Sunday, 18 April 2010

Spring cleaning

In India there is no such thing as spring. Four months of winter and nature loses no time in switching on the summer button. And this year, it has switched on the hi-heat button and things are melting and wilting all around me. Well, this post is not about the weather alone. (Most people talk about the weather when they have nothing else to speak about, but in these days of climate change, plenty to speak about...!)

This weekend I was doing some much needed sprucing up of the house. New curtains ordered, with some new upholstery thrown in. Great new bed linen in black and white, so soothing during the summer.

My daughter got involved in cleaning out the shelves with me, sorting, tossing and throwing useless stuff. She is a thrower, while my hubby is a stower and me somewhere in between. So my judgement was needed in what to keep and what to throw. She connected with so may forgotten childhood stuff. A pair of ghungroos(anklets with bells) when she went for Kathak classes when she was tiny, laminated pictures of her as a baby with Mother Teresa blessing her, odds and ends, each of which had a story behind it. She will be carrying the anklets and the Mother's pictures with her to University this fall.

While I was much into the heat and dust of the cleaning, I came across several photographs of myself in various stages in the last twenty years, most of which were spent in anguish, loneliness and betrayal. Its uncanny, but I did not want to keep any of the photographs which reminded me of the times that have passed. Is it possible to slice off a large portion of the past and survive? Vacuum out the muck and purge your soul? May be an unpleasant past has taught me to sift through life and identify people, places, activity which make me happy?

You can spring clean your house, but can you spring clean your life?

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