Stores and Stuff
In a middle class Indian family, you will find a room, a space in the house named as 'Store’. Store as a verb means to accumulate or keep something for use as needed or for future requirements, and the term is now widely used to refer to a space in house where so called 'stuff' in the house which isn’t of any tangible use right now but the family members think can be of some use in future, is put in. This idea lead to hoarding of diversity of material in a small compacted room; deliberately constructed during house-building mostly under the stairs, at the far end corner of the house or above the rooftop.
The store generally get cleaned during the onset of Diwali celebrations or during any other important events in the house. The process of cleaning a store have pre-defined steps and it mainly aims at removing insects, dirt accumulated on material and get rid of the obnoxious smell inside the room. The space mostly is so compact that it only accommodate one person while removing the material out and while you put it out on 'display’, you yourself wonder "How the hell so much stuff got adjusted in that little space?"
The 'Stuff' while being put out definitely looks like a display of items of a museum since it constitutes materials from the 'dowry' of my mother to the used items by my great grandfather.Much of this stuff is of high value in terms of memories associated and the value they have accumulated over years of ignorance.The depreciation is negligible.
While when we recently emptied one of such stores over the rooftop, I found the cardboard boxes of 'Whirlpool' and you would wonder that the cardboard belongs to the refrigerator we bought (oh no! Given as a gift) during the retirement of my maternal grandfather in 1999. I found Bronze utensils to 'काठ का संदूक ' belonging to the times of 1980's. There were several other items from an old Haman to an iron Chulha; glasses of my grandfather to letters of my father; mattresses to bags of grains and ignore the smaller ones like threads, ropes, old telephone etc.
The Stuff in Store is surprisingly interesting !!