Since last several days, I am being subjected to sniper attacks on the home front, about tidying up my study. Initially, I heard only casual, look me down expressions like "Oh! this place looks like a garbage can!" With no action from my side, I started hearing statements addressed to the mankind in general like "Is any one from this world ever going to tidy up this room?" When no action was still forthcoming from me even then, there was a direct assault on me, ordering me to tidy up the room. I became quite concerned about the subject matter then, because I felt that an explosion was imminent and decided to take matters in my hand on an urgent basis. Finally I am on the job today to tidy up my study.
I decided first to have a look around the room from the eyes of a neutral observer. The room had really become a giant equivalent of a garbage can. Cordless phone with a dust coating at least an inch thick. assorted bits of paper, news papers from last several weeks, odd sized paper sheets with scribbled notes, cut up articles from new papers, ball point pens sans any ink, computer memory sticks, this was looking like real scrap shop. The book case on the side had books crammed in every possible cubic millimeter of space. The book case had books at least three times the maximum carrying capacity of that piece of furniture. Another cupboard with glass panels, which was originally intended for some nice looking souvenirs, presently had books, bunch of keys, connecting cables for computers and old photographs. Another steel cupboard looked nice and clean from outside. Yet, when I opened it, contained assorted stuff like warm clothing, glues and bunch of notes on Astronomy , which I was trying to study about ten years ago. The place was obviously a mess.
With this kind of mess lying around, readers could easily appreciate, that any one naturally would be in a quandary and would not know from where to begin? Having seized of the problem in hand, I was similarly perplexed and was just standing in the room, when I sensed that someone had tiptoed into the room with kind of supervisory expression on face. I therefore decided to make an earnest start and get on with the job, on which I had embarked upon. I decided to start with the steel almirah and opened it. I saw a huge stack of old papers and documents in the front. While browsing through the heap, I discovered that there were very old letters just below this heap of papers. I decided to check these letters and then throw them away.
The first letter in my hand turned out to be the one written by my Grand father, when I had made my first ever travel outside India. My grand father, who must have been in his late seventies then, was moved with the fact that someone from his family was going abroad by an airplane for the first time ever. He had clearly marked instructions on the envelope that it is to be opened in the airplane itself. My Grand father had expressed in that letter, how proud he was that his own Grand son was travelling by an airplane to go abroad. My eyes became watery while reading that emotional rendering of feelings of an old man even after so many years, enjoying one of his proudest moments. I could never throw away that letter and just kept it back. That heap of papers contained many such gems, including several letters of honour and appreciation presented to my mother by many organizations. I just kept away that stack of old papers back in its place.
I decided to start with the book-shelf and opened it. The first book that almost fell on my feet, turned out to be an old book on Astronomy called “ Sky-Atlas” and was written by one MR. G.R. Paranjape, again an old family friend. I have always found that this is one of the best written books on this subject. Just behind this book, I found an old favourite. A treatise on the oldest Hindu book of Astronomy called “Soorya Siddhaanta” by Burgess. I forgot everything else and just started reading that book.
There is no doubt in my mind that tidying up a room full of old memorabilia is almost an impossible task. Some of my relatives have not been able to clean up the room, in which their mother had lived, even when more than a decade has passed since her death. They say that they have made several attempts for this. However each time they begin, they find some odd memorabilia associated with some or other remembrance of their mother, which clouds their minds totally and completely and they had to give up the attempt. I had never believed these relatives so far and had always thought that they are just lazy. I am now realizing, how true they speak? When I am trying to tidy up mu own study.
I have read somewhere that if you want to tidy up your house or even a cupboard, just open it and find out things inside, those you have not even touched during last one year. If you haven’t required these things for last entire year, chances are that you may not require those things ever again. I thing that this is easier said than done. How can I just throw away even a trivial gift given to me by a person dear to my heart, even if I have not used it for last 5 years. At least for me, it is a Herculean task no doubt.
Fired with determination that I must clean up my study today, I decided to start with my study table. As I started organizing things on the table, I saw that the time was almost 12 noon. Actually I had not even taken a bath today, because I wanted to tidy up my study. Time just flies I thought, in this tidying up work. I rushed to the bath room. Somehow my conscience was telling me that I have not even started on the tidying up. I sort of consoled my self that after all tidying up can be done in a jiffy. I can always do it in the afternoon after lunch!
7th September 2012