I love big bags. You know, the kinds where you can stuff a person in there and still have place for some odds and ends? That kind. I cannot stand the teeny tiny barely there kinds. I need the space. And if you are wondering for what, you’ll be in for a loong list of things I simply must carry around with me wherever I go. I have always been someone who carries around a lot of stuff. I have everything from my water bottle to a book in my bag. And often times, I have to dive into the depths of my bag to find something urgently. Right from when I was in college, when I first divested myself of bulky schoolbags and rejoiced at the thought of carrying around proper ladylike bags, I have been a fan of the big ones.
Initially, it was because the big ones allowed me to carry my lunch, my bunch of books and my library books, my wallet, umbrella and everything else that I needed. Then, I guess I started getting used to carrying around the big ones. I did try a lot of times to buy the smaller ones that would let me carry enough stuff, or rather the stuff I needed but I just couldn’t kick the habit of the big bag. Every time I went bag shopping my eyes would be drawn to the bigger ones and I would end up buying one of them. I would have all kinds of stuff in my bag. You name it, I would have it. When I was in college it was- books, library books, umbrella, lunch, water bottle, wallet, hairbrush, deo, gum, pens, library cards, bus concession cards, safety pins, other girl stuff, mobile, loads of loose change, painkillers, my glasses, receipts, bus tickets and other odds and ends. It would amaze me, the amount of stuff that I could accumulate in the depths of that bag. I would clear it out once in a while and sometimes find the odd hundred rupee note or something I thought I had lost.
When I started my postgraduate studies, things were a little easier. I had lesser stuff to carry but my fetish for huge bags still reigned supreme. And I had oodles of stuff in my bag this time around too. Although I didn’t have to carry lunch or water or anything with me, I still had books and case studies, photocopies of notes, thumb drive, laptop, earphones, lip balm and on the occasionally chilly evenings, a sweatshirt too. It was almost criminal to have such a big bag and not have enough stuff to put into it. That was my philosophy back then I guess. Oh! and before I forget, I always had chocolate in my bag. Always. I still do.
Once I started working, I had to downgrade to a smaller bag. Not because I wanted to but because travelling in a local bus in a place like Chennai is like going to war.You end up fighting to get in and fighting to stand or sit and fighting to get out. A bigger bag meant more energy spent in getting in and out and really sore muscles in your neck. So out went in the big bag and in came the medium-sized bag. Even then, I had a lot of stuff in my bag- a book was a constant and so was an umbrella. Now I had sunscreen also to boot (else the Chennai sun would burn you to cinder). Some days I would have my lunch, I had my day planner, pens, loose change as always, phone and charger, earphones, everything from house keys to ATM cards and what not. But I still loved big bags and I missed them.
It was only after I got married and shifted base and started working here, that the TS was acquainted with my fetish for these huge contraptions. Poor TS had the misconception that I was a sane one till then. When he found out this disease of mine, he was flabbergasted. He couldn’t, for the life of him, understand why someone as tiny as me needed such a big bag. Now TS is someone who is as minimalistic as they come. If he could go to work carrying just his wallet and his cellphone he would. And he just refused to buy it when I told him everything in my bag was stuff I needed. TS decided to do something about this habit of mine and so one day, right after I got back home from work, he dumped all the contents of my bag on the couch and went through them. And then he passed his judgement. I carried around a whole load of crap he said. I carried around books I would never read (I cannot read while on the move). I carried around receipts for stuff I bought months ago. I carried around too much office stuff.
TS declared that I should promptly discard all my huge bags and get myself a couple of smallish ones. I refused. There was much sulking and many a tantrum at the end of which TS won. I had to give up my huge ones and switch to small ones where I now can stuff only my lunch and water, telephone charger, deo, hairbrush, ipod, a few meds and a lip balm. That’s it. All receipts I get are to be discarded within a week. I am not allowed to carry around heavy books that I will never read anyways. I am not to carry around the bulky umbrella I had. It has been replaced with a lighter version. I don’t carry too much loose change. Just enough for my daily snacks and stuff. The rest are in notes or I pay by card. My bag is considerably lighter these days although TS and my Mom still grumble I can make do without a few things. But I put my foot down and said no more downgrading. I am sticking to the bags I have now. Although I still miss my big ones. These days they come out of the closet only on my monthly visit to the library.
What kind of bags do you carry around?