A Home and a Towel
A worldly wise uncle of mine had advised that soon after one begins work, one must start planning for a home that would be suitable for one’s retirement. The sooner one builds it the better.
Just as is the case with most humans, my working life was spent in thickly populated urban areas spread across three countries including in Delhi, India, the country of my birth. However, it must be kept in mind that,
“While one may be compelled to spend one’s working life in a crowded city, it is not at all necessary to do so when one retires. It is wiser to look for a home in quieter less crowded town and cities for retirement.”
I am thankful that I did not choose Delhi to acquire a home because the pollution there now is such that many an aged person is either running away from it or landing up in hospitals unless they drop dead first. From a practical point of view it is wiser because property and land is much cheaper in the countryside than in large urban areas. Further,
“While an urban areas and city lights charm young persons, the quiet and green of countryside is far more charming for an aged one if a person has evolved with age.”
Therefore, at the age of thirty two, I found a vacant lot in an upcoming undeveloped area on the outskirts of the city where my parents and grandmother had a home. It was on the wild outskirts of the city but wide well maintained roads serving a military cantonment passed near it and there were all the chances that it would develop well over ensuing decades which as a matter of fact it did with some help and interventions by me and others in subsequent years.
Soon after acquiring the lot for a small amount of money, I began planning a large home on the property during spare time in different parts of the world. I designed a large home that could serve any possible needs of my family – children, grandchildren, aging parents, and guests that might arise in future. In the holidays that followed, I would build a little at a time. At the age of forty I built a single room with a tiny kitchen and bathroom on it in a corner of the plot so that there was a place to live right away. It was an aid while the rest of the home was built in subsequent years. It has since served to house staff. In the ensuing decade and a half, as I earned more money, and found breaks from my career, the rest of the house was constructed. I used low cost fittings in construction so that it was not necessary to incur any debt in the process. From the start, my family has been against debt with the belief that,
‘Incurring debt with an interest rate from a lender is one of the quickest roots to poverty that humans have taken from the beginning of civilization”
My father, a civil engineer, had constructed a large comfortable home similarly very simply and had warned that a home can be like a hungry well that can swallow all your money if you let it. Moreover,
“A home does not become pretty with expensive fittings but it becomes pretty with trees and flowers that surround it.
Now in my retirement, my parents have left for the other world; children have grown up and pursue their own careers while raising their own families in different parts of the globe, friends and relatives too have aged and have less energy to visit. As a result many of the rooms of the home remain vacant now. In order to maintain them with ease, I keep unused rooms locked away most times, while keeping for my own frequent use a single bedroom, living room, bathroom and a large spacious kitchen that is cleaned regularly.
A large home requires a lot of furnishings and stuff and some of this was built from trees that were cut and replaced in the home after seasoning the wood. The other stuff like linen etc. was picked up in sales whenever I spotted it on trips to the market place. Needless to say, most of the linen and stuff remains locked up in the different cupboards most times, being pulled out only when someone visits. On my own I live very simply because,
“The most valuable thing to earn in life is peace and peace comes from simplicity, not desire for luxuries and ever more.”
One of the consequences of this has been that while I have been using the same pair of towels for years. Yesterday, one of them, worn out by age, just ripped apart on a little stretching. Therefore, now I have cut it into pieces and stored it way to be used as a wipe or kitchen cloth when needed. I have discovered that cutting newspaper into squares makes perfectly good kitchen napkins and kitchen towels. Wipes or other cleaning clothes can be cut out from worn out garments and linen instead of blowing money away on it in a store. The money saved if any is better used to feed a hungry person in need. In the process the environment is saved too because of recycling.
Now a new towel was needed. I climbed up to the bedroom that guests use. One of the closets in the room is used to store linen. There were several towels in there, some still in unopened packets picked up on a sale a few years ago, some used occasionally, washed and replaced in the closet. I chose one that had a few stains on it from use once by the wife of a godson. She chewed on beetle-nut and it can cause permanent stains. Now this shall be my new second towel. I keep two bath towels so that one is in use and the other washed on a weekly basis. Wonder how long this new one would last I am not in need of any more new wipes!
Note: Pictures are from publicdomainpictures.net. Pictures of the home described in this note can be found in older posts of this blog, for example here: https://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2015/05/snapshots-of-my-home.html