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My iCloud account is full to the brim. One more photo and it threatens to not let me open any app on my phone, let alone allow to store anything in it. My humble phone has an 8GB storage capacity, which at the time of purchase I thought was more than enough. I couldn’t have been more wrong. At the same time, my mother tells me to tidy my wardrobe, discard the old clothes which I do not wear and make space for new. I very happily do that, not so that I can buy new outfits, but because I love neat clean spaces. Areas which I can gaze and feel happy about. To re-furnish and admire its old shine, and perhaps build a new memory out of it. However, I realise that cleaning space is easy, getting rid of the old is not.

Why is it that I do not like deleting old unnecessary photos, discarding worn off clothes, throwing away long lost travel tickets, bank account envelopes, or even broken earrings. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you, how much I love deleting items I can duplicate. My laptop has no movies, if someday my hard disk is full, the first things to enter the trash can will be old movies, songs and albums. Why? Who deletes recreation? I do. Because, I will readily get them again, but not a discarded diary which will surprise me with an old handmade birthday card from a friend. Nothing will remind me of my school’s investiture ceremony than the recital oath from one of the school’s diary pages, or nothing will remind me of a beautiful afternoon in Nice, than the photo of a man reading an old book quietly in the corner of a train. Everyone will have my photos from Place Masséna where I’m happily posing for the camera, but only that man’s picture will evoke thoughts that I had, the moment I took his picture. iPhone won’t understand that, and neither will my wardrobe.

I wish external spaces came like minds, unlimited and free of cost. In the words of Sherlock — “My brain is a hard disk and it only stores in things which are important, really important.”

Mariyam Raza Haider

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A journalist by training, Mariyam Haider is a writer and performance poet in Singapore.
She is the researcher of the book The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age written by James Crabtree.
Her writing has appeared in Hindustan Times, Livemint, Feminism In India, New Asian Writing and Kitaab.

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