You cringe. You whine. You complain. “My arms hurt, my legs are sore!” you cry out. The tables and the windowsill, dotted with various tiny items acquired from here-there-everywhere, stare. They even dare to giggle.
Packing up to leave can be a big pain. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Every muscle of your body and every thinking cell of your brain gets going and if you have no assistance, it’s a
dreary great work out scheme.
Suddenly, I wish I had learnt to live like the boys.
Made do with a pair of jeans for a month. Worn and re-worn that shirt and that tee till passersby covered their noses in disgust. But with no lessons in bare-minimums learnt, I now have to struggle to tuck in every item of my elaborate wardrobe. The trolley-bag threatens to burst as I plead with it to hold just one more pair of jeans and just another formal shirt.
What do I do with all the glass and china wear I got from handicrafts exhibitions? That delightful photograph-mug I was gifted on my birthday? The picture frames I had so meticulously arranged in my room? I wrap them in newspaper and sandwich them among the clothes in my bag. May the good Lord keep them from breaking, I murmur.
Slips of paper peep from various nooks and corners. The bill from the restaurant I gave my birthday party in. A rugged piece of paper saying –
1 Amul Dahi
1 Orange Real Juice
1 Drifts mineral water
Credit card receipts. Restaurant menu pamphlets. Tonnes of brown packaging paper, hidden among the silver one I had used to wrap a present. Sorting them all out takes longer than I had anticipated.
I take a big paper bag and dump in every item of food that is no longer edible. A rotten apple, a packet of chips that expired three months ago, some of the namkeen I had been given from home. When the phone rings I reassure Mom – of course I am eating well. That orange you found spoilt last visit went uneaten only because it was hidden behind the shelf.
The curtains fly in a sudden tuft of wind. Looking out of the window, I wonder if there is more of Pune I can take away with me. More whiffs and sights and sounds that I can fold and pack in the confines of my bags.
One glance around the room tells me there are several areas that remain to be folded and packaged. But them I postpone to another afternoon…