To Quill the Mocking World

The Hoarder’s Disorder

Shruti Sharma

(7 min read)

A photo by Lacie Slezak.

The peculiar thing about memories is that the more you bury them, stronger they become. So as life catches its pace, those million feelings and thousand thoughts take a backseat. It’s only when you face the adversities, you are forced into action to handle the unleashed.

This is life. And life wasn’t fair to me either.

09 September, Saturday morning. 10 Am.

This happened to me in the most unexpected way.

Mom: Clean your cupboard today. And this is the last time I am warning you. Otherwise, I will start throwing your trash.

Me (lifeless, still dreamy): Maa, pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee!

And then no words were exchanged, just her trademark fiery glare and I was up and awake.

Now grumbling and complaining won’t work here. Nevertheless I should try. There is no reason why a clumsy little lousy girl (meh!  ) should be made to clean her cupboard just because every time anyone opens her closet things start falling off. What would any decent madness want from her depository?

Anyhow, I was not given many choices and preferences because she is the progenitor and I am the progeny.

Asleep on the job, I moved with sloth-like pace hoping she would assign me some other work. But to my surprise during this ‘adversity’ I discovered possessions which were not just matter by the definition of physics (has mass and occupies space), but riches gone astray.

The paraphernalia trapped inside my cupboard were living reminiscence of a life I once lived:

– The old Nokia phone’s cardboard box– My first mobile phone. I was not surprised to see the phone, the original bill, the thin-pin charger still intact. Well, god forbid, in case someday I have to sell it for INR 50, I have to make sure I make a good bargain with the box and the charger, right?

-Newspaper cuttings of articles– I particularly hate internet of things for stealing away this wealth from me. I remember, I would hunt down my father’s shaving kit in the middle of reading an interesting article, take out the blade, make article-size hole in the paper and safely tuck it in my maroon news folder. Later I would bask in the glory of acquiring a great piece of information.

-Photographs of Irfan Pathan and Hrithik Roshan– Stickers, posters, banners or newspaper cuttings- basically even the stamp size photograph of these two were considered as ‘capital investment’. We (my sister and I) used to think that maybe someday they will run a contest which says “Whoz my jumbo fan?” and then we will showcase this collection. And who knows, maybe, win a date!

-Clothes (rags, Duh!)– Being a girl this should have come first. But I am not much of a fashionista so my clothes usually hang around for a little (actually, a lot more than little) bit more time than their expiry date. I have considerably less attachment towards my clothing; still it counts, like my CWG volunteer uniform. I have kept the cap, the pyjama and the t-shirt intact to show it to my children. Grab a ‘how-your-mother-rose-from-rags-to-riches’ story. Gross.

-My graduation books– Hanging around the superstition that books should never be ‘thrown away’. Rather they should be passed on to a needy heir. I have kept them safe in the hope that someday a prince will come, riding on a white horse and go weak on his knees to say “Thanks love, for saving (or screwing) my world”.

A happy gem I found here was my school’s annual magazine. And even today I couldn’t stop myself from counting the number of times I appeared in the magazine. Even a half-cropped photo was considered as score. (Number of photos= famous +accomplished)

Crazy mathematics!

-Letters, pen drive and photographs of our old home- While most of the stuff which I described above will not see the light of the day again, this however, is going to stay a little longer. Longer, than I can presume. Because unlike everything else, this stuff has got ‘soulful memories’. I read letters written by my grandfather to my mother (year 1985-1995), I found old CDs (even floppy discs) carefully wrapped in paper and marked with ‘my favourite songs’.

Apart from that I found practice papers, admit cards of the entrance examinations, my coin and postcard collection, mementos and farewell gifts, a hundred old photo negatives and a thousand bobby pins.

So, basically EVERYTHING!

I am currently reading The Success Sutra written by Devdutt Pattanaik. The book is about the Indian approach to wealth and success where he gives amazing examples and links them through tales from the Indian mythology. One such chapter has the description of Brahma’s sons- Devas (enjoy), Yakshas (hoard), Rakshasas (grab) and Asuras (reclaim).

To quote him- “The Yakshas do not see hoarding as excess consumption. They keep hoarding because they are anxious to create enough wealth to avoid future starvation.

Spooky, right?

But isn’t it what our parents taught us? To save for our future and not be a throwaway guerrilla?

I know what my mom would say to this- ‘You should be able to differentiate between your needs and desires.’


So if I named it as ‘The Hoarder’s disorder’, then I am sure even this has a name-

An extension to the same obsession keeps me from hiding away my ‘happy news’? I often withhold good news a little longer because I fear if I share it too soon the moment will just slip away. I like to enjoy it with myself, soaking myself in the sunshine of the bright day, giggling often about what just happened and smiling stupidly because I thought it would never hit.

Heidi’s malady?



Shruti Sharma is a Guest Author at Soulgasm.

(Click here to read our first book “Mirrored Spaces” : A poetry and art anthology in English and Hindi with contributions from 22 artists)

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This entry was posted on September 17, 2016 by in Non-Fiction and tagged .

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