Packing away the memories… One box at a time.

Every two years, I pack my house in large wooden boxes, painted black, and neatly labelled with a code that tells me exactly what each one holds… K18, for example, has all the expensive crockery that will come out, when friends in the new station bring cheer at the housewarming party, and then for the many lunches and dinners that I will host thereafter.

Labels don’t always work though. M7 holds, among other junk, a large number of curtains that hung around a colonial bungalow with a humongous 37 windows and 9 doors! In the 17 years since, I never could use all of them together again. First, because I never got to live in such a grand bungalow again; and then eventually, I tired of them and had new ones stitched. Then why haven’t I thrown them away yet? Because they are not just curtains, you see… They are a precious memory. That house is where my son was born.

Many other things spill out as I painstakingly go through the contents of each box once again… some I can fit into the modest 3 bedroom house… like the Buddha head that I came across in Kalimpong. Others must be stowed away only to be seen two years from now, when it will be time to call a new place ‘home’, and do it up with the enthusiasm of a young bride… which I clearly am not!

Its a strange life we lead…

With memories in boxes, and years that we count, not in numbers, but by places, (with tongue-twisters for names), where we lived…

In houses we call our own but will never have again… And gardens that we plant for people who will walk in them after us…

Sharing a laugh with friends knowing we might never meet again, but who will become my family in the two years I will spend with them.

C’est la vie… eh?