My Experiments with Minimalism

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I read an article on Minimalism in the Time of India recently. Minimalism is a lifestyle philosophy that advocates decluttering your life and making every purchase a conscious decision. The idea of a less-materialistic life is very close to my heart. After leaving my home at the age of fifteen, I moved from one place to the other like a gypsy for more than a decade with all my possessions in just one suitcase. Believing in the policy of ‘less luggage, more comfort’ I ensured that I did not have to go for an extra bag to keep all my stuff.

I still remember those days I started living with my wife in a small two-room apartment in Delhi. The only furniture we had for more than one year were a cot, a fiber table and two chairs. There were a few utensils in the kitchen. Our clothes did not occupy more than a quarter of the wardrobe that was permanently fixed in the bedroom. In fact, those days we had a lot of space for love and life.

Over the years, as the family grew, I had to move to a bigger house. More furniture, home appliances and dress materials started eating up our little space in one of the biggest metropolis in the world. At that stage, I realised that it would be difficult to preach the gospel of minimalism to my family and decided to keep it as a personal affair. I started giving away a lot of my dresses and kept just five pairs of formal dress for office in addition to two denims and 3-4 T-shirts for casual use. I don’t keep more than a pair of formal shoes and slippers at any point of time. I possess no car, no two-wheeler and not even a bicycle. I am happy with the public transport. Whenever there is a dire need, I go for an Uber or Ola. I don’t even own a house or some land. There has always been a roof over my head and I am more than happy about it. The only thing I am finding it difficult to part with are the books I have collected over the years.

The first electronic gadget I bought was a mobile phone with the basic functions of calling and texting sometime during 2006. A couple of years later, my sponsors gifted me an HP laptop when they visited me in Bangalore. In 2011, my friends surprised me presenting a 12 MP SONI Digital Camera on the occasion of my wedding. Except for changing my phone two-three times till now, I never spent money on any expensive gadgets. The laptop and camera have become almost defunct as my son grew up trying his little hands at them. I decided not to replace them with brand-new ones. I stopped carrying a laptop from office while on official travel and learnt to move around and manage all my work with a Samsung Smartphone. The ultimate realisation is that we really don’t require all that we find in the market. Without all that life can still be easier and meaningful.

Nowadays, at least once in three months, I spend some time with my wife to check our kitchen, wardrobe and other storage spaces to take out and dispose of all those stuff we don’t require or not likely to use any more. Some time back, we thought of getting one more wardrobe but now we have learnt to manage with the only one we have. Also, we decided not to make shopping a hobby or stress buster, every purchase is now a conscious decision. Still, I won’t encourage all of you to follow us as it will further slow down our already ailing economies. Ha ha!

(Get your minimalism lessons from Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up)

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A Preface to Man

 

preface to man

Harper Collins has published an English translation of the Central and Kerala Sahitya Academy Award winning Malayalam novel ‘Manushyanu Oru Aamukham’ written by Sh. Subhash Chandran. This is one among the finest novels I have read in the recent times. I strongly recommend all my non-malayali book-loving friends to grab a copy of the English version titled ‘A Preface to Man’. The book as the author says is an emotional history of a century dealing with love, caste and religion narrated through so many characters over three generations of a feudal Nair family in Kerala.

(Seen in the picture is a special bookmark Harper Collins released along with the book with a quote from the novel)