Me, the grubby little hoarder, me…

Thank the Lord for the good husband. He is the one who periodically braves life and limb and dives headfirst into my wardrobe to cleanse it of toxins, alien life forms and grubby little tshirts I last wore to college but still hang on to ferociously in the optimism that one day I will be able to get back into them without the seams splitting instantly. If it wasnt for him, my clothes would have multiplied enough times to take over the earth and all the wardrobes within. He is sweet enough to do this exercise in a disarmingly nice way, which includes the buying of new clothes so a lot of the old can be chucked out, for some of the new to get in. Now that we plan to move to a new place, with huuuuuge balconies, my first ungracious thought is, wow, can build in more cupboards here. More place. Therefore more things that can be hoarded. I get it from the mother. She has, and I swear to the Good Lord that this is true, my prescriptions from the pediatrician when I was six. A three decade old prescription. Filed and kept carefully. Through gadzillion home changes and shiftings. She sat herself down with her reading glasses one fine evening when I was cribbing enthusiastically about how the brat was still the poster boy for the starvation diet, though I fed him everything to fatten him up, and dug up a prescription which had me shift gears from skeletal to the Little Lotta I became. Its a different story that I would never, in the best of my minds and sanity, want brat to go through the stress of being overweight, so I declined politely, at which, she calmly filed it right back. For what, I gasped? Its thirty years old. The medicines have changed. For all you know these might not even be available any more. She was implacable. “They worked for you. Someone might need it, even if you dont.” She’s that type. Getting into her loft is like wandering into Alladin’s cave. Lizards aside, there are fabric pieces, remnants from old upholstery that can probably be framed for the antique value they have. All my school report cards are filed and kept neatly in a drawer. My school photographs. Her telephone and electricity bills dating back ten years. Ten years? Get a raddiwala now. Mounds of newspaper piles accumulate in her window ledge just in case she might need to refer to a clipping ten months old. Getting her to get the raddiwalla up to dispose of that is like suggesting I get her to blaspheme the Good Lord. She will look at me all big eyed behind her spectacles and teary, and ask me sternly why her raddi bothers me. I have given up.

My mother in law has junk everywhere. So much so that the husband has issued her a blanket ban on carrying any of it with us to the new place. In our lofts are drums filled to brim with bits and pieces of leftover wood from carpentry work done when I was newly married. Twelve years ago. Bits of wire from wiring work done when the house was being renovated is another drum. Old switchboards taken out when the switchboards were being replaced have been wiped clean lovingly, wrapped carefully in newspapers and kept aside. Incase. We ever need switchboards. Old bedsheets that tear in straight lines with age should we ever try to open them are stacked in neat piles under the bed. I must hand it to her though. All her junk is neatly maintained and constantly organised and reorganised. Cant say the same about the kitchen though.

Comparitively, I must say I am better. I used to be anal about my fashion magazines. I had towering piles hidden from view behind curtains, inside cupboards, under beds, until one fine day I decided I had not missed my calling as a fashionista and would never be one, so chucked them all out. I still buy them by the dozens every month, but then turn them into the raddipile the moment am done with them. Thats one pat on my back for me. Now only if I could be as ruthless with my shoes and old clothes and old bags and yes, my make up. I have makeup with me that I wore to my college send off party. Really. I kid you not. Make up has overtaken two drawers in my cupboard. I dont have the heart to throw the old stuff out. Even though I might not actually use it anymore, just the security of it being around makes me feel good. And yes, you guessed it, nothing ever gets over, because there is so much around to choose from. The only lipstick that ever got over in my lifetime of compulsive lipstick usage is a L’Oreal shade called Fawn Fatale. And strangely enough, have not bought it again. Therefore I continue to have half used lipsticks lying in trays by the dozens.

I think this shifting will be good for me in more ways than one. I will finally prune out stuff I dont need in my closet. And I will hopefully realise I dont need the security of a thousand and one clothes to feel happy. I should be happy being me. Its not the clothes and the shoes and the bags. Cmon, whom am I kidding? Will just build in extra storage and be at peace.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Me, the grubby little hoarder, me…

  1. Broom says:

    No no! it’s ME that’s the grubby little (or not so little!) hoarder. I am in the process of changing that – and it’s liberating.


  2. dipali says:

    Take a lesson from Broom and chuck out the junk at least- you will feel so much the lighter for it. Thus spake Dipali who goes bonkers each time she has to shift house, because of the endless tons of stuff and more stuff. Ha


  3. Random Vignettes says:

    Nice header Kiran!! And arent u a Cancerian? Hmmm that would explain the hoarding obsession..join the club..I am one too 🙂
    The only thing is that at least u are doing something about it..i just sit on top of my raddi and moan and bitch while furiously trying to clutch it all and refusing to let anyone touch it!


  4. Kiran Manral says:

    Broom: Will take your word for it. I now am in the midst of a house shift (from a home we have lived in for over 20 years) and will need to do a lot of junk disposal…

    Dipali: You know, we shifted homes every year when I was young cause father and mother were in transferable jobs, and since I got married have stayed put in one house…feeling a bit terrified of having to choose between various piles of junk…

    Random vignettes: Hail fellow cancerian. I know exactly what you mean. Whenever the husband cleans out my cupboard, I slyly tell him I am giving the clothes away to the bartanwalli and siphon them off to mothers home where she stuffs them into the loft…Alas.


  5. childwoman says:

    I am a cancerian too…a true blue one. And I love to hang on to things….thanls for your comment, mum’s well too..I hope I havent passed on the eye infection to her…


  6. Raindreamer says:

    Thats me – me too.
    Trying to get rid of the habit and never succeeding.


  7. childwoman says:

    hey KM!! have tagged you in my new post! check it out!


  8. Sue says:

    Hah! I’m a Cancerian who forces herself to bin things. It wasn’t so hard to learn. I live with a Scorpio and his junk leaves no space for mine, so I throw his stuff away and pacify him by binning some of my stuff while I’m at it.

    It helps that we live in the Black Hole of Calcutta.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s