continued from Part I
On to this particular round of moving...
Packing stuff is something I've just about been OK with ever since papa taught me the right way to go about it, a long time back. [Yeah, that goes to mean I hate it all the same.] Of course there is more to it than just stuffing cartons with things that you come across. If you know you're going to be shifting from your present home one day or the other - you tend to preserve the original packing for anything that you buy. And if it's a small house that you have, those cartons are going to be seen all around the place, much like ugly mantel pieces. Then you need to grade the stuff as fragile / handle with care and OK / throw it around and pack it likewise. Of course the prospect of stuff getting mixed up and never showing out of a carton for a long long time doesn't help either. So I decided to innovate the whole process this time round by putting my digicam to use. Each carton had a unique ID and the contents of that paticular carton were all clicked and labelled with the unique id. [I love to make things seem damn important, don't I? :D]
Slowly and steadily the stuff kept disappearing into cartons until one day I could feel that nothing much was left to do. Elementary, my dear Sood.
But this time the job was just a bit longer than usual. Having lived in the north of India for the past ten years, we'd stuff that Mumbai just didn't want. Woollens, winter ware et al. So we needed to dump all that at our place at Palampur. The mini truck ride through the night with all those horrible bumps and jolts and ruthless mosquitoes is something I won't forget for a long, long time.
But someone gave the mosquitoes a beating at sucking the blood out of us. It was, hold your breath... the royal constables (or whatever rank they were) of Punjab Police. Every 15 minutes, a policeman stopped us in the dead of the night flashed a strong search light at our dreary eyes and told us that he wanted to frisk the truck (when it wasn't even covered.) And when given the go ahead, not one was in a position to do so, given their inebriated state. All they were interested in was some chai - pani bakhshish (though I still wonder when was the last time that any of them had ever tasted liquid and not liqour)
We passed through some of the worst roads and unbuilt bridges, which the driver told me, were under construction for the past ten years or so. And yet, the same MLAs and MPs had been winning the elections in the area over and over. So much for the informed voter!
Palampur was a delight as usual in the summer heat and so was my own village where I got to meet my grandparents.
The same way back in the middle of the night, the same Punjab Police personnel who wanted to frisk an EMPTY truck and I was back home for the bigger job.
In two more days, the truck slated to leave for Mumbai arrived and soon all of what we called home was on the move for a destination about 1500 kilometers or three days away. I had to leave back some of my favourite potted plants, my cute (yes cute) bicycle. Papa said there wasn't any place for them in the new place. Too bad. :(