I love hangers. Today, as I got rid of a few clothes, several in fact, I saw those steel and plastic hangers standing lonely in the cupboard. They had carried the weight of cottons, silks, chiffons…sarees, kameezes, dupattas, scarves, blouses. They must have sniffed the perfume or my skin on them; they caressed everything before I wore it. Some had remained untouched for long. The hangers held them; the hangers did not give up on them.
As each stood there now shorn off garments like naked dancers, I felt a sadness I haven’t felt for long. The choice to get rid of the clothes was mine. I was not wearing them. Some were new, some so old that the discolouring on the collars and sleeves looked like sepia tones in pictures that recapture history. It was tough throwing things in the bag. A few I lingered with, holding them close to me as though I was giving up a part of myself. Some had a past, some sentimental value, some made no sense at all…I was thinking, feeling…
Then it struck me about what the hangers must experience. Would they welcome new arrivals? Or do they like the lightness of being just themselves? I could see a couple stuck to each other as though providing solace for the loss.
I am not sure if I will get something new soon. So I took the hangers and piled them on with the clothes. They belong with each other.
The shelf that was now almost empty stared at me. I cannot throw out shelves or cupboards. I put in a few mothballs. Was there anything to protect? Sometimes, the oyster needs more protection than the pearl.
Shells and shelves are as fragile. I know. My skin hurts even when the flesh does not bleed.