Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Suitcase In Time Saves –

Long long post with no promised anticlimactic end-

I am almost done with my packing for my trip to California tomorrow, though the weather predicts snow for the next many many hours, and the websites tell me dismal stories of flights getting cancelled and the airport being a pile of people and luggage going amuck. My friend predicts that I might not be able to make the trip at all, which though heartbreaking will not kill me. This week I took a lesson out of a small chapter and finally went shopping and got myself a nice red carry on suitcase. Given that the process was neither expensive not a time consuming ordeal, I wondered why I waited 2 years to do this.

Bringing those huge 2 suitcases from India like everyone does, I did not end up buying extra luggage for myself here. For the first few months, it was the conversion bug in my head, converting from USD to INR and deciding to get the suitcase on my next trip to India. The next few months, there was not much travelling to do, and then I got myself a big-hearted roommate to beg and borrow from and never had to look back to buy one again. I mean, it’s not every month that one travels, and it makes more sense to borrow than buy. Or that’s what I told myself.

My roommate became my ex-roommate, but old habits didn’t die. I planned a trip to Philadelphia, and asked her to come over for dinner. Dinner invitation would have stood anyway, suitcase or no suitcase, but I nevertheless asked her to get hers, and she willingly obliged. But there was a glitch. The suitcase had seen years of travel and was beginning to demand some servicing. One zip doesn’t function, but the other one works perfect- or so she said. The suitcase looked healthy and sturdy otherwise, I had 20 more hours before my flight took off, and what’s this not wanting to travel with a one-zip functioning suitcase? I should be fine.

And I was fine, during the entire course of my trip. The suitcase happily served me, carried the dozens of clothes I never ended up wearing, the bottles of perfumes I carried as gifts, and more. Happy, I started to shop there, now that all the gifts were given and there was so much space. I ended up going for a wine tasting tour, and ended up buying bottles of wine for the dinners I occasionally throw. This was after I located a store that sold women’s clothes for cheap, and had accumulated a loot of winter coats and jackets and what not. Wallet wise I wasn’t loaded anymore, but suitcase-wise, I was. Happy and satisfied with my loot, I started to pack on my way back.

Things were fine during the packing as well. The next morning, just before setting for the airport, I remembered that I had not packed my stockings, and unzipped the one-zip suitcase one final time to put in my stockings and make sure all was fine. And Mr. Murphy lurking in the corner like he always does, I watched with horror the only functional zip ripping itself apart, leaving my jaws as open with shock as the suitcase was.

I had 20 minutes to leave home, which was not enough time to buy myself another suitcase. This reduced my decision making and acting time to about 10 minutes, where I either had the option of trying to fix the zip, or unpack everything, take what I need the most in the small spare bag I was carrying, and catch that flight I knew was not going to be late today, of all the days when I needed that extra time. No prizes for guessing, wine bottles were discarded along with the other things I thought I could never part with. Every little thing I hated to part with that came out of that suitcase, I asked myself if I would carry it with me if my plane burst into pieces in the sky and I was falling downward into the ocean.

Finally, a lot of my stuff was discarded, and I carried whatever I could carry in that extra bag I had the sense to bring with me. I landed safe and sound, sans the one-zipped suitcase. My initial feeling of sorry changed to benign irritation when I called up my ex-roommate to apologize for her loss (of her suitcase), to be told that it was an old suitcase anyway and it would have collapsed any day. Perhaps she was trying to make me feel better and less guilty by sounding casual, but then, hey, the collapse happened while it was with me, and I had to leave more than half my loot behind me.

With time, I realized that my anger was well found, but was being hurled at the wrong person. I was the one guilty, procrastinating to take charge and buy myself a suitcase. It wasn’t the money, if I had the money to make cross country trips I also had the money to but myself a little bag. It wasn’t even about time, I waste my time enough everyday, the time I could spend organizing my life. It was just plain, unreasonable, baseless procrastination.

And it was just not about the suitcase. I soon made a list of all the things I had been procrastinating doing in life, not because of the lack of money or power or time or resources, but because sometime in life, I just decided to be plain lazy and procrastinate without reason. I am trying to work on those. But no, I am not showing you the list.

Tomorrow if snowing stops and my flight takes off, I’ll be eating my dinner in California. And now, I am the proud owner of a lovely looking gorgeous red suitcase that took me 2 years to buy, but still hasn’t made even the minutest of the dents in my pocket. It wasn’t the suitcase or the time or the money that was the problem. It was just me.


1 comment:

Pavi!!!! said...

Hope u reached CA safe n sound n had a Very merry Christmas!