Thinking the ‘unthinkable’ : My experiment with Anti-Excess

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Almost everyone who knows me, knows this – I am a material girl. Infact I am so materialistic that even materialism needs a pair of sunglasses to look at me. No kidding!

Perhaps which is why I should be surprised at my own surprise when I saw two double door wardrobes, a 6-feet clothes rack, two side boards and one chest of drawers bursting at the seams when I moved with ‘just my essentials’ to my new, even if temporary abode in Bambolim, Goa.


Actually a couple of months ago, back in Mumbai, it was my super efficient staff who had packed my things on the instructions I gave on the phone. Frankly I had no idea that things I asked for, things I absolutely needed for the next three months – my beachy bags (read 14), kaftans and long flow dresses (74), the funky orange sandals (amongst 18 others), swimwear (8 sets), scarves (in-numerous), hats, caps, sunblock, bangles, rings, four different shampoos, cosmetics – especially the purple mascara, black, brown, burgundy, orange and golden sunglasses………… the ‘essentials’ I’d asked for were packed in twenty two boxes!

When the packages arrived in Goa, what started as a process of admiring my delightful possessions quickly became an endless chore. Box after box, and then some! By the time I had finished placing the last of the objects in their respective spaces, I was exhausted. Actually it was more than exhaustion – it felt as if I was buried-under! The thought that bulk of my things are still waiting patiently for their turn in my Mumbai apartment made me shudder.

In sheer disgust I swore to myself that until I wear everything I’ve brought with me, at least once, I WILL NOT shop! And despite the steely tone of my voice, a tiny part of my brain laughed – I am a compulsive shopper (surprise, surprise!) and after-all how long can you keep a cat wrapped up in a bag, or in this case a lack of!

Its been two weeks since that fateful day when I threw out the last of the empty boxes. And lo and behold I haven’t shopped – nothing at all! And this afternoon I was borderline proud of myself when I didn’t even as much as give a second look to all the wonderful, wonderful things which were at the boutique shop & cafe my friend took me to lunch. Its as if, I was simply not interested. And in that very moment I was liberated – I spent the afternoon chatting with my friend instead of browsing the shop. I didn’t have to choose, didn’t have to count, didn’t have to jog my memory to remember if I had things to combine the new prospects with. And best of all, my friend treated me to lunch and I came back with all the money I had left home with! Voila!!

Chuffed as I was, it occurred to me for the first time, in years, that my life is full of excesses – everything is too much! Some good, some not so good – but whatever it is, it is too much. What happened to the girl who practised yoga and studied the ‘middle path’ with such fervour !?! When did I go from traveling for six weeks in Europe with one strolley to packing two large Hartmans’ for a week in New York? Am I necessarily happier for all the lovely shiny things in my cupboard or am I just obsessed with the love of ‘more’. One more of this and one more of that – ah, there she is, the material girl!

But now I have another idea : For this week to come I will continue my experiment with ‘Anti Excess’ and this time around I am throwing in the fourth glass of champagne, the second helping of the ice-cream / my favourite deserts and aspects of my person that I don’t like very much in the mix. Considering I am unable to travel at the moment, I may as well take a journey within! Only time will tell if this anti-excess diet will break like all the ones before this, or will it continue. I don’t even know if its worth the time I have spent writing this post – but whatever it is, it’s definitely got me all curious and excited! To think the unthinkable – ah, now let me not over-dramatise – after all it is an experiment with anti-excess!

#chandaat40 #antiexcess #livinglife

Photo Credit :

Picture found on No Infringement Intended.

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Chanda Chaudhary

Aesthete. Storyteller. Wanderer. Chanda is a lover of design, craftsmanship and individualistic style. She’s best known for hosting long champagne lunches filled with stories and tales of adventure, living life on her own terms and making the ordinary, extraordinary. She lives and works in Goa, India.

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