The problem for women starts with saris: no one, but no one (even the lady politician who wears the sari under a coat) can outgrow a 6 yard sari. Therefore we add sari to sari till there is no place to insert one more hanger in cupboards brimming with saris. If we went out every night for a wedding we couldn’t repeat: of course there are NO weddings in some months.
And naturally one needs to encourage craftsmen especially at the Crafts Council so fresh saris need to be bought.
I cannot forget finding a sari in my ancestral home in the back of a cupboard left by a phoren bahu long since divorced and wearing it with great glee only to be asked in genuine amazement, “Oh has this come back to fashion?”
There is an answer: resolve to exchange a new sari for an old. That is if one new sari is going to come in, out has to go one: and here we are talking of maybe an old favourite?
How on earth are we going to change?
Change could be as simple as rearranging your crockery: actually packing away stuff you use once a year and suddenly you find that every single thing you own will have its own home!
After some years of packing away stuff you might even be able to bear parting with it! Old Christmas cards to schools, books to lending libraries, young peoples clothes to youth hostels, and of course some great saris… The list can go on.
A friend of mine inherited Readers Digests from 1940s onwards and he did the cleverest thing of all. He told my son about a game: take them all home, invite people to find their month of birth in a readers digest. So far no one has ever organised them or had the patience to find their month.
But he did rid himself of some worthy books without guilt.
If on the other hand you have storage and do store and never throw away but have no idea what is stored (one often hears: I had no idea I had this or that ) what is the use?
Imagine the extraordinary calmness and power of knowing where each item in your house is stored and where each item that enters has a home as it where. Just as you bring in a prized piece of art you know where to put it or hang it similarly the salad bowl to a unique samosa maker has to have an instant home or don’t bring it home.
It is also said and its been scientifically proved I believe that to calm oneself or change one’s mood, all you have to do is to take out a closet/ cupboard / book shelf and re arrange it and hey presto your mood changes.
Americans start life in lofts and single rooms and expand to 5/6 bedroom villas and one fine day experience the empty nest syndrome quite early on when children turn 21 (unlike us when we are in our 80s) and they have the strength to sell the entire house with everything in it and start afresh for their older age!
Now that’s change!
(The writer is the Chairman Emeritus, JWT Mindset)