After packing up from Dubai which had been our home for the last 32 years, my husband and I left for the United States to spend time with my son. We had taken a small furnished apartment and went there with one suitcase each. Initially, we had planned to spend just two months there before going back to India but a set of strange circumstances kept us back in California for over seven months.

I would love to go over the details of what kept us back but that is not the point of this piece. I was prompted to write this as I now pack the remnants of my possessions here to relocate to India. On the way, we shall stop at Dubai to ask the shipping people to send the 40 cases we had packed to a certain address in Chennai, which we intend, to be our home.

I have, by now, almost forgotten what are in those cases (having lived without them for several months) but I am trying to refresh my memory now. Of course, there is the furniture, fairly old and battered but we were unable to let go. Crockery, cutlery, a washing machine, two cupboards full of antics, other electronic equipment, photographs, books, cds, laptops, desktops, knick knacks that we didn’t know what to do with, all well padded, packed and left in air conditioned storage that will now need to be cleared by customs, unpacked and re-installed!

Funny life this! We have attachment for things as long as they are in front of us. Now oceans away and months between us, I feel they could have been put to better use by giving them away to the needy.

Be that as it may, I am sitting with how much a man (and/or woman) really needs to exist. I can assure you, not much. It brings a lot of peace and harmony, too, to have less. Brings a great taste of freedom. Believe me, I should know — and here is the list: This is relevant for a single people or a couple — and can be improvised if there are children:

Tooth paste and tooth brush, comb, soap, oils/creams, shaving set

Some clothes, perhaps six ets of casuals, one or two evening and a couple of smart outfits

A lap top, cell phone,

If you are not living in a furnished place, then you may need the following:

One comfortable sofa

Small coffee table

A dining table that can double as a work/computer table

A bed.mattress/pillows, sheets

One cupboard

Cleaning material

All of us need running water, electricity and wifi

A shelf and some utensils

Any other personal stuff that you think really necessary

A car is essential in cold countries, I guess but try a bike or a little scooter, very little nuisance value!

It would be good to have close access to grocery stores, pharmacy etc

For those of you who feel this is not on, I encourage you to try it for a while. Living with the bare necessities stimulates our creativity! Besides there is less work, less maintenace and more time to create new ways of being. The lap top and the great outdoors will suffice to keep us occupied and entertained. If you have too many things, give them away to those who need, drop your shoulders and BREATHE INTO A WONDERFULLY FREE LIFE!

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