It’s a dark blue of a comforting kind, not too dark and not too blue. It has always been there, rain or shine, weekday or weekend, school or basketball match, home or elsewhere. I’ve been carrying that one particular Nike backpack since on the threshold of growing up, and now it carries me more than I ever did. It is a piece of what I’ve been through, good and not so good, and even now, waiting in the metro, I look at it to find it already looking at me.
A little purple notebook on the second cabinet of the night stand, my companion since 8th grade. My most patient listener, confidante, visionary. Knows all of my secrets and spills. Knows when I laughed, when I wanted to make her laugh, and when everyone ended up laughing at me. My journal is my best buddy, always was, always will.
The box of crayons Ma got for me when I turned five, I still have them intact. Blue for the sky, green for grass. Yellow for the shining sun. A palette of colours, a plethora of emotions. The black sharpener dad got as change in the stationery shop two years back, I still use it to sharpen the pencils I seldom use. It still smells the same old familiar smell. The fountain pens still lie in my drawer, even though I almost never use them anymore, I’m never able to discard them.
Old baggy t-shirts of dad’s, Ma’s jhumkas from college days, didi’s hairclip on the side of her plait, dada’s rusted helmet. It’s all still in the house, we never happened to put them in the trash, never happened to get rid of them. Paintings which we bought at the fair never adorned our walls, still rest peacefully on the top shelf of my study table. Handmade bags which Nani gifted us never made it to any one of our dayouts, yet we’ve not given them out to our maid. There are things all over the place, but we haven’t bothered to clear them away.
Maybe that’s how it is, we don’t really want to give up things so easily. We hold on to our possessions, no matter what. And maybe that’s why, growing up, we learn to hold on to people too.
But you know what? It’s okay. Let go. Throw away ghat dusted carpet, give away that seemingly antique lamp, put aside that notebook with no more pages left to fill. Clear the mess off. Get yourself something new.
And me? I think I better look for that ring I got for my tenth birthday and never worn it since.