Monday, December 05, 2005

New Worries

We have an attic in this house. It’s a cute one. Perfect for crawling onto and exploring. I guess little kids can walk upright in there as well. As I settled into bed the other night, I gestured towards the attic and said “Our grandkids won’t find anything interesting up there”. Mr.Gabby looked up from behind his monitor from his little niche in the corner of the bedroom and went “What?”

About 5 or 6 years ago, when Mr.Gabby (or then boyfriend-Gabby) and I had just become something of an item, I was moving apartments. He and his friends were busy loading the truck downstairs and I was cramming in the last few odds and ends into boxes. I reached up to the top of my closet and the huge yellow plastic zipped-up envelope I retrieved stared at me, silently challenging me to make a decision. It bulged with every old love-letter I had ever received along with all-things-romantic that had transpired in Gabby’s life so far. Yes, even those cute Valentine Day’s cards that one finds stuffed in school bags and cycle-carriers, slipped in when you’re not looking. It was filled with some things that would make you go “Aww” and some others that were not so aww-worthy but definitely stirring to me. Those kinds of things that make you pause and stop what you’re doing and just wonder. If only for a short while, you wonder how these people are, how they’re doing and what they're doing and then you shut that little mental envelope and go on with your business. I unzipped the bag slowly and as I did so one not-so-pleasant memory surfaced and I instinctively figured out the best thing to do. I walked over to the corner of the kitchen that housed the growing garbage pile and tossed it in. “Fresh beginnings” I murmured to myself as I taped up the last box.

“There won’t be any pile of letters tied up with a silk ribbon smelling of lilac or lemon verbena..” (Or in my case, now that I think about it, a curious mixture of Estee Lauder’s Pleasures and Indian spices)
“Not even a shoe-box with some mementoes!”...“I threw them all away!”
I had Mr.Gabby’s undivided attention by now as I continued to crib.
“A little kid won’t clamber down the stairs red-faced and breathless clutching handwritten love letters!!!”....
“And you won’t get to chuckle and say “Ah, your Granny was quite a firecracker in her day” or something cute like that!!!”
“NOTHING!!!”

Mr.Gabby stared at me, disbelief wrought on his face. I knew this wasn’t a big deal to him but I was hoping he would understand my frustration a tad bit at least. He walked over and in some corner of my head I wondered about the commonsense of lamenting old-boyfriend keepsakes to my present love-interest, however honest the current relationship! He sat down on the edge of the bed and said “You threw it all out?” “Yes” I said. “Were there addresses on the envelopes?” I suddenly saw where this was going. “You guys had already taken the shredder to the new place!” I cried out, hoping he wouldn’t ask me why I hadn’t torn the address portions by hand.

A helpful note: Mr.Gabby takes Identity theft Very Seriously. As it is a matter that needs to be Taken Very Seriously. We have an industrial size shredder and several smaller ones too. The industrial size one can even gobble up a CD and crunch it up into several small pieces in 2 seconds flat. It makes a resounding racket while doing so that can quite grate your nerves. In general, all shredding makes a din but we should just grin and bear it, as Identity Theft needs to be Taken Very Seriously.

“Oh well” he said walking back to his desk. I could see that the emotional weight of the issue might have made my action excusable but disappointment was still at large. He resumed typing and I resumed reading. Suddenly he asked “Were there photographs too?” I nodded glumly. “Of you as well?” More glum nodding. “Not quite the lilac-smelling experience but our grandkid might still turn red-faced and breathless, if those pictures some day make it to the internet” he said. I looked up to see him grinning helplessly. As I threw a pillow in protest and screamed that they definitely weren’t those kinds of photographs, I also thought of how the internet might well be the most interesting attic in the future. God knows what shit they’ll dig up about us...all the more reason to keep this blog shit-free. Oops.

40 Comments:

Blogger manan said...

I think someday Google will release their cached pages of the last century and THAT will be the attic of the future. I guess i should buy and keep http://ancientweb.google.com/ - should be a good investment!

11:39 AM  
Blogger anantha said...

Gabby: Let me get this out of the way first. Think carefully and tell me this. Was this moving thing BEFORE or AFTER you and Mr.Gabby became an "item"? Because the word "just" could just be cos of your mind muddling up dates.
*opens pocket book to note down answer for future reference*
Or mebbe Mr.Gabby would be a better person to ask. I have done my share of moving.. and.... NOTHING...
LOL...
they definitely weren’t those kinds of photographs
You sure??? I keep hearing about about this pole dancer somewhere up there, who does not feel cold at all...ROTFL!

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Zoheb said...

firecracker Hmmmmmm ..... makes mental note.

12:45 PM  
Blogger shub said...

am wondering who in their right mind would actually throw away sich precious stuff....unless...unless of course you were trying to hide som stuff! ;o)
:p
gooooood to have u back gabby!

8:37 PM  
Blogger Rhyncus said...

Was discussing with someone yesterday about how much we'll accept as ours 5 yrs hence what we write today. Will we be embarassed or will we look back fondly on the person who said these things? Welcome back (and sorry to mess up the context).

8:52 PM  
Anonymous karan said...

you have an attic? so cool!
well, you're sad at throwing away some stuff, while I lament failing to remove some boyish-stuff from my room's hiding-nook before i moved out!! :-O
i hear frm my folks that the room has seen massive cleaning, moving, white-washing and what-not since then! wonder what happened to all the educational material! :)

good to see you back. :)

9:17 PM  
Blogger Swathi said...

'am so glad u r back n tat too with the customary bang....
ah! all those letters - i have a special nook for them ;ur attic sounds so cozy ....

11:01 PM  
Blogger KJ said...

Welcome back!!!
gooooood to have u back gabby!

like u too, i threw away all the old memories when making a new start...

:-)

KJ

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Pallavi said...

Awww why did you do that :(

Its so romantic to have the letters..

I have taken prinouts of the emails we exchanged ( since we met on the net you see) and filed them somewhere.. :)

2:04 AM  
Blogger phatichar said...

I still have most of the old love-letters I wrote to A, about 14 years back...I think I should write a story about it someday...*drifts off*...oh well..

2:28 AM  
Blogger Prerona said...

OMG Vie - ur touching all kind of scary nerves! If I ever have kids they will go crazy - i still have everything i ever received and a lot of the stuff that i wrote as well!

5:45 AM  
Blogger Prerona said...

hmmm. i wish i had ur worries, child. way things are going i'm beginning to seriously worry about whether i will ever get to worry about such things!

5:48 AM  
Blogger Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Hmm... good post. But it always makes me wonder what good use is a letter so many years down the line, except cause a few smiles and blushes, maybe?

BTW, fresh beginning, eh? So maybe I start hunting the waste baskets of people who leave my locality from now on. You never know ... ;)

6:24 AM  
Blogger visithra said...

no worries ur grandkid would have the blog for excitement ;)

1:20 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

manan - I bet you there'll be a Google-ka-baap by then which will do soo much more. And that is what is giving me sleepless nights...

Anti beta - all these mere technicalities...what difference? I threw all the history out!! Or maybe I should rephrase that. The history will always be there but there's no evidence. Muhahahaha! In the house. And so far, none on the web. The gesture of flinging the ex-es in the garbage pile does say something about my loyalty for Mr.G right? And really, isn't that all that matters? *grin* (The flinging sentence didn't quite come out right, but they will know what I mean!)

pole dancers...hmmm...have always admired their agility...but no, nothing like that. Err...does belly dancing count?

Zo - And of what use are your little mental notes gonna be bachhu?

Shub - Love and all. Total clouding of mind. Stupidity. No hiding stuff. I think I have narrated all the good parts to Mr.G by now. Now I also get to add more masala - as we don't really know how much love they professed in those letters now, do we? :)

7:32 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

rhyncy - definitely the former for MOST of my own posts I just know for sure! During this spell of no-writing, I did go back every now and then to look at what I used to write (and yes, this started just some 7 months ago) and started some HEAVY editing. But that's somehow not cool so I let it be...I did remove one entire post though, confirming your suspicion!

karan - Now my folks finding my stuff would not have been fun at all. I would have to just go jump in the Charles if that happened. You are putting my experience in a good light for me now. Well there is still a possibility my Mom gets to read/see me on the Internet one day. Remind me to slow down the computer-education on that front. But now that she has the double-click down ("Amma...one click following another after a 2 second gap does NOT a double-click make!!!") there has been no stopping her...so that might get tricky too!
Your educational material...wasn't that supposed to be handed down to a younger brother/cousin who would fondly look up to you for years and years to come?! No? Well I didn't get that memo!

swathi - Careful now...I suggest you put them in a safe, safe place.

kj - And no regrets?

Pallavi - I do think I have Mr.G's love letters still with me. Both of them. And a bunch of emails where it's impossible to make out where his one-line response to my 2 page rant starts and ends. It's the ex-boys stuff that is MIA...my dark dark past :)

7:47 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

phatichar - publish them. I need lines for adding to my own imagination. You don't like the idea? You're KIDDING! WHY?

prerona - I think our kids will need more than just great-home-baked-cookies and sleeping-beauty-stories to zap them to attention. Mommy-can-be-a-devil typa things will help, trust me. So don't worry, you needn't hide your guns and whips :) And trust me these worries will strike sooner than you expect them to. I'll be watching your blog :)

sudipta - i know! i know! and those few smiles and blushes that are being missed sorely right now. or rather the possibility of those. gonna start looking for stuff in peoples' trash?.....YOU are the type Mr.G is warning me about!! :)

visithra - time to open a parallel blog with a PG-13 twist to all things Gabby.

7:54 AM  
Blogger anantha said...

Gabby: Mr.G wrote you love letters ? :O God, where do such men come from! Emails, I can take it, but LETTERS? :O :O
My question about the timeline is significant. You did not quite get what i trying to get out of you. Actually Mr.G shld be able to get me that peice of info better!

9:03 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Anti - I counted cards as letters. If not, Mr.G comes out looking bad. I am after all a nice bharatiya nari, trying to make her man look good all the time. Boy , it's exhausting :D

9:07 AM  
Blogger Premalatha said...

One word - WOW!
:-)

12:46 PM  
Blogger anantha said...

Gabby: Ahhh.. Now I get it...hmm.. ok :)

12:48 PM  
Blogger Divya.B said...

hmm...well..(lost in thinking about a lot of what is written in this post...)

10:29 PM  
Blogger phatichar said...

Well, I might just do it, some day :)

12:10 AM  
Blogger manuscrypts said...

.. and theres a virtual attic right here... :)

1:01 AM  
Blogger Rhyncus said...

:) Never delete stuff, Gabby, you never know when they come in handy. I did the retrospection over the past couple of days myself (for my posts, obviously). Did me a world of good.

1:57 AM  
Blogger AmitL said...

LOL...I can just imagine this blog being maintained by ur lil one someday in the future,Gabby....and,the archives...:):)And,him/her reading some of the posts..:):)But,yes,memories do deserve to be preserved,I agree.:)Any unintentional destruction is,well...sad.:)

3:23 AM  
Blogger the Monk said...

nice post...i keep putting off cleaning out my cupboard of all the school stuff precisely for this reason...

8:35 AM  
Blogger Parna said...

i still have all those 'letter' securely locked in a drawer in my room. never read them, but at the same time cannot make myself throw them away. my excuse is - people don't snail-mail anymore :) so i NEED those.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Ashok said...

Dynamics between you and Mr.Gabby are hilarious. For us, at least!

11:32 AM  
Blogger KJ said...

regrets: ya, sometimes...

11:02 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

Okay, admittedly, I keep TOO much stuff. But I do love to go back occasionally and re-read the printed out emails from when Ed and I first met. It's so cute to see how 'proper' we are with people when we first meet them. It's also terribly romantic. In fact, sometimes it's darned near an aphrodesiac. (spelling)

Aw ... sorry you threw out those old things.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Twilight Fairy said...

well I have all my stuff with me.. it's a part of me! and as of now I would preserve it.. who knows some day there might be a book called the "diary of twilight fairy" or some such to highlight life in the 21st century! :)

5:30 AM  
Blogger Peg said...

Good to see you Gabby! And as usual I come away from your elegant writing with a warm and bitter sweet tear.
I hope your attic always remains a part of you that others can explore inconspicuously with all your days.

love,
Peg

8:48 AM  
Blogger visithra said...

how have u been? hope alls well ;)

7:04 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

Well well!! I can see even grandkids are making an appearance now! Ah, thoughts of grandparenting!

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting post :). I do wonder about how couples deal with thinking about their partner's "history"...and this post gave me an insight into that :).

Ashwin
www.infinitelimits.blogspot.com

12:27 AM  
Blogger Casablanca said...

Awwww... how cute is that! You are pregnant right now, and already talking about your grandkids :D

10:58 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Premalatha - In a good way I hope?

Divya - Still thinking?

Manu - Scary I know. I know.

Rhyncus - Retrospection and I don't get along...gives me a headache usually :)

Amit - Sad thing is, it was intentional at that time! What was I thinking?!!

the monk - thanks. And my advice - Don't clean it out. Ever :)

11:25 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Parna - good excuse. me, i'm ready to rewrite them at this point. i do remember some parts! :)

Ashok - Are you married? The dynamics between most married couples is always hilarious, to outsiders.

Weary - An aphrodisiac? Nice. Now there's a reason Mr.G is happy I did what I did, I bet!

t fairy - publish it! At least you can lay claim to what's yours...they better not be any of my ex-es lines in there tho!

Peg - This attic I'm busy filling with no-so-exciting junk now...but still, NOTHING gets thrown away ever again!

11:31 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

visithra - good good. just been busy...regular work. Nothing baby related...How's you?

Anumita - Believe you me, grandkids are a way easier thought than kids. The comfort of the remoteness!

Ashwin - So you're working on your theory huh? Will be put to good use in the near future I assume? :)

casablanca - see what i say to Anumita? Grandkinds don't give you a lump in the throat...it's so far away and the baby will be far away too. Chuck it under it's chin once or twice and hand it back to the parent! I think I'll be good at that! Now parenthood....is another story!

11:35 AM  

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