The universe of lost objects

Saturday, June 25, 2016

All the things we lose, have a special place where they accumulate.

All the lost objects, find themselves in the universe of lost objects.

Have you seen/read (in that order, yes) the Harry Potter series? If so, then you'd understand this better. This space is entirely how J K Rowling describes the Room of Requirements to be. Think of the desire and the focus that goes to get around to one of those.

The universe of lost objects functions in a similar manner.

The universe of lost objects is a very happy place. The flooring is covered with a layer of pens, pen caps and unused refills (which come free with the said pen's replacement). This universe has unaccountable pen-drives and sim cards, which have no digital footprints to trace their origin, but often go back to fading relationships and thinning identities over time. It has a colony of hair clips, rubber bands, ruffles, combs and other hair accessories since they're usually small in size.

The size dictates the journey and the ease of movement from in and out of this universe. Not that it doesn't permit large objects, it's just a limited stay, usually. Unless, they're abandoned immediately after the realization that this universe is hard to find.

The universe of lost objects has all your childhood triggers. Those erasers which you would lose every week, to the brand new keychain you added to your backpack in the sixth grade. Lucy (Peanuts) on your backpack didn't last a day in school. The universe of lost objects has packed your old comic books, novels, bookmarks and even your first cellphone, if you were a nineties kid.

Do you remember that birthday present from your 12th birthday, that your folks got you? The universe of lost objects has that as well. Isn't that cool?  If you don't identify with this immediately, let me tell you about my first contribution to this space. A gleaming brooch, in the shape of a thumbs up sign, which was a part of our heirloom (!). My aunt was a regional manager at McDonald's, way back in the day and it was passed on from her to my mother, and to me. On a winter morning, before dropping me to the school, my mother put the brooch on my blazer. As I walked inside the school gate proudly, it was a matter of minutes when I realized I'd lost it somewhere. I spent the next seven years, until my farewell, looking for that. In hindsight, I am almost convinced it was my evil (then) best friend who is responsible for that loss.

It's not just the brooch, or the sentimental value. I have a thing for memorabilia. Take me to an exhibition and buy me a coaster. Years later, you'll see me protecting it with bubble wrap and never using it. In my mind, I am saving it away from accessing the universe of lost objects. I hate that hell hole. I spent the last five months after renovation wondering where I kept the glass Jim Morrison coaster, my mother bought me from a fair, eight years ago. Have I ever used that coaster? No.

Similarly, for as long as I remember, I have saved eraser's cover- the plastic sheet which covers the eraser so you don't dirty it while using it (which is quite ironic, really). I have had the eraser covers from when I was eight years old to a scale (which has animal figures emobossed and their names next to them in Chinese, in Roman script). It's on the verge of breaking, yet, each time I see it I make an agnostic prayer for it to be saved. I can't stand the idea of losing it to the universe of lost objects, or forever.

Part of the problem is with locating this space. The universe of lost objects is intricately linked to the memory. Retentiveness takes you a long way through in the course of your travel to the universe of the lost objects. However, one distraction and you're forever out of the queue to visit the universe of lost objects. That does make this space reminiscent of jailtime/ life imprisonment. You can't exit, unless you are forgiven or there's drastic change in the behaviour or you have shit tonne to pay your lawyers.

The last month or so have been extremely productive, in so far as sitting at home and writing is concerned. Which means, I have been relying on resources at home- more than regularly. Imagine finding out, you've lost a vintage Disneyland Mickey Mouse box containing two of your 64 gb pen drive, a sleek pair of lilac glasses, with the most dainty frame covering the shaded glass. A pair of sky-high sleek wedges with leopard print strap, and a no-nonsense design with it. It was special cause I picked it up during my first trip abroad, years ago.

The brooch losing bit took me about ten years of grieving to be able to come to accept the loss. I had only had it for under two days before I could bid a goodbye.

Nobody knows how to access this universe. I have always wondered about it. I wish I could make a casual visit to the universe of lost objects one day and see my lost memorabilia. That would mean more than a closure here.

10 more reasons
Why I need somebody new, just like you
Far more shocking
Than anything I ever knew
Right on cue

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