Word count: 470 | Estimated time to read blog: 3 min
My parents have recently relocated to Mysore to spend their retired lives in peace. I travel during chance weekends to join them and I must admit I am tempted to retire right away. Mysore is symbolic of all that is slow, nostalgic and relaxing.
Moving in and out of cities has its own charms and headaches. All my things had come packed in carton boxes and my parents were quite exhausted by the time they had unpacked their own. So my things were left neatly boxed and would remain so unless I made up my mind to shelve the books, hang the clothes, assemble the furniture and throw away the cartons.
I took up this chore with reluctance one lazy evening. Well, you might have noted that I have prefixed ‘lazy’ for afternoons and mornings earlier. But then, laziness doesn’t announce or time its arrival, does it? And the ashy grey Mysore evening with the sweet smell of light rain didn’t improve my resolve either. But yes, the shooting up of my mom’s eyebrows certainly did and that’s when I finally got down to opening those dusty boxes.
The boxes were a mishmash of all things – socks, photographs, CDs, documents, books and a lot many other odds and ends had gone in to make it the fine salad I was now seeing. And considering the road from Manipal to Mysore, the salad state wasn’t a big surprise. I took out one item after another and organized them in separate heaps to enable easier arrangement.
It was then that I really started enjoying this activity. Things I had long forgotten suddenly seemed to reappear, bringing back with them associated memories. Photographs taken during early childhood; the tie I wore in primary school; the autograph books full of snippets and advice from schoolmates; the big blue toy bus I used to play with as a kid; group snap of the Literary and Debating club front desk while in 2nd year MIT; the snaps of TAPMI hostel rooms and the life we had together; the college magazine extolling my work and contributions….and a thousand other objects gradually came into view as I eagerly explored and unearthed the contents of the cartons, the memories leaping to my mind like tadpoles in a muddy pool, after the first rain.
What began as a detestable chore suddenly turned into a delightful activity. It was like a quick flip through the pages of my life so far with harmless pangs of nostalgia sweetening the effect.
I think it is memories, both the pleasant and the not–so-pleasant, that make our lives richer, fresher and poetic. And I am sure I already know what I am going to do after I retire. 🙂