Thursday, January 14, 2010

A few forgotten things

The other day I decided to fish out one of my older bags out of the dark recesses of the cupboard and put it to use again. The reason was?Well nothing really. The bag I was currently using was small and couldn't hold the heap of things that I have to carry with me all the time. Interestingly enough, I found a 50 Dhs. note and a handful of coins in it, along with an old, battered anthology of short stories, a bundle of tissue papers and a cutting from Friday magazine(which listed qualities of my sun sign). Oddly enough, I don't remember using this bag for ages. And during all this time, I never missed any of the stuff that was stowed in the bag, and yet I am hundred percent sure that I wouldn't part with any of these things, i.e. the bag, book or the info about my sun sign now that I've 'refound' them.

This is a huge problem with people like me; we hoard stuff that we don't' even need any longer, or never really needed in the first place, just because of some silly reasons. I have saved letters and cards that are at least 15 years old, I hardly ever read or look at them, and yet I wouldn't dispose them either. At the same time, I don't want to leave them behind in case of my death, it would mortify me if someone else went through them. There are several hundred emails that I cherish and therefore they have been in my inbox for close to a decade, yet I've never gone back and re-read them.

That makes me wonder why have these things been saved at all? Why this hesitation to part with them? Do I secretly hope to go back to them and peruse them again when(and if) I am old? By then I may have to tax my memory to recall what a certain joke or reference to a certain incident means. What all those 'code words' meant that my friend and I used to describe certain people. The code word were used merely for the heck of it, as no one read our letter anyway and we didn't have to resort to these cryptic methods. Besides, the things we wrote about were so mundane and trivial that none except us would have found them of interest anyway.

These aren't the only things that I am holding on to as a greedy magpie. There are the tiny gold hoops that I got when I was 7. They are too small to be worn by me again, and yet I wouldn't give them to any of the smaller girls in the family. I still have an old doll, some old toys; even clothes that I know I am never going to wear again(nor would many of them ever fit me again!), but I continue to collect it all. Two albums of stamp collection; my coin collection; some costume jewellery; even my old text books, notes and photocopies of assignments. And I am sure there must be some other stuff that's lying somewhere, which I don't remember but whenever retrieved would continue to guard it like a dragon.

Is that a sign of greediness? Am I being selfish for holding on to stuff. Why do I need these material tokens of my cherished memories? After all memories are something that can be cherished in your mind without having to collect all this stuff.


Saadat said...

I can relate so much to this post. Just two months ago, I went through all those things that were "archived" in the corner of my room and then got rid of them -- cryptic letters, meaningless journal entries, fairy tales and children's encyclopedias, notebooks from my undergrad years, little electronic gadgets that didn't work anymore (I couldn't throw away the stamp collection, though). I, too, wondered why I had always kept all that stuff with me, but then I finally said goodbye to them.

As for your question, I have no idea why we sometimes cannot let go of some certain things. Maybe they have some emotional value that we cannot measure consciously; maybe they are tangible representations of our memories. But whatever the reason, it sure is fun to go through your old stuff and try to remember that certain inside joke.

Arimas said...

So true. I remember finding an old diary, and for some inexplicable reason I had written plot of a novel(which was never written!)in code words. Now for the life of me, I couldn't break that code, nor could I remember why I would write the so called plot of a novel in code words. I may still have that diary somewhere back home.

That's not the only mystery, there is some stuff that I have kept and sometimes even I cannot remember the memory associated with it and yet I wouldn't let go of it.

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