Sunday, April 5, 2009

Where Time Stands Still

So important yet so unpopular, the junk yards, or normally referred to as storerooms in India, have always been placed in the back of the households to stock away loads of unused, unwanted stuff. The belongings that were personal once, a thing to brag of... and then they lost all their charm to be dumped in the dingy dark spaces of the world. The junk would now see the light only through the dusty creaky hinges that the door can manage for its inhabitants.

Visit the attic or the junk heaps in the basement or a garage and you would find old pieces of furniture that would shriek in ghostly creaking sounds the moment you touch it. You might also find some old tattered clothes that might look centuries old against the latest fashionable ones that you wear. Those might be the ones you once wore, or if you are lucky enough to find some classic style granny's dresses, these would tempt you to try them on. Careful, the inhabitants for sure also include rats and spiders with their cobwebs.

I remember in the good old days on a summery hot afternoon I would rather find solace in these dank spots of the house. Away from all the care, I would feel a part of the trash — it was like the whole world has forgotten you, such a relaxed feeling... leaving behind all the grasping expectations, I would let loose my imagination, trying to make up something of the whole chaos. This was my world for the moment! The world of no order, no sequence, no discipline, no boundaries — a world without motion, a world so stock-still that even the timepiece stashed away in one corner of the room had lost its pace with time. It felt absolutely timeless in this place.

Hiding from the all the chores Mom had planned for me during the vacations, sitting on top of the age old furniture in the storeroom, I would contentedly read my favorite detective titles of the times. Sometimes while rummaging through the clutter, I would find some long lost plaything, a trunk full of colorful quilts or a broken doll house. The things that we did not want anymore were brought in here, but these were the proof of our existence, symbols of our growth. Of course we dint need them anymore, but these were something we couldn't part away with. So, here lies the collection of mementos very well conserved under the layers of dust and this adds an enigma to the surroundings, calling to revisit and peep into the past.


Vamsee said...

Very sweet post. I remember the time when we cleaned our our garage and found so many old trinkets. It was a lot of fun to take the trip back the memory lane.

Why are you not writing more? You write very well.

Jai said...

Aren't these the curryleaves of our lives... Once so important that we could not part with it even for a moment.. but now..
Happens in life always.. with us, with the things that we possess, the relationships that we make, the sweet moments we wow to cherish for ever. Everything gets tucked away, over time, they collect the dust and the cobwebs and slowly they fade out frm our memory..
Lucky are the ones, who just like what u've written, could visit the attics of our memories and bring back those sweet moments, relations, incidents etc etc back alive again...
and trust me, they are worth it...

srijith sharma said...

To begin with, I am more attracted to the title of this article. ‘Where Time Stands Still’ sounds more poetic and creative. And again Deepti Ahuja Balani has come out with a nostalgic piece of writing that drives us through the lane of childhood memories. I guess she excels in the genre ‘nostalgic memoirs’. The garage, hoods, junk box, broken furniture dumped inside the store room, rats, cockroaches, dingy atmosphere, air filled with dust, rust and the corners decorated with cobwebs takes us for a ride into the afternoon hours of our childhood days. Deepti has an astonishing taste for language which is a positive sign of her capacity to explore new styles of writing. Her modus operandi of implementing a romantic style blended with nostalgia will definitely result in the popping up of more excellent write ups in her blog in the coming days. Like all the admirers and fans of her blog, me too is waiting for her next article.