Monday, 17 September 2012

The midnight mission

After twisting and turning in bed for what seemed like ages last night, I got up and decided to clean my wallet (I'll get to the significance of my wallet in a minute). Ofcourse there were other better ways of wasting time in the middle of the night, but I decided to do something I had not done in maybe a year. So there I was, wide awake, at 2'o clock in the morning with the sole intention of giving my wallet a decent look. The task was simple: to pick out everything one by one, decide which ones deserve a place in my wallet and throw away the rest. However, it turned out to be not as simple a task as I had thought it would be.

Okay, so what's so special about my wallet? Absolutely nothing, except from the fact that it's huge. It's really huge. Friends, who have seen it, always ask me "what do you have in there?" I always tell them that women like big wallets so that they can carry their worlds in them. But that is just a lame explanation, because all my other female friends here have small and thin wallets. Ofcourse they have big hand bags and/or side bags where they carry their worlds in, but that's not the point here. So honestly, I don't even know why I need to carry such a huge wallet, because I hardly have cash in there. I mostly have my cards, the ticket from the Gerry Weber Open tennis tournament and a bunch of very small denomination coins. Apart from that, it's all apparently useless stuff: some old and torn movie tickets (they are atleast 4-5 years old), some Café Coffee Day napkins, a few Indian coins, a couple of Norwegian Kroner, quite many old receipts of restaurants and coffee shops I had visited with friends long back, a few bus tickets and a small piece of paper which has a list of things I need to buy for the ongoing week (and this one gets replaced every week or so). I really wonder how these 'few' things make my wallet look so big and heavy!

So last night, I started off by taking everything out of the wallet and putting only the selected ones back in. I put the cards, some cash and the to-buy list first back into the wallet. Now, about the rest. Most of the tickets and receipts were damaged and hazy. I couldn't even read the small letters, so there was no way of knowing what we had ordered at the restaurants or which movie we had gone to see. I could just make out the names of the shops or the theatres and I remembered going there with close friends and boyfriends. I smiled to myself and put them back in. Memories. Then there were the bus tickets, mostly for the routes 17B, SD4, S31A, S31 and E1. I hardly remembered where I was going and why I had kept them for so long. I could just remember those indefinite hours spent in the buses, cursing and abusing the infamous Calcutta traffic, texting friends, reading books; the verbal fights between the bus conductors and some fellow passengers and those regular arguments over the ‘Ladies’ seats. I put them back in too. Then there was this Gerry Weber Tennis tournament ticket. Oh this one didn’t even take more than a second. I’ll preserve it for my next hundred generations. I put it in the innermost pocket of my wallet, where it is least likely to fall off or get damaged. Then those few Indian coins which I had purposefully retained before coming here. They’ll stay, I said to myself and put them back again. The Norwegian Kroners, given by a friend when I came here. They’ll stay too, I decided, and put them back. Now the job was almost done, except for the few napkins and small coins. A friend of mine and I had this habit of writing things down on the napkin whenever we were at the Café Coffee Day. We wrote mostly about each other, what we like and dislike about each other and stuff. Sometimes when we were bored, we just made smileys or funny faces on the tissue papers and then I used to take them with me as memoirs. Going through these napkins took most of my time last night. Ofcourse I couldn’t remember which Café we had gone to. The only things I remembered were the time I spent with the few people I now consider family, the things we did and discussed, the double-dates, FOOD and so much more. I smiled to myself because I knew what I was going to do with those napkins.

Bottom-line: I spent a couple of hours dissecting my wallet, and now my wallet looks and weighs exactly the same (both from inside and outside) as it did before I went on this mission. Agreed, I could have thrown out some of the coins but then I didn’t know how else would I have paid at the Espresso bar ‘Rossi’. So I kept them too. Maybe I'll throw them away the next time I try cleaning my wallet. And I don’t remember when I went to bed finally last night :)

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