As I live longer, I realize that some habits are hard to shed. Unless we do it with a vengeance and shake them off. Consciously. Resolutely. Painfully.

Take for example, the stupid habit of folding plastic covers and storing them neatly. For what? You won’t believe this…oh, who am I kidding? You totally would believe this. In one of our old bag of bags I found a Medhini cover. Neatly folder by none other than you. Medhini. Really? I didn’t realize its impact until I took it out of my handbag with a flourish while shopping and found heads turning. Oh yes, I do turn a few heads…but not for the usual reasons. They must have wondered, what the heck! That store closed like…8-9 years ago? Then came Fabmall. Then came More. In an instant, all these thoughts raced through my head and I had a tough time controlling my wild laughter. Truly, Gandhians eh?

Which reminds me, I must simply throw away that bag of rags. That neat little bag with all those washed-in-dettol pieces of cloth that can be used for cleaning. Oh yes, I do use them. But there’s so much it is not funny.

Who knew that the trait of thrift would be so deeply embedded in my genes? Near-poverty can be a funny thing, Mi. I am okay with being thrifty, not stingy. I give away stuff generously. But I guess, thanks to you, I am also blessed with abundance. Like Grandma said, the more you give, the more you get. It is true. Take smiling for example. Most people smile back when I smile at them. And I smile at everyone. Never mind what some of them think!

By the way, I gingerly asked Mahendra if he’d help clean the verandah and he said he’d come on Sunday and do it. Sigh. If he doesn’t turn up, out comes my mask and the dosai thiruppi (spatula) and I get going on scraping the shit off the floor. Those crazy building painters have toppled that single potted plant there so many times now there’s mud in one corner. I must clean it up before the next solid summer shower hits us. As it is, after the second coat of paint, the pigeons have applied their own special coat. Yikes!

Those upstairs neighbors, I tell you! Last week they released their filthy water yet again into our verandah and I went and  – hold your breath – gave them a piece of my mind. No apologies were forthcoming, mind you. I shot off an email to the E & K owners group. Must go take it up with the person in charge because with monsoons around the corner, I simply cannot afford to have their junk pour into our verandah. If I keep quiet, I must stop using our space. Excuse me. Not an option. I wonder who came up with the brilliant idea of fixing that puny little pipe with a wide mouthed pvc pipe at the outer end. When the water flows, not much gets into the pipe; instead it spills out helter-skelter and makes everyone’s life miserable. Freaky, because they just painted the building.

Hey, I am getting lyrical. Bag of bags. Bag of rags. What next? Tongues that wag? I wish!

I wish you were here to help me de-clutter. The list is made. Pending action. Oh well, I’ll get to it. But I am warning you, tears will be shed.

old habits die hard