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‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness.’ A saying we’ve all heard and read since childhood; however we all have sometimes or more times than not been guilty of not following this. I am a tidy person. My sister finds it irritating enough, since I derive pleasure from neat and clean spaces. When in doubt, clean! That’s my mantra to de-stress. I don’t run, I don’t eat, I don’t sleep, I clean the hell out of a place. It doesn’t seem to be OCD, just a compulsive need to declutter my mind. I remember reading it somewhere, that people with a habit like mine, train their minds to clean the room in order to have a clean view of the situation at hand.

I am perpetually obliged to my cleaning sprays, which assist me in my missions. But when does such a habit become OCD? When do you transform into a Monica Geller? When you expect others to have the same intentions towards cleanliness. Everyone should be tidy, all sofa cushions should be aligned nicely next to each other to welcome the guests. Every glass should sprinkle in its shine and all inches of dust be unseen to the naked human eye. But hang on, not being a cleanliness freak does not mean you are not a neat person. You might be careless towards it since it doesn’t seem that important. You might be careful towards wavering off your worries in some other manner.

Something, all the Monicas out there need to understand.

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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