Today I spent the better part of my day cleaning out some of my closets. This is an almost annual activity for me, but I normally refrain from throwing out any of my stuff. Today I'd decided to be ruthless in deciding what to throw out and what to keep. Not to say that I would ever throw out something like my College Yearbook. No way, not even in a fit of extreme ruthlessness. But today I did throw out a lot of stuff I'd been hanging on to for five or six years for no apparent reason, except that I am a bit of a pack rat. By the way, for those of you unfamiliar with the term "pack rat," I looked it up on Wikipedia, and here's what their article says: "This article is about the rodent. For the human behavior, see compulsive hoarding."
Coming back to my point, I did find so many things that I should have thrown out six years ago, but I did find so many others that I would want to keep for the next sixty (if I do live that long, that is). There is so much stuff in my closets that reminds me of who I really am, of what I once wanted to be, of what I once was. The many issues of my school magazine that I edited and wrote articles for, the issue of Teens Today that reminds me that I do have what it takes to be a published writer, the innumerable prospectuses (I actually did not know the plural form of prospectus. This is what Merriam-Webster and wiktionary say.) of British Universities that I gathered towards the end of my undergraduate degree, when I was planning to apply for higher studies in Mathematics, the offer letters from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge (the only ones I actually applied to), the sketches I drew in the days when I was aspiring to go to NIFT and be a fashion designer. Now these are the things I can never throw away. (Except the prospectuses. I kept the ones from Oxford and Cambridge, but got rid of the rest.) This is the stuff that forms such an integral part of my identity that I can never imagine doing away with any of it. I even managed to dispose of the first job offer letter that I ever got (from Flextronics), because I don't think that that defines me half as strongly.
And then, of course, there is all the miscellaneous memorabilia. The College Yearbooks, the cards and stuff I got from various friends on various occasions, the photo albums, the large school-leaving group photograph, the lovely picture of me as a chubby two-month old in my mother's lap, the pictures from the school farewell, the College Fests, Graduation Dinner, the Tech Fest we organized during our MCA years... it is such a good feeling to recount all those memories.
I'm not sure why I am writing this on my public blog, because it does seem like something that's meant basically for me. But these are things that all my good friends should certainly know about me. And for the others, well, like I do say sometimes, I enjoy irritating people by making them read stuff that is of no consequence whatsoever to them!