ENGAGED AS I AM THESE DAYS in a massive de-cluttering exercise, I have still not emerged from the state of “negative awe” – if you will permit me to use the expression. I keep wondering what on earth has made us accumulate stuff all these years many of which have remained unused after the initial whiff of enthusiasm that barely lasted a few days or months of purchase. It is indeed time to ask the question “why” pretty hard each time we contemplate a buy so that we inch closer towards a simple, hassle free existence.
I HAVE BROUGHT BOOKS IN THE HOPE that one would read them soon – some of them have remained unread for years. As with books, so with clippings. One cuts out an article in the hope that one would read it later at leisure – it never gets read. As time passes, some of these clippings have already lost their relevance. If we look at our wardrobes, we will find clothes that we have never worn for years. I dread to talk about shoes ! There is hardly a room in the house that is devoid of excess. Pictures and artifacts that do not make sense, pens that don’t work, crockery that is seldom used, DVDs and CDs that have not been seen or listened to, table lamps not switched on ever, clocks which have stopped working….The list is pretty endless. Yet the crowning irony of it all is the sense of extreme reluctance which one cannot get rid of so easily when one makes an effort to remove or give the stuff away !
IN AN EARLIER POST, I ALLUDED TO a minimalist life. I am still a long way away from that ideal but it is not something that is entirely elusive. Before we contemplate buying anything we need to ask the simple question “WHY”, probably repeatedly. The age old adage that necessity is the mother of invention has long been rendered irrelevant. We have moved inexorably towards an age where we feel the need for things merely because they exist. Clever, subliminal advertising also ensures this. On the other hand, there is something what the French call the raison de’ etere (reason for existence) for everything in life. If we do not understand this, or more correctly, if we do not closely examine our needs we would end up drowning ourselves in things that are totally inessential for us. And we would forget the essentials – say, a first aid box or for that matter a match box or a lighter. I am also tempted to add a flashlight to this list but my wife reminds me that it is already built into my mobile !