Grooan, Why Me?


God, every bone and muscle in my body aches. Can Bones ache? I don’t know but it surely feels like it.

I spent the last two days cleaning and dusting in order to move into a new house and it still isn’t over yet. I just can’t believe that one person can accumulate this much of junk – and before you ask ‘why did you accumulate it then?’, no, it wasn’t me, it was my dear mater.

Ye Gads, She has got stuff from the time SHE was a baby still stored up.  I never knew a worse hoarder in my life (well, maybe I do, quite a few actually). I complained to my father and according to him, its something to do with our community and its culture.

He quoted an old proverb to prove it. It went something along the lines of, ‘ Don’t even waste a piece of straw. It could be used as a toothpick.’


That about epitomizes my mother’s attitude to all her possessions. She never, ever throws anything away because ‘You never know when you might need it’.

It’s driving me CRAZY! Aaarrgh! All the junk does is clutter the house, act as a receptacle for dust and grime and is a nightmare to clean. And it’s absolutely no use, trying to reason with her. To just cautiously suggest that somehting long broken, rusted and absolutely useless be thrown out is to invite a tirade on how kids these days dont the value of things, blah, blah, blah.

So what exactly is the value of a headless coconut scraper anyway? Especially since she also possessed an electric coconut scraper.  Since she never listened to reason, my sister and I waited till she went on a trip to India and threw all the junk out.

Ha – few moments in my life have been as liberating.

It took her a Long time after she came back to discover everything that we had thrown out and even though it was over five years ago, she still hasn’t stopped moaning to her friends about  all the ‘valuable stuff’ we threw away.

Now that we are moving into a new house, she wanted new sets of everything, a new gas cooker, a new rice cooker, new pots and pans, new utensils, new everything.

Well and good, we agreed with that, she has been using the same stuff for years and they are worn out now. But…. after buying a new set of everything, she wants to take the old ones too.

What on earth for?

‘Because you never know when you might need them.’

That’s when I finally lost my temper and put my foot down.


Goodness, a battle royal followed. I was determined not to give in, she wasn’t the one who had to clean up all that stuff, I did!

Just when the neighbors were probably wondering why the neighborhood cats were doing it up so much in the middle of the day, my father butt his inevitable head in. My sister often says that he fancies himself as the Eric Solheim of the family. The problem is, he more often ends up playing India rather than Norway.

Dad : What is the matter?

Mom : She is trying to dictate to me about what I can and cannot keep of my own belongings!

Dad : Here, why are you upsetting your mother? It’s her right to keep whatever she wants.

Me : She wants to take all the old stuff along when you have bought her brand new sets of everything?

Dad : Honey, Why do you want that? You have new ones after all?

Mom : Waah! What will I do if the new ones break down suddenly? You don’t know the value of things, you don’t know how much I suffer, Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….

Dad : All Right, All Right, you are right, you can keep the stuff!

Me : But…

Dad : Never Mind! Don’t upset your mother. Can’t you see how stressed she is?


So I gave up on that and went to pack the clothes. My sister and I have filled our entire wardrobes into two tiny cupboards. A huge steel Almeira which is so packed that clothes tumble out every time we open the doors, contains half her wardrobe. The other half is jam packed into several suitcases.

While going through them, I discovered hundreds of sarees and even more saree jackets. in every shade of color imaginable.

‘Mom, these are sarees you haven’t worn in several years. Why not give them away?’

‘They are in perfectly good condition, I can still wear them.’

‘But you don’t.’

‘I will.’


‘How about these saree jackets? You haven’t worn them since you were a skinny 20. I can’t fit into them either. ‘

‘Keep them, I want them.’

‘What for?’

‘I want them.’




Oh dear God, please give me strength!

And then I moved on to her boxes of piles and piles of magazines. Magazines that date back to the 1980s. Magazines that are older than I am.  (And to one particular friend of mine who might sympathize with this and tell me about the nostalgic, feel good smell of books, NO – these books didn’t smell nice, they just gave of f whiffs of dust which has still got my nose itching).

You would think I would have learned by now, but I am basically an optimistic person.

‘Mom, What do you need all these old mags for? Can I give them away to a 2nd hand book shop? ‘

‘Are you crazy? Those books are irreplaceable!’

‘Why would anyone want to repalce them? They are just ancient magazines?’

‘They are very valuable. Keep them, I want them!’

‘You haven’t gone through them in years and its not as if they are collectors’ items in mint condition. These are just a bunch of dirty, dog eared old magazines. What on earth do you want with them?’



I gave up!

So for the last two days, I have been packing up thousands of magazines, every kind of saree ever printed since the 1970s, every blackened and broken utensil I can find and then some.

Why me?





2 Responses to “Grooan, Why Me?”

  1. That only applies to books! Magazines… not so much… :p
    Lemme guess, these a probably readers digest, yeah?

  2. 2 laarchi

    Well, she had quite a few books as well.
    And wrong, if it were RD, I would probably hoard them too.

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