I’ve been relegated to my parent’s room slash the living room slash the other room today.Maa is in my room,supervising an elaborate and long drawn,semi ceremonial cleaning out of all the junk I’ve managed to accumulate in the various cupboards,shelves and drawers,over the years.I am called in from time to time,asked to pass decisions on whether certain items will be held on to or thrown out.Relics from what seems a distant childhood surface-those “autograph books” we made our classmates and teachers sign before parting ways in class 10,notebooks with scrawls and scribbles from when I was twelve,an assortment of cards and notes from friends on different occasions,collections of sea-shells lovingly hoarded from when I still remembered how to take pleasure in the simple things.
I keep the notebooks but I subject a majority of the other odds and ends to a ruthless verdict.Maa remarks how things lose significance over time-she still retains some things-old projects for school from when I was ten,essays,report cards.
I look back to the girl gazing up at me from beneath the layers of dust and grime-the girl who had so much to be enthusiastic about when she turned to her diary,who was lonely and maladjusted it was true-more glaringly so maybe than now,but who still had so much to laugh and hope and be happy about,whose academic finesse was what her classmates knew her for,whom teachers were forever fawning over.
And I look at myself,sinking slowly and surely to mediocrity,to unobtrusiveness,to a deep,barely explainable exhaustion.I think how proud my younger self would be of me-in the university she wanted to be,studying the subject she wanted to,”good” results in board exams to her credit.
So much and yet.
There is consolation to be found in this-the way everything manages to evaporate into nothingness over time.If my ten year old joys have all boiled down to naught-shrinked into a handful of crumbling paper and dust,so will all my eighteen year old angst-someday.