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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Of living rooms and work desks!


I love buying toilet paper. The thought of deciding that I need to buy a second batch, gets me all excited.

As odd as that line would sound to most of you, I believe it makes perfect sense. The thing is we are all merely hunters and gatherers (http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2011/05/17/the-human-animal-bbc/). It is in our nature to make every place we spend some amount of time in as homely as possible. Given that most of these places are transitory in nature, it still does not deter us from adding our own little touches, kind of like the drawings on the wall to say “I was here”.

It is not just that woman are into it, men indulge in it as well. Although a woman’s personalisation can be more aesthetically pleasing, than the cigarette stubs and dirty socks lying around belonging to a man…enough said. You get the picture.

So in my own little way, I decided to add a personal touch to my new room by adding little shiny glow in the dark star thingies. They look cute. Kind of make me feel like a kid lying down on the terrace and gazing at the stars. I also added a new calligraphy to the wall, which is proper shiny. (I like shiny).


Collectively we are Bedouins. Not literally, but by way of how we live our lives, we are not much different. We move from one place to another, for a variety of reasons. That movement involves one in acclimatizing to the new place, familiarising with the changes around ones person. We as people acclimatize, but not in the blink of eye. It takes time to blend in, and in that period one needs something familiar to hold on and have a sense of balance. Kind of like ragged old blanky kids might hold onto, though if they do the same when well past into their 30’s, red flags ought to go up!

I digress. So, we all have our little knick knacks to ease us through the transitory phase. Mine’s my little boofle mug and fetish for buying toilet paper. But I have to say this, nowhere in the world have I seen people so gung-ho about personal artefacts and comfort items as that in India. We Indians love to carry our world with us. Whether it is a jar of mango pickle aboard an international flight, or our multiple god figurines, we love our little India everywhere. In my last work place, I was still getting used to seeing all the gods, all the family pictures, stuffed animals, prayer books, lunch bags and over-night change of clothes-all at one desk for one person! So here comes a new joinee,  I walk past her desk, saying hi, being nice, and I walk back after 20 minutes and already she has made a mini shrine complete will bells and pink fluffy thingies around her computer. It was like the power puff girls attacked! I so wish I had taken a picture of that….hmmm..

As important as it is to hold onto something from the past to move into the present, sometimes it is more important to let go of a tiny bit to accept the new. A perfect balance is a utopian concept, yet we can but try.

So whilst I relish seeing mini living rooms on every desk I pass at work, I shall keep missing my little white and red boofle mug back home..hmm..

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