Whitewashed..


It continues to be a crazy week. The insides of our home have been torn open, and the contents of every single cupboard are on the floor. Yes, you guessed it, we are painting the walls and doing some refurbishing.

We seem to have hoarded so much. There are books and papers, and pens and old toys, and board games and kitchenware, and doodles and cables, and chargers and photo frames, and more books and papers.

My kids are at home for their summer break, and this compounds the problem. I want to declutter. I am on mean mode, but my children have developed a sudden attachment to books, and odds ‘n’ ends that they do not want to part with. I clean and declutter, clean and declutter. I make lists, I organize. I am ruthless. I am merciless.

As I plod through the day, and reach 6 pm, my muscles beg for mercy, but strangely nothing seems to have improved. There’s more stuff everyday and more cupboards that continue to unleash our hoarding secrets.

And then again, there is the matter of the beautiful white walls. All familiar stains have been removed, and our walls look cleansed. But Murphy’s Law has come into full force. I watch in horror, as my kids share a big bar of chocolate near the white walls. I screech and ask them to move away. They laugh and say, “Mom, chill.”

Image courtesy – http://www.clipart.com

Paranoia has overtaken me. Even if my kids are walking normally within the house, I somehow feel that they are walking near the walls. I tell them not to flail their arms, or to give-in to sudden desires to hug the walls or break into impromptu dance routines.

And I know that when the decluttering is over, and when all the dust has been swept away, and when our home is back to normal, the stains will start again. A small dot here or a tiny scratch there, stains that will appear due to the repeated use of a particular area of the wall, lines that will be caused by paintings and furniture, and many more.

And the cycle will repeat itself again, till the next time – just like our own lives, when we attempt to change ourselves, set goals and strive for bigger things; when we try to erase our past actions, and try to become better versions of ourselves.

Sometimes, after we make these changes, we tend to fall back into our old thought patterns, and then again, sometimes we do manage to remove those stains and paint ourselves into new avatars.

Walls


It only seems like yesterday that my son used his crayons to doodle on the walls of our home. Small squiggles, mountains with the a smiling sun peeping in between and random shapes; the wall was a work of art and love. Then again, my daughter discovered the beauty of her palm prints on the wall one afternoon, many years ago, when I was catching some shut eye. I woke up to pretty palm prints in red decorating our living room wall – the result of a tube of red lipstick that had fallen from the dresser.

Courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

I conducted many experiments with the best cleaning agents for various types of stains and squiggles.  By the time I discovered the perfect cleaning fluid to clean the walls of these works of art, the children had moved to the next stage of using the walls of our home. They pinned pictures of their favourite characters, their drawings and school timetables on the walls.  Our walls also hosted dartboards, and served as bouncing boards for tennis balls and table tennis balls.

From posters to sketches to games, the walls have borne them all. I use the wall to pin my to do lists and frame pretty pictures.

More than all these, the walls have bounced and echoed the sounds of giggles and laughter, served as shields to children playing hide and seek, absorbed memories of our lives, giving us that much needed security and time-away from the pressures of everyday life.

In a few years, when my children leave home for University, these walls will stand quiet, till the children come back for their term breaks. Then, once again happy sounds will bounce of these walls.

And then again, there will come a time, when I will use these same walls for support when I amble slowly across the house, lovingly tracing my hand on these walls and remembering a time when tiny hands doodled and expressed their creativity.