Ye gads. don’t ever give anyone elder sisters and even if u do give people elder sisters don’t get them married to men who get settled in countries other than India. Before u guys go "Sheesh here she goes again, being all senti about her sister going to Dubai" let me assure you that this is not a senti post. If my sister and BIL wish to settle down in Dubai they can do so by all means and I am no one to stop them. but over the last weekend I have been helping my sis clean out her house, pack everything and decide which stuff to send to Dubai and which stuff to leave here in Chennai, which to dispose of etc and god damn it!!! her house is like an akshya pathram (for the uninitiated the akshay pathram was a vessel which krishna gave draupadi, a vessel which would never run out of food and the emptier it became the fuller it really was). Well as I was saying her house is like akshay pathram. The more u empty it, the more u un earth. Archaeologists would have had an easier time unearthing the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro civilizations compared to the stuff we unearthed at Preethi's place.
It was amazing how each and every shelf in her house had something and she has been married only for two years. She has 3 pressure cookers, some 100 odd pieces of crockery, 6-7 mud pots, a million small wall hangings, a thousand medium sized wall hangings, a hundred large wall hangings (all of which she packed to take to Dubai!! :-\) And the number of vessels she has!!!! Phew!! The whole continent of Australia could have used my sister’s vessels alone to cook and lead a comfortable life. I was left to worry that if my parents had given all the vessels to my sister, what WOULD be left to give me when I got married. :P. (ok!! I don’t want to hear anyone saying “given your sad cooking (s)kills you would do well to hunt food and eat raw meat rather than using vessels to cook”). Anyway she packed all the vessels she could lay her hands on, she packed all the curtains and even the curtain rods (which she later did not take after we told her that the person who would occupy the house next wouldn’t mind a little privacy and would appreciate it if we left the curtain rods for him to hang curtains on, she packed so many clothes that I decided it is only because of people like my sister that people like Pamela Anderson and mallika sherawat have nothing to wear. I mean what would poor mallika do if she discovered that every time she visited a shop my sister had reached ahead of her and bought everything in the entire shop? Poor thing. No wonder she wears only rags.
And worse was the way my sister wanted to take everything to Dubai. I mean she wanted to take the fridge, the washing machine, the cupboard and have them transported via cargo to Dubai. she would look at everything and go "Awwwwwwwwww, amma gave this to me when I got married" looking at the washing machine or "Paati gave that to me when I got married" looking at the fridge or "I can’t possibly leave this here and go. Our neighbors neighbors daughter in surat gave it to me when I got married" and my BIL would growl saying "Grrrrrr. your neighbors neighbors daughter gave u a mud pot. We get mud pots in Dubai. We are leaving it here and going. period" and then there would be a huge fight between them with Preethi wanting to take the "oh-so-beautiful-but-heavy idol of Shiva which my aunt gave" and the "I-hardly-use-it-but-I-have-emotional-attachments-to-it pressure cooker" (errr yeah. when Preethi was in class 9th amma wrote an essay for her on renewable sources of energy and she won the first prize in the whole of Gujarat state for that essay. and the prize was a 2 liter pressure cooker!! lol!! :D) and my BIL would patiently re-iterate the fact that Dubai was a moderately well developed place and that people there did not hunt for food or wear leaves for clothes and hence had seen and used a pressure cooker and would definitely have cookers in the markets.
My sister though refused to believe this and put the pressure cooker along with the gasket and the weight into her suitcase when my BIL wasn’t looking. Needless to say my BIL wasn’t very pleased when my sis had to pay something close to 3000 bucks on extra baggage at the airport.
A major part of the packing was done when my BIL was already away in Dubai and during the course of relocating my sister has thrown away everything my BIL considered important and retained everything she considers important and my BIL considers worthless. Now that they are alone I shudder to think of the sparks which will fly because my sister and BIL agree on nothing. And all these days I was the peacemaker when they decided to have a go at each other fighting over trivial things like “u left the wet towel on the bed” or “damn!! U used today’s newspaper clean the kitchen now what will I read?” and I would act peacemaker by reminding them of their love for each other more important than wet towels and dirty newspapers. Now in Dubai they will be alone doing all the unpacking and I am afraid the Dubai government will imprison them for excessive domestic violence and for meting out untold atrocities on each other.
Anyway now with my sister gone, though a part of me is feeling sad a major part of me is relieved that I don’t have to go through the whole “Preethi can I throw this throw this handle less coffee mug” and hear her go “noooooo!! I can use that to keep a money plant in the kitchen when I go to Dubai” routine. I guess like my mother she will keep accumulating things over a period of 20 years and I am sure one day my niece/ nephew will be writing about how their mother annoys them with her spring cleaning!!! ;)