Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Day 6 - The joy of owning less

Every increased possession loads us with new weariness. -John Ruskin, author, art critic, and social reformer (1819-1900) 

This quote came along with AWAD a couple of days ago.  Coincidental, when I was just experiencing the freedom of owning just two pieces of footwear. 

Ok, to start from the beginning.  From the past few months, I've had a pain in the ball of my foot, for which I've been advised to wear special footwear, and get a bar attached to it for support.  Temporarily.  (Hopefully.)

So, in essence, I now have just one pair to wear at home, and one to wear outside.  Whether or not the outside pair suits or matches with my current outfit - I have to wear it anyway.  Initially, I felt quite wretched, not being able to wear footwear that I found elegant, but as the days flew past - what freedom it brought me!  No having to decide what to wear - will I have to walk a lot, will this suit this dress?  Nothing!  And this is being said by me, I, who at any given time in my life, possess just about 4-5 pairs of footwear!  Can't even begin to imagine how all those with dozens of pairs of footwear manage.

It reminds me of my mother telling us about how many clothes they had back when they were young.  She and her sister both together, owned 3 sarees for regular use.  And perhaps one for special occasions.  It could all fit into one single shelf of a cupboard!   And there is a Kannada phrase "mai mElondu, kOl mElondu."  "One on your back, one on the pole (a horizontal pole on which they used to hang clothes)"  - meaning, they just had two outfits.  Wear one while the other is being washed.  That's it!

Many new items that you buy force you to buy something else for them. We call this  "Sanyasi samsaara" in Kannada, referring to the traditional tale of the Sanyasi who bought a cat to get rid of the mouse that was chewing up his dhoti.  And then he had to buy a cow to provide milk for the cat, then a shed for the cow, and then an attendant to look after the cow, and so on until he ended up becoming a landed man with a wife and three children.

Sounds familiar, huh?  

I don't know about you, but I am a great believer in owning fewer things.  Those who know me well will nod their heads sagely and say that it is only because I am too lazy to maintain things, and it is my way of shirking responsibility.  Be that as it may, but for me, less things = more peace.


rk bellur said...

after reading this post, 2 names came to my mind: puratchi thalaivi and nana patekar!

former = footwear plight
latter = minimalist

Anonymous said...

Coincidence or what?! I was having a discussion on this very topic just half an hour ago with a friend! :)


Radhika said...

True. When we have many to choose from, the choice is tough. Have less and be at peace :-)

Reflections said...

Enlightening post.. It has led me thinking, considering that I have always possessed way too many things than needed!!


Anonymous said...

If one follows Shruti's advise, Indian economy will falter creating more poverty (Consumer spending is in the consumer confidence in the economy...stock market will plunge...IT /manufacturing sector lay off people...unemployment, real estate bust etc. etc. So, don't listen to Shruti (just kidding!)

Bhavna said...

Am a regular on your blog and this post is particularly relevant cos I switched from choosing matching footwear to just 2 because of a similar ache in my heel. I've tried doctors, special footwear relief. Any suggestions on how you are dealing with yours and if it has helped.

Bhavna said...

Also, I have a post on my blog about cleaning and how it makes sense to own less, which has a link to this post. Hope you don't mind.

Shruthi said...

RK Bellur, Ha ha :)

Ano, ah yes, I see from your lates post why this topic was under discussion!

Radhika, totaly!

Sneha, so glad I made you think! :)

Anon, ha ha!

Bhavna, please write to me on the address mentioned on the blog, will discuss aches and pains!
And, oh, no problem at all. Thanks!

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