Lists. And the making of.

A confession at the outset. I am a very very scattered and disorganised person. I am the kind of person when managerial teams are picked, who is deputed to be the ideator and left at that. And a team of efficient micro managing types need to be rolled in to iron out all the details of my extravagant ideating. I am the queen of ideating, I need my worker bees to do the implementation. Unfortunately, God forgot to assign me some when he sent me down, and I end up doing all my own implementation. Which is not a good thing for the task at hand. It always gets done slipshod or incomplete, or I manage to goof up big time.

For those who believe in the maxim God Lies in the Details, well, I’m on the ungodly side of the divide.

Which is why I turned to list making in the vain fervent hope that I would be able to get through my day without needing to be shot in the head by the end of it by forgetting essential tasks, i.e,  Brush, rinse repeat, before stepping out of the house, and then wondering why folks roll their eyes, keel over and pass out when I try to make scintillating conversation in confined spaces.  Let me not digress. I end my day with my list book. Currently, I have nicked a Hulk pocket book from the child’s stash. It is pretty reassuring to know the Hulk, grim, green and with torn pants and an elastic waist that doesnt split as he morphs from Edward Norton into Hulk is the repository of all my tasks for the day.  Dare anyone peep inside and check how much I actually manage to cross off by the end of the day?

I sit in my armchair at the end of each day and tick off what I actually manage to achieve through the day from my list of things to do. Then I carry over the incomplete items into the list for the next day. Thankfully, having a bath and brushing one’s teeth rarely make it into the carryforward list. Eating, of course, never does. What does make it to the carryforward list is generally the stuff marked Immediate and Urgent. Like deadlined yesterday features that need to be submitted before commissioning editors have hyperventilation attacks and need to be calmed by the immediate strapping on of oxygen marks and hypodermic bearing health care personnel. Like bills which have to be paid immediately or we will be reduced to having dinner by candlelight. I’m super efficient. The mails that need to replied to pronto, form the third category of the must do carry overs.

Seriously though, I am a great fan of making lists. I make lists for everything. Lists of groceries to be bought. Lists of clothes and stuff to be packed when I am going out of town. Lists of phone calls to be made while travelling in the course of my day. Lists of books to be bought. Lists of cosmetics to be bought. Wish lists of clothes to be bought. I measure my life out in lists. It gives me the false sense of being in control, when the truth, as you and I know, is that lists have very little to do with reality. Take for instance, a grocery list in your hand and you hitting the hypermarket. The grocery list talks of wildly interesting items of necessary consumption like cooking oil, pulses, detergent and such like. The heart draws me to the creams and lotions and shampoos and conditioners. Which quickly fill the trolly, before I finally manage to tear myself away from their enticing alluring beckoning Succubus like charms and make my way, shaken and drained, to the the provisions and pulses, where I spend half my time squinting to check the price on each item and scouring the shelves desperately to find discount offers to justify the off list items I’ve chucked into said trolley. As you can surmise, my priorities and my lists have still to meet. Having said that, I do reach a happy compromise by chucking out whatever essential groceries dont fit within my budget after having allowed for the non list shopping. So I still have my list intact for the next day, the next round of shopping.

I’m also the queen of making lists of stuff to pack when going for a trip out of town. The list generally looks like this. Pack lots of clothes and shoes. And handbags to match. Its a simple list. I also am very particular. One column is also devoted to cosmetics and skin and hair care requirements. This often necessitates a last minute run to the store because all the very essentials have to be bought in small sizes.And of course, the city I am going to will never have a decent drug store in its city limits for me to be able to pick anything worth using when I land. Never mind if even the stretch of Baga beach gives me much better cosmetic and skin care options than a hypermarket in Mumbai does. I dont really feel confident about travelling if I havent got my Liss control shampoo and conditioner. In travel packs. Or my foaming Neutrogena face wash. And such like. This is a very important list. I’ve packed according to a list, and then spent an agonised evening trying to get to a drugstore from a South Goa Five Star Resort, because I forgot to put in sanitary napkins in the danged list. Im very optimistic that way.

Why this random post on lists? Because, I’ve realised, in the making of all these random lists in the course of my life, I’ve forgotten to make the most important list. The list of the things I really want to do before I die. And thats a list I need to start working on right now.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight 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) 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. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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5 Responses to Lists. And the making of.

  1. Rani says:

    Oh wow. I am a list lover too. I have found this idea of making lists for every year to be completed before the next b’day, found it on some blog. immediately picked it up.
    And just today morning, i made a shoppong list for the weekend. Right from cornflakes and milk to lip balm and hair serum. 22 items put down in less than 5mins 🙂

    Is it any wonder that shopping lists are the fastest lists to be made by women?


  2. R's Mom says:

    hahahahah! I loved this post…I really need to start making lists in my life…otherwise…I am going to end up really doing nothing….Same happens to me when I go to a supermarket..only difference I end up picking biscuits and ready to eat items instead!!!

    Lol. Priorities, priorities.


  3. Aathira says:

    aahh…. the Bucket List! !

    Or in my case, the Before I kick the Bucket list.


  4. V says:

    I used to make obsessive packing lists as well,and recently decided to be breezy-cool about it and decided to take it easy.. BIG mistake!! I am now on a business trip in a country where English is not a first language,and am having to pay 5 times the price for stuff that is not even my fave brand!

    Ironic, isnt it? Just winging it doesnt really happen when it comes to travel packing…


  5. Anamika says:


    You can’t beat me in making lists –
    The normal ones that normal people do
    1. Grocery list
    2. Vacation – things to do, things to take list
    3. Vacation – day wear – night wear (cruises etc ) list
    4. Things to do at home, work , school list
    5. on my fridge – things to cook for week list
    6. healthy routine – things to eat / don’t eat list
    7. make up / skin cleansing list – like use lemon/ice ro clean face etc etc
    These r on files in my laptop

    now to some abnormal lists
    1. people who really snapped at me and why i hate them (see – i can never be rude in person – so i write down my gaalis …)
    2. my wish list – of happenings – like a better job, child, my bros wedidng etc etc and a timeline too .. i have this list in my purse .. i think god refers this list and approves .. as and when i get my wish i go and have a tick on the list
    3. my wish list – materialistic – like Alaska cruise, Audi etc …

    Timepass lists
    1. at work sometimes i make a list of shoes i have or skirts or the people i am going to invite to my graduation party or the list goes on (pun intended)

    i so loved ur this blog post …
    i never thought the reasoning behind these lists ..

    it makes me feel good, having in writing helps me have a record when i look back 10 years later …

    or some unknown reason …

    what do u think
    seeing my lists…

    don’t tell me that i am crazy 🙂


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