Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shifting coordinates

Having grown up in military cantonments, shifting houses or relocating to new places was never a sad or an emotional phase for me. It was rather exciting. My sister and I used to treasure hunt through the boxes that my mother packed up. Treasure hunt it truly was. You get back many things that you have lost. They peep at you from corners which have been exposed because of the cleaning and emptying. You get to see many stowed away tidbits which are kept in the boxes for memory sake - the little white and brown striped frock which my sister wore and then I did when we were babies or that faded picture of my father's colleague who gave up his life for the country kept safe in that torn diary  from 1980. Shifting meant a new house, new friends and a new school. In spite of the unhappy grumblings from my mother we kids thoroughly enjoyed the shifting.

After a three year stint, I recently moved back to Kolkata from Santa Ana. A feeling of de ja vu set in as I emptied my house. Once again lost things came back unabashed and not guilty from their inconvenient absence.Once again I was excited to pack up looking forward to the next leg of life.

After the house was emptied it looked like just how it did when I moved in three springs ago. Except that it is not that perfect. There is a scuff mark on the wall where the couch which was a company to my hours of lazing around rested. There is a spot on the carpet where I spilled my tea when I excitedly ran to receive my kindle reader as the postman knocked impatiently. The wall has a clean rectangular spot mocking at the rest of the faded walls of the house - the rectangle created by the Beatles poster my husband put up as one of the first personal addition to the house. And then the excitement was marred by a knot in the throat as I realized how with a stroke of paint and a dab of soap water they would clean away my three years of good times and bad times spent in this little corner.