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Scams, Swiss Bank accounts and the Missus.

April 23, 2011

The Anna Hazare fast, the Jan Lokpal Bill, the ruling party’s efforts to scuttle the making the draft of the bill, set me thinking about the mega scams and the loads of black money in the Swiss Banks. You might wonder why I am thinking of happenings that took place in the distant past. You must understand that I am a slow thinker. What amazes me is why people need so much money. I am quite contented with the seven-figure salary (for the sake of some respectability I have added the 2 digits after the decimal too) that I get every month. Just for the heck of it, I wrote down the various amounts that have reported in the newspaper about the loss to the exchequer or to the income tax department and they all resembled the trains that I used to draw when I was a kid. I don’t know why people take the trouble of amassing so much money and live in constant fear of theft, of being caught and of being betrayed by their benamis. As usual the missus gave me an insight on the weird behaviour of these people.


We moved house recently. We would have shifted houses 7 or 8 times in the 20 odd years we have been married. The shifting were mainly due to transfers and promotions. The first time we shifted from Madurai to Vijayawada, we only had my writing desk, a TV with stand, a kerosene stove, a bare minimum of utensils apart from 4 or 5 suitcases of our clothes, mainly our son’s who was just over a year old then. 4 years after when it was time for us to move from Vijayawada, we had enough things to fill a mini lorry. How we managed to accumulate so much is anybody’s guess.


There is a mad rush during shifting because of the time constraint. Just enough time to just grab everything and run. My wife always complains that I just dump everything after shifting and go on a tour, leaving all the unpacking and setting up the house to her This time around it was more planned. My wife’s constant grouse is that we shift houses at very short notices. We also tend to lump everything we have in card board boxes, label everything as miscellaneous and dump everything to the loft in the new house, promising ourselves that we will sort out the things in due time. But it has always been the case of the popular motorbike ad “Fill it. Shut it. And forget it.” This time around the lady put her foot down (didn’t you hear about the earthquakes in Japan) and said that we will only take things that are absolutely necessary, to the new house. So I brought down all the cases in the loft. I fixed up a cardboard carton that would hold only the ‘absolutely necessary’ items. I opened the first box and took out a steel vessel. I looked at my wife and she said, “needed”. Off it went into the empty box. Next there was a casserole and I looked up again and again she said needed. This was followed by a jug (you will never find these kind nowadays), a flask (will save time of making endless cups of tea), tumblers (oh, they were here?), spoons (thank god, I was planning to buy some), dinner set (gifted by daddy), plates (will come in handy when we have guests), some old clothes  (good for cleaning), old Bournvita bottles (can store pickles). By end of the day we had taken out everything out from the old cases and transferred to new cases and my wife had a plausible reason why it is needed. Only a few items for which she couldn’t think of a use within a minute were discarded.


It is this incident that made me realize that human beings are basically hoarders. Right from the time we were in the caves we have developed this habit of hoarding everything we find, thinking that it might come useful sometime in the future. The hoarding genes have been passed on to all of us. Some like my wife,  hoard plastics and other trivia while some others hoard money. Can we really blame the tax evaders and the scamsters for what they do? It is after all a genetic disorder.


In the course of our sorting we came across a steel plate dented and with frayed edges. “Do you remember?” asked my wife, “this was Abhi’s (my elder son) plate”. “You know it was his favourite one and used it for so many years, I don’t have a mind to throw it away”. So it was included in the necessary items to be packed. Abhi is now in college.

I wonder why old age homes are on the rise.

Image courtesy: Internet


12 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2011 22:49

    Hoarder is my middle name, first name and last name. Thankfully at each place in the nomenclature they remain invisible. Still, one cannot but help evidence it, at such terribly appropriate moments such as packing, shifting, unpacking.

    Love that Dennis cartoon, and yes, I fully agree with him. And the notions expressed herewith, in the post 🙂

    Only wish I had a bit of money to hoard though. Till then, I’m making do with similar stuff, as mentioned above!

    • Govind permalink*
      April 25, 2011 07:59

      Usha, I told you it is the remains of the mutated genes that has been passed on to us that make us hoard. 🙂

  2. April 23, 2011 22:56

    Loved the way you finally ended with old age homes being ‘on the rise’… and yes, accumulation does seem a genetic disorder… luckily for me after over 20 shifting in the last 24 years, I have no clue where most of my luggage are, every time we kept them ‘safe’ in some place or the other…
    And talking about the scams, these ‘orders’ will never get any positive value out of it ever, and little do they realize it.

    • Govind permalink*
      April 25, 2011 08:01

      Thanks Sankaran for your kind words.Ignorance is bliss. Not knowing where things are most times blissful than knowing where they are.

  3. Olivia Kanna permalink
    April 24, 2011 09:13

    Govind, on vacation, sitting in our hotel room and LOL-ing away! OMG …you’re not alone., it’s only when we move that we realize how much junk we’ve accumulated down the years. We now do an annual spring cleaning, and the rule of thumb is that if I haven’t used something in 6 months, then I probably don’t need it, so I throw it away with sheer ruthlessness. Loved this post …husband laughed with me too! 🙂

    • Govind permalink*
      April 25, 2011 08:04

      We too think of clearing, but it doesn’t get done. Like Dennis we hope everything will be useful at somee point of time.Glad that I could make you two laugh.

  4. April 29, 2011 23:25

    Absolutely with your wife on this one. Hoarding is a basic necessity!!!! And those ‘MISC’ boxes are the most lethal. You never can remember what went inside them, and you can’t for heaven’s sake understand why they should remain there! Phew!!

    • April 30, 2011 08:27

      Thanks Pallu, Hope the schools have re-opened for Mr. Rishi and you get some time and also feel a little lonely. 🙂

  5. May 13, 2011 12:52

    I am with you when you ask why people need all that money or why they hoard. And yes, surprise, surprise, I am not a hoarder. Yeah I do have a couple of things that means something to me. But hoarding is more of L & M’s forte. (Looks like there is some divine plan that makes one among the two a hoarder). He tells me he is clearing up things and spends a whole day… but at the end of the day, the room looks as full of boxes filled with I don’t know what. But yeah, recently, we managed to offload quite a few things of the hoarded things. I am so happy! 🙂

    Hilarious post Govind 🙂

    • May 19, 2011 06:59

      Shail, Thanks. Wish we too be ‘the no nonsense’ person like you. 🙂

  6. October 15, 2011 14:33

    @ govind

    Sir, I now realised how my office racks are overflowing.

    thaks for the tips.

    @ Ram, happy will be the day when we know what we don’t need.

  7. April 15, 2019 17:50

    Leaving our old momentos of memories is a sign of progression. I realised this when I discarded almost everything from the lofts during our last house moving.

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