What do I need you for?

When I was a kid I was very fascinated with my grandmother’s “Hoover.” She lived in Dubai at the time and each time I visited her and she got her “Hoover” out, I’d follow her around the house wondering what the robotic sucker will eat up next… It was an interesting hobby until my mom got a vacuum cleaner of her own.

I still remember the day we welcomed the brand new machine into our home. A broken cabinet that was lying on the floor of the store room became ‘home sweet home’ for my dust buster. The magnificent machine was a gift from my dad to my mom! (Whatever happened to diamonds and shoes, dad?) So it was special and it held emotional as well as well as functional value in our hearts.

I grew up watching my mom use the machine on our carpets and floors. Sometimes, I got to try too, and I would go crazy vacuuming the balcony where the dust was aplenty and ants galore. Vacuuming the house was always fun, until I reached an age where it became part of my house chores.

Taking the machine out of the cabinet in the store room, unwrapping the electrical cord and fitting it into various sockets of each room, spending half an hour using it all over the house, lifting things to vacuum under them, then wrapping the cord back when I was done, pushing it back into the cabinet, and making sure it fit well, became the most cumbersome task in the world.

In simple words, I fell out of love with my dust buster.

Looking back, I’m not too surprised at what happened. Because isn’t that exactly what happened with the huge two-storeyed doll house that I showed off for years? And the two wheeled bicycle that my dad bought all the way from somewhere very far?  And the new cell phone that I had to earn through my grades?

I’ve learnt that what we consider to be our absolute treasure today, becomes a burden in the future. I remember wanting my father’s brand new LAMY pen desperately in Grade 7. My dad had recently travelled to Germany and bought himself a set of LAMY pens. He had two fountain pens, one silver and the other black. The silver one was downright gorgeous, while the black one looked ordinary- well, as ordinary as a Mercedes would look in front of a Lamborghini.

So once I had my sights set on that piece of pure perfection, I wanted it with all my life. I begged and pleaded with my dad for days before he finally agreed to let me take the silver pen to school for a day. Of course, when daddy dearest saw the look of absolute joy on his little girl’s face when she came back from school that day, he knew he had lost the battle and agreed to let me keep the pen forever. I was ecstatic and used it to burn holes in my pages until I simply stopped.

Where is the pen now? In some drawer at my mom’s place, I guess. Because I stopped using it when I began my O Levels.

My point is, we collect all these things with so much enthusiasm, but why does the excitement of using them die out eventually while the passion for owning more things never does? I don’t remember retail therapy being the solution to all of life’s problems when I was younger… So what changed?

Will we ever wake up and realize that we’re slaving away all day so that we can buy more and more things and not truly enjoy the things that we already have?

This obviously does not mean that I’m not happy about the awesome gadgets and accessories that I already have, and I am sure I won’t change my shopping plans for the weekend just because of a quick realization, but I figured this was worth writing about… Because now I know that when I want to buy the new Nexus 6, I will remind myself that I do not need it.