Unhorizoned is our inner peace.
Like the boundless sky,
It encompasses all.
In the thirty years of my married life I have changed twenty- one dwellings and a few states and countries. It’s funny how marriage shows you a different side of fairy tales. A side where you are not Cinderella in a magical coach, and Prince Charming doesn’t take you away to live in a big castle happily ever after.
Our first home for a month was my husband’s bachelor pad in Chandigarh. There was just enough place for a bed and a table. To go to the washroom, you had to climb over the bed. The last empty corner was filled with the things our parents thought were essential for living and we couldn’t do without. When we moved into a better place, we realized that it was nice to have those things but to move with them from one place to another was a different ball game altogether. But, youth, the new spirit of marriage and the newness of the whole concept helped us breeze through the few houses we changed in the first couple of years.
The next pitstop: Bombay. Living in Bombay is no child’s play – especially if you have a child. My husband being a doctor changed a few hospitals, and so did we our living spaces. As the family had increased so had the material things. We had no time to declutter. While changing one accommodation, we asked a relative to help us with the shift. On route to the new place, the car broke down. A baby, a car refusing to move, boxes and boxes of stuff, a grumbling relative and a street in Bombay – it wasn’t a friendly scenario.
Decluttering the unnecessary makes space for what and whom we really want around us.
My husband made a vow never to ask for help again and I took a silent pledge never to collect more stuff than I required. A couple of years in Bombay and a few years in the UK saw us back in Delhi. After years of shifting and roaming around, we lived in Delhi for ten years. This was a record for us, as for once in our married life we had spent so much time in one place.
With time moving on and us settling in comfortably, the resolve of not hoarding material things went for a toss. Every little thing became important and our lives dependent on those things. Existence seemed incomplete without the things glossy magazines and glamorous advertisements made us buy. Then came the day we decided to shift our dwelling again.
Packing after years was a nightmare and with that came the realization of how much junk one had collected over the years. After selling some stuff, distributing some more we still had a substantial amount to take with us. We were supposed to be shifting to our new home in Gurgaon (in Haryana), but with the unreliable real estate situation in our country we changed a further two homes before we finally shifted into our present home.
Mrs Woods not only cleared out the unnecessary bits and bobs from my home but also wiped the dust off of the useless value we had given to those things.
Prior to shifting into the new home, I decided to declutter, to sell what was unnecessary. My son put up an ad for our wooden dinning table on OLX.com. A very interesting incident happened which was an eyeopener for me. That very evening a lady called and informed me she was calling from Kanpur and would reach Gurgaon in the morning. She wanted to check out the table. She came, she saw and not only bought my dining table but a couple of beds, a coffee table, a tv cabinet and a few more things. Her name incidentally was Mrs Woods and it seemed she loved wooden stuff.
That night lying on the mattress in a nearly empty room I fell into the most content sleep ever. The space I had created in my home, had created space in my mind. As someone has rightly said clutter is the enemy of clarity, and for the first time in my life I felt the place I lived in. The declutter made the place seemed bigger and brighter. Mrs Woods not only cleared out the unnecessary bits and bobs from my home but also wiped the dust off of the useless value we had given to those things.
We cling to everything we own and give it undue importance and meaning. We attach memories to them and box them for a future time. Ages later, when we open the box, we aren’t sure why we had saved the thing in the first place. It doesn’t resonate the sentiment we attached to it anymore. Not sure, we shove it back again somewhere where it remains unseen for centuries.
When you let go of what no longer serves you,
You create space for what’s meant to be.
Someone has rightly said, “We don’t live in bungalows, duplexes, or flats. We live in our mind which is an unlimited area. Life is great when things are sorted and uncluttered there.” But most of our lives we box our thoughts, shelve our grudges, bubble wrap our emotions and desires. We glue unwanted relationships, relatives and friends into jigsaw puzzles and try to fit them into different containers. We carry the burden of this baggage all our lives, make our lives miserable and unhappy. Like material things we keep piling them up thinking someday this bond will come in handy.
After years one realises that life is much simpler than we made it to be. Decluttering the unnecessary makes space for what and whom we really want around us. We would rather live in peace, not in pieces. In our pursuit to beautify our lives, we forget to sit back and relax in our mind’s space. To talk to ourselves, to breathe in the nature around us, to sleep in pure content.
Wipe the dust off boxes of memories, grudges, desires, unrealistic attachments and relationships and just hold on to what will take you forward and inwards and not drag you down the mundane pathway. Create the happy ending after all!
Art: Anjli Sarup
Read more from Anjli here: