Friday, March 25, 2011

The Inheritance of Loss

It all started with the wallet. A pretty thing in blue denim gifted to me by my friend Shruti on my 17th birthday. I had preserved it for almost two years, intact with the box and the gift wrapper it came in. Two years later exactly after my 19th birthday when the wallet I was using started disintegrating into shreds of leather and cloth I decided it was time to bring out the denim wallet. It was smaller, compact and easy to lose. In the giant handbag I carry to college, perpetually stuffed with books, files and occasionally with a stole to protect myself from the winter chill and the summer sun anything could go missing for a few minutes and initiate an anxiety attack lasting a few minutes before the object of concern turned up dandy and fine. I guess my possessions are of the opinion that once in a while a little extra pumping of the heart, increase in pulse rate, palpitations and hyperventilation does me good.
I had to renew my railway pass that day so I had carried around Rs 1000 with me. On reaching the ticket counter I realised that my usual train would leave in a matter of 3 minutes. I urged the lazy official at the booking counter to get my pass made quickly and sprinted towards the train clutching the remaining Rs 200 or so I received as change in my hand. I’m usually very meticulous when it comes to keeping things in their proper places. But that day for some inexplicable reason I decided to stuff the money into my pencil pouch which was the first thing that I could lay my hands on in the cavern I call my handbag. I didn’t even bother to transfer the money from my pouch to the wallet despite opening the pouch a gazillion times to remove my writing implements. In the train, returning home I noticed a lady selling safety pins and remembered my Grandmother asking me to get her some if one of the travelling hawkers in the train were selling them. I opened my bag for the wallet and started the ritualistic rummaging I engage in every time I needed something found. It had to be inside a book or under the file or concealed in the folds of the stole. Out came books, lunch-box, mobile phone, pencil pouch, stole, library book, hair band, sunglasses, reading glasses {both intact in their cases}, ID card, water bottle but no wallet. NO WALLET.

"Madhuri, I don’t seem to find my wallet........"
"It’s got to be there somewhere in your bag. Give me your books, must be stuck inside one of them."
"I guess yeah....." OH MY GOD..... I’VE LOST IT...IT’S GONE....GONE
"What are you doing, Luck?"
"Searching for the wallet, what else does it look like?"
 "Inside your lunch-box?"

There’s a saying in Malayalam that when roughly translated means, ‘When you lose your fishing rod you should search for it even inside an earthen pot’. What it basically tries to get across is that no matter how ridiculous it may seem, leave no stone unturned during your search for lost items. That’s a rule of thumb I always adhere to while hunting for my things.


"Maybe I left it in class......"
" Did you remove it to buy anything from the canteen today?" 
"Nope.... I got lunch from home."
"When did you last use it?"
" To pay for the pass..."
"Is that the last time you saw it?"
"I actually can’t remember when the last time I saw it was."

I spent the next three to four days searching for that wallet in the classrooms, the lost and found department, every nook and cranny of every place I possibly was at on that day, retracing my steps and actions but that wallet was GONE. I was kind of okay with the fact that I lost it because the only thing of import it held was change for bus worth Rs 30 and a few 100 used bus tickets that I had saved up for my friend Manasa who collects them. Fortunately the Rs 200 remained in the pouch all day. Sometimes laziness pays off. Sometimes you feel lazy for a reason.
But I’ve always wondered how and where exactly it went missing...  The bag is always glued to my arm or lap, the only other people I left it with are my gang of friends. We came to the conclusion that the only possible place it could have fallen out would be at the station as I was yanking my worthless stole out of my bag while getting off the train. I decided it was a much needed lesson for me to not be overconfident about being ‘the person who never lost stuff’.
I was much more careful than before, indulging in regulated checks of my bag at a 50 minute interval and everything was fine and under control.

Until I lost my mobile a month later. 



  1. Falak!!! Apologies for nt being able to read ur blogs! U r an awesome girl!!!!

    Hmm the missing thingy......i noe u r a true perfectionist my girl.....its gud to lose things (if they r small and petty) which teaches u a lesson and b extra careful!!!!

    Nw the biggggg bag reminds me too, to b careful wid my precious stuff.... LOL!

    Keep it up as always!

    Love & Hugs!!!

  2. Hey Falak,

    Very well narrated... yet another beauty of a blog... Keep up the good work of writing expressively and let's hope that these consecutive losses will make you extra careful of your belongings.

    Love you girl!!!

  3. Sparsh: Perfectionism is alright. But the problems begin when it starts bordering on obsessive compulsive disorder, which I'm afraid is the case with me:( :) You have a humongous bag too..... Have fun hunting! :D

    Lakshmi: Thank You! If I get anymore careful they're going to put me on medication.;)

  4. Hey falak sorry im replying so late but as u noe my comp is jinxed :) anyway im glad u made a post out of ur loss evn tho its me evn i was really shocked wen u lost it knwing how particular n careful u r...but people make mistakes n nobody's perfect so if u lost something then ur just human :) plus im glad that u learnt something from this n it also taught me to b extra careful...n who says u hv to be obsessive bout it?

    neway its good that uve moved on...u mite hv lost one thing but im sure ur gonna receive something even better in return :D:D

  5. Aww, what a pretty wallet you lost! Lol. But you know, it's totally something that happens to all of me on that! I really love your writing style, it's definitely a fun read! =D Keep posting!!


  6. Revathy:- Yes, pretty it was :( I'll try my best to keep posting regularly. The fact that stuff like this happens to almost everyone is the only solace, even though it's sadistic ;)