Krishnan’s mini-surgery has forced us to stay in Gurgaon for three more weeks than planned. In the process of getting Krishnan to be pain free, we have realised a few others things as well. As we have been living in Bangalore, we have left behind just one set of vessels, a few cups, plates, ladles and spoons. The kitchen is almost empty, we just buy the provisions we need and cook . We brought a few clothes that we needed for a couple of weeks. Yes, the sweaters and jackets are all here since Bangalore doesn’t get as cold, so we are well protected. Our beloved books are here and that’s it …. The fact is, we haven’t missed anything !!! We haven’t missed the TV, it has given us more time to talk amongst ourselves or meet friends or go out for long walks, we haven’t missed the dozens of vessels in all shapes, or the boxes filled with condiments, grains etc, or the many clothes that we have. The truth is I haven’t missed even my costume jewellery that I usually wear matching the color with the color of my sari.
The hard fact is – we all have a lot more things than what we really need. The Eskimos have a great tradition which I am planning to adopt, every new year eve, they review all their belongings and keep only those that are essential and give away the rest. Their homes are amongst the cleanest and they don’t need huge storage to keep their things. As far as books are concerned, Krishnan and I have shifted to e-books mostly, saves space and paper. It’s not a viable option for everyone, but create and sustain libraries. The best times of my growing up years were spent in libraries, I haven’t missed reading a single book because we couldn’t buy it, as I got it from the library. Encourage your local library or start one in your neighborhood. It’s also a great way to teach children the value of sharing and the value of saving trees. There is a library that has been set up within the condominium complex that we live here and we are planning to give away most of our books to them.
I still remember living all alone during the last 18 months of my college, I didn’t have a TV, no fridge, no washing machine and no radio even. Jobs had not invented the iPod or iPad then and we were still working on computers with green monitors ! Very special days, of trying to cook Rajma without soaking them overnight :):) and buying two loaves of bread for Vidya and I, and ofcourse a staple diet of Maggi, Marie biscuits and tea. I had very few vessels, even fewer things and clothes and I bought books in the Koti weekend market or the second hand book stores or went to the college library. You really need very little to live well.
This New Year has started well for us – important message at the start of the year reinforced – you need very few things to live well, you just need your loved ones and friends with you and time to enjoy a walk or gossip with friends. Switch off the TV, keep a few essential things and have fun in being light and easy. The planet will remain green, if only we didn’t hoard and lived simply.