly incestuous sin of putting up the same post on two blogs. But, I really love this macro!