Some collect vintage cars. Some collect baseball caps. As for me, I collect memories.
There I’ve said it. I’m an unabashed sentimentalist. A nostalgia junkie, holding on to forgotten little fragments of time as though they were the Crown Jewels. ‘Get rid of this junk’, my folks have frostily told me over the years, even as I get moony-eyed every time I see:
- My Prefect Book from Class 6, the year we won the Best House trophy
- 5 (slightly fading, never used) handkerchiefs from a tie-n-dye Craft class
- EVERY single birthday card I’ve received from the time I was 6.
- A Jethro Tull badge, from the first concert I attended
- The chipped part of my front tooth, from my face-first encounter with a stone bench.
Garden-variety stuff, it may seem. But that’s just the top level of the multi-tiered Pandora’s box. Burrow a little deeper and here’s what you might find.
- A thick file of email printouts, sent by close friends dating back to 1998.
- A stamp collection, foisted on me by relatives in 1979, which hasn’t been sorted yet.
- 8 kilos (approx) of ‘interesting’ news articles, well-written columns, trivia, travel articles etc.,
- A plump bag with brochures and maps from the Greyhound bus-stops on my trip to Canada.
- Leftover paints (still usable) from a college festival in 1993
- A bloated portfolio with every single ad I’ve created during my 5-year stint in Advertising.
And finally the whopper:
723 books ranging from Brothers Grimm to J. K. Rowling, Hemingway to Rushdie. Plus (pause for breath here) over 300 MAD comics!
(There was also a short-lived collection of clam shells. The shells had beautiful, intricate patterns. But the fetid stench got in the way of misty-eyed moments.)
I’ve tried on occasion to walk the Buddhist path of detachment. Imagined myself throwing it all away. But knowing me, it would only be an invitation to start all over.
So now I’ve rationalised that my ‘accumulations’ might just be THE legacy to hand down to the progeny. In the off chance that I become famous, imagine the killing they could make at the auctions.
‘One paper cap from sports day in Primary School… going once… going twice…’