Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tough stuff



"Come on!"

"Uhh... okay."



"It's going."

"Sigh... okay fine."



"Why not??"


"Uh huh?"

"It's my first walkman."


"And my last too."

"You have an ipod!"

"Precisely. This is a part of old memories."

"You're never going to use it."

"I know!"


"Then what?"

"Throw it."


"Why not??"

And thus went on the recurring loop.

It was just Viv trying to convince me to throw some old stuff. Before we moved into this house, we threw tons of stuff. Yet, after we moved in, we realised that there was so much more to throw. We may have removed the first layer of stuff - the obviously useless kind - but there was the second layer. Of stuff that's a little closer to our hearts, and a little harder to get rid of. Even though we know it's high time we let go, we just can't.

Dad says, "If you didn't unpack something in one house, it's highly unlikely that you will unpack it in the next house. Throw it." Very practical advice, and very useful in my childhood when we moved from one city to another every two years.

However, now that I have no plans to move anymore, it gets a little difficult to be heartless and throw that carton which contains... well, I'm not quite sure what it contains, but I'm sure it has something useful. You see the point?

Maybe it's human nature. The inability to pick something up and, devoid of emotion, throw it out. Forever.

And this is not limited to inanimate objects.

The other day, I was waiting at the bus stop, when I noticed a colleague coochie-cooing with her boyfriend. So I did what I do in uncomfortable situations like this. Before she could notice me or notice that I had noticed them, I started fiddling with my mobile phone. Five minutes of reading old sms messages, and the bus still wasn't there. Damnit. So I started to go through my phonebook. To my surprise, only about one-third of the names were recognisable.

There were names that I absolutely could not place. Mr. Chong*, Crystal*, Dr. Josephine*, three Joans*, Richard*, Priyanka*, Harish* - who were these people??

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of people I don't think I know.

So I got rid of all the names that I couldn't recognise. And that included some really odd entries - Bugis manicure, Dial-a-biryani (?!), Hotel Crown Prince, Amore gym, Agent Regina, River Walk Tandoor, Tru Spa. First layer. And then came the hard part - the second layer. Of deleting the ones that I actually did recognise. There were only a couple of such names (phew!), but I did have a tough time deleting them. Names that brought back memories of bad friendships, fallouts, bitter endings. And each time the phone asked me, "Delete?" I hesitated. Maybe I could keep them? Maybe we would get in touch eventually? Maybe we would want to get in touch some day?

And then I asked myself sarcastically - Really? You think?

And the answer, the really honest one, was - No.

I don't. I don't think I will ever get in touch with them. I don't think I will ever want to get in touch with them. I don't think they will ever want to get in touch with me. I don't think us getting in touch is a good idea. Forgive and forget is not as easy as it sounds. And one doesn't go without the other. You can't forgive and move on if you can't forget. Some friendships are not forever, and the sooner we understand this, the better it is for our peace of mind. And also important for peace of mind is to let go. Out of sight is indeed out of mind. To let go of memories and things that bring up these memories. Grudges. Negative thoughts. Anger. Frustration. Gotta throw them. Get rid of them. Just like old cartons that take up space. Just like old numbers that take up phone memory.

Life is too short to get too idealistic and too emotional. In our neverending struggle to find happiness, why do we want to cling to things that make us far from happy?

Viv suggested that we should throw five things each week. I readily agreed because I thought that included things like banana peel after you've eaten the banana, etc. but apparently not. He meant stuff - real stuff.

I'm still getting used to this thoughtless throwing of stuff in the house, but I think I'm getting better at it. And at the same time, I'm getting marginally better at throwing all the other stuff too. Stuff that's in the heart and mind. And just like the house, the heart and mind feel cleaner. Lighter.

I suppose just like you gotta throw stuff before moving in, you also gotta throw stuff before moving on.


Urv said...

Aaila Gold :D :D

Urv said...

Hmm.. I too went thru the same phonebook thingy some days back.. However I did not delete any.. Just for the sake of remembering those with whom I crossed paths :)

Do you have a tough time placing any bewdas? ;)

Prasanth said...

Silver!!!!Yipeeeee finallyyy

Anonymous said...

How true. When I was at college and our rooms were changed each year, I used to encounter similar feelings.

here i 'm said...

i totally agree
but throwing out things from mind...isnt anything similar to house cleaning
definetly ...' out of sight...' concept helps... but to a limit.
Most of the time we jus believe that the person/ thing is out of our mind 'now'... but you see... even the smallest thing a phone number... can bring it back ... and it will still hurt... so was it really out of your mind??
Forgetting anything isnt quite possible... unless you get hit on ur head..and wake up in filmy style.. "me kaun hoon?" :P
Better options is to forgive... sighhhh...which isn't 'easy' at all :(

Anup said...

Its really difficult; especially getting rid of phone numbers with which you have emotional connections. Even if you delete it, the numbers seem to be so easy to remember *sigh* I used to be bad at math, but then I always wondered about how these phone numbers got stuck to me. Mostly because I always dialled out rather than used speed dial or the last called list. I did such a clean-up recently and it sucked. But then, I hate the fact that some friendships are temporary affairs. Belittles the whole idea of friendship (for me) man it was the toughest electronic change I made. Good one!


Sunny said...

True, true. :)

And Josephine seems a safe bet... but I'm wondering abt what happens if some Priyanka, Harish or Joan actually knows you and reads the part about "There were names that I absolutely could not place. Mr. Chong*, Crystal*, Dr. Josephine*, three Joans*, Richard*, Priyanka*, Harish*" ;-)

shub said...

Your timing is uncanny! Last few days my mantra has been 'declutter'. Mind, belongings, everything. And did the same with my phone too. And told myself I'm not gonna make efforts to keep in touch with people just because.


Buls said...

The term for this cleaning up is "de-cluttering". I had written a post on this topic months back:
"I am decluttering. Clutter holds the positive and negative energy in a stagnant state. To remove the negative energy which has been accumulating for years now... I have revamped my internet presence...

I had 2 options:

1) Delete and block unwanted people... from messenger; delete old mails... from inbox. I would need ample time for this... since I have stuck to these e-mail addresses for yrs now. There some people I have not chatted with since school days...

2) Create new accounts... add imp people in friends' list... The uninterested ones will not go through the trouble of adding me...

I chose the 2nd option 'coz I prefer to discard the old and move on to the new.

I read an inspiring article about decluttering... (

"The secret to decluttering your brain is to figure out what you can and can’t change. Maybe the only thing you can change about certain situations is your attitude."

"Decluttering your mind is the ultimate "letting go." It’s a necessary part of self-care that we rarely acknowledge, let alone do anything about."

"Ditch the worry, the frustration, the anger, and anything else that’s cluttering your mind’s closet. You’ll be glad you did."

Some events have been erased from my life and I am glad... there are no unanswered questions (if there are, I am not asking them).

It is over and I have no regrets... I feel rejuvenated. "

venkatesan said...

You are correct. We must throw two things out before buying one! We intend doing so before we leave for CBE.

GotSum? said...

Life is too short to get too idealistic....totallly agree....Emotional....I dont know...I agree but cant really stick to it...

Nice one...I can relaite to most of the things u said....

Kanan said...

Tough stuff - there you said it. I need to do this badly for actual stuff. Just clean up and arrange. The every day or every week plan sounds good, that way I will at least get started... little at a time. Thanks!

Akshay said...

Physical stuff - I don't tend to get too much anyway - that way you don't have to throw it away - a minimalist.

Mental stuff - you have to prioritize - in case there isn't an actual enmity, I always try to remember and keep in touch with people as a sort of challenge to myself - 'coz somehow, I feel, as long as I am alive, I might be able to add value to their lives if they ever required it. But have suffered because of it too - so what you say is correct - to maintain happiness, throw away the trash! Whether maintaining happiness is a priority, well...

santasizing...Fantasizing said...

Real good stuff Sayesha..tough stuff..
thanks for writing it has really helped me de clutter too..and as long as im not able to de clutther my mind...throw away stuff..I am going to continue reading remind myself everytime i fail...
thats in turn will also increase the hit counter..see u got a loyal visitor now..(not that i wasnt till now..:P)

Revs said...

sayesha being philosophical? ahem!! thats new!! :)
nice post!!

Prithi Shetty said...

But we have to throw away the extra baggage to free ourself & grow. I was like that too. But after my baby, it's only split second decision, whether to discard this paper or stay away from that friend. Somethings are just not important enough.

Great to see your post frequency go up :) Kaala tikka

aMus said...

everytime we move, we throw a huge lot of things...its amazing how much junk we manage to clutter up our life with...

its a difficult decision to mak esomeyimes but as you said makes you feel lighter...

chanakya said...

hmm u keep coming back to bad friendships for some reason :D

rt said...

really TUFFF!!!
however hard I try am unable to totally get some people out of my mind..
waiting for getting hit on the head to forget ;)

Prats said...

How true!!!

I also find it very difficult to throw things/people out of my life. Surprisingly I know I wouldn't exchange a single scrap with almost 50% of the people in my Orkut friend's list but still they are there..why? I don't know, but still they are there...
you know may be telling me I won't end up lonely and alone when I grow old....

Sanchit said...


well thats the 21st element in the table.. :) just wanted to shout gold... but now happy with this..

btw nice thoughts penned down..

Pinku said...

lovely post....came here through white rain and am hooked.

Blog rolling you basis just this one post.

Moving on entails many things, throwing the useless out is one...collecting more usefull ones is another...keep doing both and will have led an interesting life. :)

Assuming you have moved into your own place please accept my heartfelt good wishes.

mythalez said...

moving on is really tough to do 'consciously' ..

Prags said...

the last line was too good... :)


naween said...

where did the karzzz post disappear to?? [:(]

Revs said...

you put up a post!! karzz wala!! kahan gaya? i loved it!! :)

Soumya said...

Can relate to you on this one. I also find it very difficult to throw away anything that has even the faintest memory attached to it. I have a huge collection of things from my school and college days that I refuse to throw.

But I can foresee a very similar dialogue between my fiance and me, because he has "hinted" to me many times that he doesn't like to accumulate things.