The bag lady wins

Contents of a certain bedside table:


keys (house and car)

little plastic dish filled with assorted foreign coins mixed with dust

box with three or four little pouches containing various sets of gold and silver buttons set with semi-precious/precious stones

pouch full of keys to all the doors in our apartment, including a set that belongs to an ex-neighbour from our previous apartment

packet of razors

some unmentionables (due to PG nature of blog)

paper clips of varying shapes and sizes

strewn coins

visiting cards/registration cards/library cards

unworn, ill-fitting caps

assorted pencil cells for various remotes

a legal file (that is more precious than anything else in this house and cannot be stored anywhere except bedside table)

empty box of perfume

big unwieldy box containing unworn watch

miscellaneous travel pouches containing mostly useless things

lots of dust

a little cylindrical tin with red candle inside

While sorting out Huz’s bedside drawers, dusting, throwing away stuff, keeping things that needed to be kept, I came across this object you see featured in the pictures.

It’s a a cinnamon-scented candle that has been used a bit, but not entirely, and it made me think of a Valentines Day years ago, before Amu was even an involuntary twinkle in either of our eyes…

The day was going by unremarked (remember what I told you about Huz in this here post?) and I was debating whether to be mature and not care, or pouty and resentful at the lack of flowers.

After all, we DID scoff at traditional notions of love and romance, thumb our noses at candle-lit dinners, pooh-pooh consumerism and such.

But in my mind I went back to the days when the boys showered the girls with rose petals from the school roof…..heart-shaped cards were handed around…….someone gave someone a stuffed toy…..a long-stemmed rose……a mixed tape…..and oh the thrill of someone walking up to you to deliver a card sent by a secret admirer….

In a fit of nostalgia for days past, I felt compelled to walk into a store and buy something corny, just for the sake of it.

This little object caught my eye….and when I opened the lid I got a heady whiff of cinnamon.


I paid for it, went home and gave it to Huz, feeling silly. Huz looked at me with a ‘but I didn’t get YOU anything’ expression, and as a result, I felt justified in feeling righteous and indignant.


Fifteen years later, I pick up the rusted little candle container, take off the lid to smell it, and realize it doesn’t even smell like cinnamon anymore.

Yet here it is, still in Huz’s drawer, even after so many years and I searched in my heart to see if I could find any sentimental attachment, or if Huz would miss it. The only thing redeeming it was that it had just been around for so long.

And so, in a fit of feng shui, I tossed it.

Then I finished organizing the drawer and beamed at the clean-ness of it all. I usually leave his crap alone until some years go by or until my innate obsessive-compulsiveness vanquishes his protective paranoia.

Later that night, as I was about to turn off the light and crawl into bed, my eye caught sight of the candle lying amidst the other junk I had thrown into the dustbin.

I thought of it being taken away by the jamadaar the next day and dumped along with all kinds of other horrible refuse in some garbage heap somewhere…

Nope, couldn’t do it.

If it managed to stick around fifteen years, it could very well stick around for another fifteen. 🙂

Happy VD all you lovely people!

A friend posted this song the other day and I just loved watching and listening to it, firstly because there’s something very cool about people who can just sit on a sofa and strum a guitar (not to mention play riffs!) and belt out a song sung by the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and make it their own.

And there’s something so charming about a man singing about longing and love.


  1. Here’s to another 15 years of Happy Valentines without the frilly stuff 😉 Coz that’s what stays forever na…the non-frilly stuff?! And yet I’m glad the candle made it back to the shelf 🙂 Some things are meant to be…light and the fading scent of cinnamon are some of them 🙂

    Phat Hugs for Valentines darling M!!! 🙂 🙂

    1. Munira says:

      Thank you H, par kia kahoon, I’m just a ghar ki murghi 😛

  2. So glad to hear you saved the candle! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Huz from Sara and me!

    1. Munira says:

      Once a bag lady, always a bag lady 😦
      Have a lovely day you two lovebirds! 🙂

  3. Aziza says:

    Somethings one can’t, wont and should not throw away. Another 15 + years Munira and may they all carry the fragrance of cinnamon every day.

    1. Munira says:

      Yes, but really AA, that candle was really rather silly, I think I mostly just bought it for myself. Really, it has no sentimental value at all! But no, I just can’t throw it.

  4. asad mian says:

    Interesting that I’ve been thinking about the valentine’s stuff in KGS and at AKU. Then I started writing this morning. You will get to read it soon. What did Huz think of your nostalgia?

    1. Munira says:

      We share two years from that past Asad mian. It’s funny that when I think of you from those days, two words pop into my head…..’transcendental meditation’…. 😀
      Looking forward to what you have to say.
      I’m not sure what Huz thinks about my nostalgia. He thinks VD is silly and inconsequential, as do I.
      I have some fun memories though, which make me smile sometimes. 🙂

  5. I mostly have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. I enjoyed it best when it became the day my daughter ate heart-shaped brownies I baked and anticipated what I’d get her a couple of days after, when Valentine’s merchandise would be slashed. I wasn’t so disappointed with the day during that short period when it was about her and me and chocolate.

    Many of your memories about Valentine’s Day sound so lovely. (Rose petal showers?! Sigh…) I like the corny things because they can make life a little sweeter, and they’re great shorthand. I’m glad you saved the candle. He saved it too. I like all the things that means.

    1. Munira says:

      Brownies with your little sweetheart…..that’s just so….sweet 🙂
      You used the perfect word for the corny stuff Re…that’s just what it is….shorthand. I rather LIKE shorthand. It’s simple and effective…..and nobody needs to go toooo out of their way to make someone feel special. That’s what it’s all about, ultimately.
      There are nuances in silly little things. Glad you see them too. Thank you for the beautiful comment my dear ❤

  6. I LOVE love and I loved your post! That last Valentine is the best.

    1. Munira says:

      And I LOVE love LOVE your writing Anna, heading over to read your post now 🙂 Hehe, that last valentine cracks me up every time!

  7. fatookh says:

    i believe in romance…and carry it around on my sleeve….yet i dont acknowledge anniversaries or valentines days……i am glad the candle didnt get chucked….its not about the romance…its about memories too…everything ends but you cant chuck it while you are still alive……i have a drawer full of such things..:D
    …..loved the post wasnt what i expected and was pleasantly surprised…..not surprised though by your blog gaining popularity…:)..<3

    1. Munira says:

      I’m a believer too Fats, and you’re talking to someone who forgets her own wedding anniversary and whose husband goes out for dinner with his best friend on VD 😀
      Recently it came to me that I no longer live in the past, so all those things that I have held on to for so many years no longer affect me as much as they used to….which I think is a great new development, considering I’m always such an emotional wreck.
      I’m glad I surprised you with this one 🙂 Love you.

  8. fatookh says:

    hmmmm…….i have come to a similar realisation…..realised the present is where i wholeheartedly wanna be….even though i have kept the little momentos its not like i like to fondle them lovingly periodically….:D…..but i like sax’s idea…recycling is the way to go…put the stuff to practical use…
    …love you too…xxxx

    1. Munira says:

      I think we’re all bag ladies in the end.

  9. Let’s get down to the meat of the matter, ladies, that’s a great jam session going on there. Some cool licks and a flowing soloing style with some punctuated rhythms from the man. Loved it. I bet it was a great party. Oh, is it Valentine’s Day ?

    1. Munira says:

      Yes! Thank you! I can’t tire of this somehow, just listened to them again 🙂 Fun!
      And yeah, I guess it was 😛

  10. Obaiyd says:

    hence metallic objects are better than flowers … or cardboard 😀

    1. Munira says:

      Somehow, I have this penchant for bio-degradability 😛

  11. Kathy says:

    How sweet! How very very sweet. I am glad you kept it. As a person who likes to throw things away, I would have thrown it out, too. Only hoping that my heart would have heard its whimpers from the trash bin like yours did. Happy belated Valentine’s Day wishes!

    1. Munira says:

      Finally! I was beginning to feel guilty about being the only one here who’d consider throwing it away, haha. I have a feeling your spiritual side would have kicked in very powerfully while you slept Kathy, and you would have woken up and fished it out, kissed it, and put it back reverentially. Though who knows, your devil-may-care, crazy fiend avatar might have prevailed and the right thing might have been done 😐
      Happy belated VD wishes to you too!

  12. Anonymous says:

    So V day is long gone but I’ve just rediscovered your blogs 🙂

    1. Munira says:

      Yayyy!!!! 😀

  13. I’m so glad you kept the candle. What a lovely essay.

    1. Munira says:

      Hahah, it’s a keeper, for better or worse 😛 Thank you for reading!

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