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A blurry memory of sitting under the soft winter sun with my father playing 'Happy Birthday ' on the keyboard (piano) is probably the foremost reminiscence of my childhood. Like all you girls, I was also too fond of my father.Playing keyboard was more of an innocent effort to dazzle him than any humble ambition to master it. He would teach me new Hindi songs to old classics, note by note, holding my tiny fingers on that magical instrument.
Before long, my interests changed and academic push came hounding a little more, so with every passing year, playing keyword was something meant to be done on a total dope day. My Dad, on the contrary, bought a few more keyboards which I never really got to lay my hands on; partly because of sheer lack of interest and partly because of my love for that old keyboard.
Rolling forward, when our daughter visited my parents, my father gave her that almost 3 decades old keyboard which I had played as a child. Mind you, it was in good condition and only needed a change of 4 AA batteries. He had nicely cleaned each key long before her arrival.No surprise, she was amazed and carried it back home.
For all the emotional strings attached, I always had a mini heart attack whenever she would try to open the battery cover or stick her itsy-bitsy fingers between the keys. As I had anticipated from myself, soon I tucked it away safely, more from my fears and less from her.My father occasionally would question about how she was liking that keyboard or was it still working fine, I would very cleverly dodge the questions.
To me it (is)was a legacy, which I had carried far away from home.There was a history and lots of sentiments hanging in the balance with that block of plastic and semiconductors there was no way I was going get done with it that easily.
But this whole travesty of relating material paraphernalia with memories was bogging me down, all day and so many years together in a lump.Also, it had a snowball effect. I had kept 'our' first gifts, our daughter’s first clothes, toys, blankets and what not!My home was becoming more like an organized chaos.
Somewhere in between all this hodgepodge, I realized which was kind of right of passage that all this attempt to withhold is hollow. My mother is not a piece of the shawl that she gave me once neither that keyboard impersonates my father.It was something they gave me with love.Every material possession is here for a purpose and it should ONLY serve its purpose, saving it for eternity makes little sense in today's commercial world.
I hear my mother talking when I open my mouth, I watch my brother's smile in my daughter's , I hear my father’s thoughts talking in my head, I see my mother-in-law in the cheeks of our daughter, I meet my father-in-law in the repertoire of relationships of my husband. The memories of our parents and families are within us, seeking them outside is amateurish.
I am not against keeping sentimental items but for me, they are just a physical form of happiness on the other hand, for somebody, they might be more useful entity.Therefore, now I have started donating sentimental items whenever they try to weigh me down or have already served their purpose to me.Because those who mean something will always make their way back to our lives in one way or another.
**This post is a reflection of my new year's resolution: to adopt a simple and minimalistic lifestyle.For me, the first step to which is letting go of stuff that holds a place in my heart but hardly has any place in my closet/home.This year, I hope I stick to people more than possessions whereas patience and calm stick with me more than anxiety and qualms. **