There is a notion of cost and value associated with services and products. We make our decisions taking into consideration these to factors. Cost is objective value is subjective. The cost of pen gifted to me by my son on my birthday from his pocket-money when he was 12-year-old is just Rs. 5 but it’s value for me is simply non-quantifiable. At my home I have a locker where in I have kept many such things. Old pens. books, photos and what not which my family will probably throw away after I die but for me there are invaluable. — So said my IT project management professor in his late 70s.
The occasion to recount this is that, today when cleaning up my room I came across uncountable items which anyone else would have thrown to dustbin but for me its a treasure. I have in my collection old torn clothes, bills, bus and train tickets, empty bottles, stones, empty/expired medicines, recharge vouchers, old stationary items, malfunctioning electronic items, greeting cards, wallets and so on. I feel I am a bit hysteric to keep many of these items still with me.
For me each of these items are invaluable for the memories that it brings to me. Each time I hold these items in my hand my nose smells the smell it had smelled the first time I held it in my hands. I am poor at remembering dates but I am exceptional in remembering the minute details and the words spoken and not spoken.
I was never a good communicator. I often failed to express my own wills and my mind even with the people who always wished I would do so. Writing has helped. Recently I met a doctor who told me a story. It seems his brother had some bitter moments with his father and his father was very stubborn. Eventually the young brother wrote the letter to his father. The doctor was very surprised that the brother whom he knew for so long was capable of writing those words. And that letter worked too. Father melted as soon as he read it.
There are extremely few possession in my invaluable collection in hand-written form. One of them is a letter. When I was traveling for a very long distance that person had come to see me off. Just as when I climbed into the bus I was given an envelope. It contained a letter. A letter written in the worst possible grammar, worst possible punctuations and spellings. Whatever may be the contest of that letter, I never had to read that letter because that letter spoke to me. Each of the word created a scenario before me which I could feel and see. Never before in my life I had come across such an authentic display of feelings and emotions.The letter is still in my collection though the whereabouts of the person are not known.
And then there are things that we have lost. My father once gave a me a very old family photograph to digitize and I lost it carelessly. I have lost some very important notebooks. Notebooks that contained the first c programs I ever wrote. There is one golf cap that I have lost unfortunately (one of the most important possessions). I had kept all the answer papers, textbooks and notebooks right from school time with me which eventually were eaten away by white ants.
A bit of madness adds punch to life, isn’t it?