This is a collaborative piece.
Poem: Pragya Lal
Graphic illustration: Radhika Sivsankar
Doodle: Sanithra Raju
Filed, folded, labelled
I have hoarded
Twenty fours years of being
In these cartons
When I was younger
I didn't realise how much
Of adulthood is spent
Packing and unpacking
Making and missing
This carton here
Earrings, socks and gloves
I bought them in pairs
Yet over time they have attained
and grown comfortable in their
When you spot a person wearing
Two different socks
Know that they are coming to terms with
Loving, losing and starting afresh
This box here
Is for Postcards and birthday greetings
Scribbled with handwritten messages
That remind me — time travel is real
These talismans take me to places
With no visa, passport or ticket
We are all dual citizens
Constantly shuttling between nostalgia and the present
This suitcase in the corner
Had clothes that didn't fit me
But would one day, if I lost the weight
The mess we make is the mess that makes us.
In a bid to declutter, I gave those clothes and that self away.
This room feels more like my own now.
If you look closely you will spot
Boarding passes guarding the well thumbed pages of my books
Books — that make me demand more
semicolons and commas in this narrative of
staunchly placed full stops.
It's easy to recognise a hoarder,
In a prosaic world, hoarders are looking for
In our boxes we store not things but
Pragya Lal is an erstwhile literature student and newly minted business school graduate. She measures her life in cups of filter coffee, rhymes, and leaps of faith.
Radhika Sivsankar is an illustrator and visual artist currently studying in Mumbai. She believes art is not just for the eyes, but for the soul too.
Sanithra Raju is a creative designer. She lives in Bengaluru, but has left her heart in London.