Continuing with the spring purge I started a week back, I attacked my contacts list with gusto knowing full well that I surely was not in touch with the 700 odd people the machine said were on my contacts list. Scanning the list quickly, some names popped out. Some had a vaguely familiar ring to it and some were headed directly to the purge box.
Sorting, scanning and weighing the need to keep or throw away contact information, I realized this was not a simple one click action. Beyond the simple delete lay a much more complex thought process. Was I sure I would never reach out to them? What are the odds that if I never wrote or got in touch, they would write to me or call me? I realized how many years of expectation I have been carrying around.
I soon found out it got easier with every passing name. The people who were in touch or wanted to keep in touch were few and far in between. The others were on my list simply because I did not have the heart to sever that connection even if symbolically. The action was cathartic in a way. By the time the list was pared and pruned, it did look more meaningful and manageable.
The by-product of this purge were random images that popped into my head. Images of groups of people chai cups in hand. Of friends laughing in the coolness of a curtained living room in the afternoon sun. Of midday strolls in the hot Madras sun. Of temples and chaat shops. Of cubicles and lunches on the terrace. Of phone booths and shopping jaunts. Of bike rides and black forest cakes. Of exams and playing holi. Of teddy bears and personalized cards. Of movies and browsing in book stores. Of coffee and dosas. Of death by chocolate and feel good Hindi movies.
The memories varied. Some good. Some not as good. All worth treasuring.