23 March 2008

Spring Cleaning

Spring is here! And, with it, comes spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is a period in spring set aside for cleaning a house, normally applied in colder climates, where the house is difficult to clean in winter. I've been indulging in some serious spring cleaning of my house every weekend. I might add that cleaning, organizing and decorating my home is one of my passions. My husband's unfortunately is to leave a general mess in his wake. So my work is usually doubled; not that I mind. My dear hubby maintains that this is as it should be, for if he didn't create the mess in the first place, I wouldn't get to indulge in my fetish for cleaning! So, the curtains, the cupboards and closets, furniture, the fans, the lights - everything has been getting a thorough cleaning this past few days. The smell of dust, the whirr of the vaccuum cleaner and the endless scrubbing and dusting of various pieces of furniture dominate our weekends these days. But everything is worth the glowing, spic n span look of my home:-)

We give so much importance to cleaning of our surroundings. Infact, many cultures follow this tradition. Iranians continue the practice of "khooneh takouni" which literally means "shaking the house" just before their new year- Nouroz. Everything in the house is thoroughly cleaned, from the drapes to the furniture. The Jews observe thorough cleansing of the home in anticipation of the spring-time holiday of Passover. In Greece, and other Orthodox nations, it is traditional to clean the house thoroughly either right before, or during, the first week of Great Lent, which is referred to as Clean Week. Chinese tradition of Feng shui emphasizes freeing your home from clutter by clearing your home of old and unused items.

As we age and experience more of life, we consciously or unconciously keep compromising with our ideals and principles. It becomes ok to tell "white" lies, to gossip and back-bite about our friends and colleagues (its all in fun, we claim!). As we climb up the corporate or social ladder politics ceases to be a dirty word. We accumulate so much emotional baggage in the form of envy, hatred and bitterness in our souls. We become selfish in the pursuit of money and luxuries and forget to be nice to our family, friends and even to ourselves. We suffer from headaches, depression and various complexes. We cease to be righteously indignant of the exploitation and corruption of values around us. We turn a blind eye to the sufferings of others as it would inconvenience us to get involved.

Surely then, a similar importance should be given to the cleansing our souls? How seriously do we take this activity? Do we set aside a time every year for this? I believe some of the ancient cultures already advocate this, but it is not being followed as religiously. I wonder why.


Veena said...

another good one neel.. especially the last para - 'how much time do we set aside to clean our souls '

Nilu said...

Thanks, Veena, for checking my posts daily :-) I feel so good to see a comment from you whenever I check my blog.

Shruti said...

Dear Nilu,

I read your blog after quite a few weeks. Your post about spring cleaning is very interesting. Your knowledge of other cultures is impressive and makes the post more relevant and informative. The parallel drawn in the last paragraph might be a little too didactic though :)


Nilu said...

what's wrong with being didactic ?!

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