A Crumpled Piece of Paper: Of Reassuring Hopes

It was one of those distasteful days when I dragged my feet off work back home. I was happy to call it quits and retire within the contentment of my four-walled roof. A comfort that no can provide. Some days are meant to be this way.

A crumpled piece of paper

I latched open the lock on my door and saw a piece of paper in the middle of the hall, balled up on the floor. My senses flared up for I despise this cumbersome process. Why would someone crush a paper and not trash it? The bin is barely a centimetre away! On second thoughts, it had been a crabby day. Before I cursed the perpetrator under my breath, I picked up the crumpled paper and trashed it. Here was a piece derived from wood pulp that had taken years to descend into its current form, only to be trashed remorselessly within seconds. Courtesy: The remarkable race of homosapiens.

When eventualities divulge from anticipations, it is convenient to blame the cohabitant. Earlier – the same morning at work – could have gone by better. The number of emails to be sometimes cleared can be overwhelming. You would have been the last person to leave the previous night, switching out the lights and pulling down the shutters. The day would have been satisfactory, charred with an accomplishing sense of solace. And yet, the next day, here you are, greeted with a fresh pile of unread emails.

Crumpled paper :: Partially-baked temptations can be alluring for Peek-a-boo is a surprise-filled game

I work for a newly-formed team; the structure underwent a revamp recently. While being the veteran, I got to handle marketing. My happiness knew no bounds because it was a profile of my choice. However, reinventing the wheel with a team while addressing their regularly imposing thoughts is a task that can drain one’s brains out. The constant buzzing of the phone to walk each of them patiently through their ‘guess who’ questions amidst the pile of your work is unequivocally draining. Physically and mentally. Wait, isn’t this why I am paid? Self-introspecting questions play manipulative games with the (in)ability to reason. What am I doing here? Is the job worthwhile to be serving as the only veteran on the counter? And then comes into play the flip side. For particular tugs are thrust into your hand already. Do I want to retreat from my comfort zone and start over? I know the marketing calendar and the business unit at the back of my hands. Do I want to give this up? It’s a sporadic battle of the self with the conscience. There emerges an urge to justify that alter ego rapidly tempering into a devil’s advocate. Bah! The mind is fickle. When it’s great, all’s roses. When it’s not, damn the thorns.

There is a tendency to discern factors, professionally and otherwise, in a feeble light. When something doesn’t work in favour, trash the process out and start over. Just as conveniently as that piece of crumpled paper trodded off to the bin. The irony here is, the wish for such manipulative impulses takes control despite having that default text running in a radiant green at the bottom of every official email signature of mine – Print responsibly. Save trees.

A time-lapse proclaims of tales captured in a sequence of frames. The images frozen as a part this technique boast of transitions that take place slowly at set intervals. Just as daylight paves the way to dusk, evenings need to harbinger the noose of the rope back to dawns.

A crumpled piece of paper talks of stories untold. Of an abandoned attempt at the first blueprint. Of a signature, that doesn’t appeal. Of a page from a diary that none must skim through, let alone scrutinise. Of a recipe that didn’t yield well in the kitchen. Of skewed expectations. Of frustrations, anxieties and failures to release native anticipations.

The grass always appears greener on the other side. If only, this were held good – for good. If only, a piece of crumpled paper were given the spotlight when it comes to the diplomatic process of ageing. Of folds and creases that hold adventures engraved skin-deep.


Of the resistance a pot of milk undergoes while on the angrily blazing stove. Of childhood memories of the many tic tac toes and book cricket. Of the first love letter that dawned an ear-to-ear grin at the recipient’s end, that could only mean acceptance. Of the hawker serving nibbles in an age-old newspaper after a walk at dusk. Of a crumpled-looking newborn dozing off to glory in its crib. Of the layers of self-draped linens on a snowy morning. Of the stretch marks privileged to a lady after birthing. Of a kid’s crinkled wound on the knee when semi-dried.

If only, the mind is as manipulative as we let it be, even a piece of crumpled paper can signify hope. Of nostalgic memories. Of boundless joy.

Photographs: Chennai – Perungudi, Kelambakkam