The typewriter and keyboards may keep our memories safe in a digital locker. But they will never be able to replace the smell of paper, the crisp look of bound books and the firm grip of a clasp — reassuring a sentimental fool like me, that her priceless emotions are locked safely.
The Daily Post has a guest this week – ROY G. BIV. Head over and say a big hi!
PS. I always fancied that some day I’d be famous and my journals and sketchbooks might become collectibles — maybe even included in an auction. I know it’s unlikely. But a girl can dream 🙂
This week the Daily Post asks us to post something orange. Strangely, there is very little orange surrounding me. Not even my repository of photos has a hint of orange. I turned away from the monitor, wondering what to do, when this neon orange paper flower caught my eye. So for the first time, I decided to shoot something new for the challenge.*
This flower was made by one of my mother’s little students. It was great fun to shoot this adorable gift.
Just as I was about to post, I read the fine print — it had to be gallery. Bummer! I told my mother I needed more images with orange. And one by one, she brought things for me to click. An Indian tri-color ribbon, a bangle, orange candies — which were also from her students. My mother encourages me in the sweetest ways possible 🙂
This morning, we visited the Mughal Gardens, and there too, she pointed at everything orange. To be honest though, we weren’t very impressed by this year’s flowers.**
And so, for today, I will stick to just one picture. Hope you like it 🙂
* Yeah, I cheat most of the time by picking shots I’ve clicked before, and most of the time my posts are drafts waiting to be posted. I just adapt each draft for each challenge!
** The Mughal Gardens are within the President’s Estate — the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The gardens are open for public, free of cost, for one month, every year. Maybe we have very high standards… we Delhi wallahs are spoilt rotten, I tell ya.
This week I cut the tag off a pair of jeans. The look and feel, the quality, the whiteness, even the metal rim around the hole – made me fall in love with the tag! And I had an idea. I wanted to use it – for something. This evening, I thought I’d take a picture of it before I actually did something with it. And then I just took pictures of it – trying to focus on the quality of the paper.
We had received several gifts at the family gathering. All the gifts were wrapped up in glittering and colourful wrappers, and we looked forward to unwrapping them!
As I began unwrapping one of the boxes, the note on top of the wrapper caught my attention. It was the prettiest little label I had seen and wondered why someone would squander money on just a label. As I took it out, I noticed the back of the card.
I examined it closely. There were pencil lines at the back of the note. I looked closer, and there was a little slit on one of the edges. The overlapping paper had an uneven edge.
‘It’s hand-made!’ I screamed with joy.
I do not remember the colour of the wrapping paper, or even the gift inside. But I loved the name tag, and kept it along with all of my other treasures.
It could have easily been something bought from a stationary shop, but it wasn’t. It could have been just another label. But it wasn’t. I loved how someone had taken the pains to make something, and that is why it qualifies as a masterpiece!
After years of internet addiction, I found myself doubting my ability to read a physical book. Is it possible to go back to reading a paper book – cover to cover?
Travelling by train, after many years, was, at once, both exciting, and disheartening. We were to be confined to the train for a total of 60 hours. No access to a computer, or the internet. It was a welcome break. But that meant I’d have to find something else to do… Perhaps read a book?
I stared at the long row of bookshelves – there were perhaps close to two hundred books. Comprehensive books on all aspects of business, a twenty four-volume set on crafts, course material on computer science, old and yellowing documentation on world history, several rather heavy books purchased through mail offers, essays on English literature, general knowledge, several abridged (poorly edited) children’s illustrated classics, and an assortment of books on health, spirituality, philosophy, and even palmistry!
Sandwiched in between these books, were some books I recognised. Some purchased, some gifted, and some inherited – all with a particular memory attached. The weathered ‘As You Like It’, which I had requested my parents to buy so that I could read it during the summer vacations. The ‘Little Women’ that my aunt had gifted me for my tenth birthday, with a handwritten note inside. The unabridged ‘Pride and Prejudice’, which I had already read thrice!
For the past several years, bringing books had been, unofficially, banned. But if I brought them temporarily, it wouldn’t hurt – much. So two days before our departure, I struck a deal with a friend of mine. We were going to have a book exchange!
On the staircase of a busy metro station, to the amusement of passengers, two girls sat, chatting – catching up on each other’s lives, pondering over some serious topics, and, at times, giggling uncontrollably. As the evening wore on, we decided to call it a day and presented our books to each other.
On the way back, I stared at the paper bag – six books. I hadn’t read a book – cover to cover – for several years. The only exception being textbooks. I began doubting myself. Would I be able to read through even one book, leave alone six? I picked one up and started reading the first paragraph. I felt uneasy. I couldn’t comprehend it. I read it again. I heard the train approaching the platform, and shut the book.
At home, I lined up the books, alongside the other things, I was to pack into the suitcase. There is something about a book, which has been read by a friend, which has a worn out cover, and whose pages are yellow. After pacing up and down a few times, I picked one up. Just a few pages…
A little while later, I looked up at the clock. It was well past dinner time. Everyone had finished eating, and the packing up, for the journey, had commenced.
Time had flown by, and just like that, I had given myself up to a fictitious world. My surroundings changed, I left reality behind. The repeated calls for dinner, had fallen on deaf ears. I was blissfully unaware of the mounting anxiety around the house, as everyone was packing up their suitcases. I just read.
I do not recall ever sitting and reading, without falling asleep. I had doubted my ability to read. And now, I was devouring a book like a ravenous beast.
Before I knew it, I’d finished three-quarters of the book, and nothing, but the realisation that there were only a few hours left for our departure, could part me from the book! I packed the books in, and couldn’t wait to finish reading my newly acquired books.
Once upon a time, little children made greeting cards using many things – the chief ingredient was, however, called paper. Many children enjoyed it, but some didn’t. So they employed adults to make them, or went to the marketplace.
Then one day, something called the ‘Internet’, entered the kingdom. It didn’t like what it saw, and started its quest to find an alternative. It made friends – lots of friends. It was knowledgeable, and paid regular visits to everyone. It became very popular, and eventually conquered the kingdom of ‘Human Race’.
Under the new rule, greeting cards lost favour with the peasants. Many children, adults, and trees were happy with this, and they all are trying to live happily ever after…
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I was rummaging through a shelf, looking for a piece of cardboard. It was the bottommost shelf – home to a lifetime of scrap paper, greeting cards, fancy and colourful invitations.
Since childhood, paper has fascinated me. That bottom shelf, is my treasure – the different colours, and textures, some glossy and many handmade. While most were addressed to us, there were a few which were given to me because I loved collecting them.
As children, we made our own cards, and gladly received those made by our friends. By the time we left school, the concept of anything hand-made, was all but dead. Even though I would have loved to make a card, I feared, that it would be misconstrued as a miserly act. So we occasionally bought cards.
With the advent of the internet, and increasing emphasis on saving trees, cards have become electronic. And why not – it saves trees, and a lot of space in our cupboard!
After finding what I was looking for, I began shoving everything back inside, when a few cards caught my eye. A beautiful batik card, which was mailed to us by relatives, and a hand-made card. Both beautiful in their own ways.
I unfolded the hand made one. In a world ruled by everything electronic, my friend had taken out the time to make something for me. It was the last hand-made card I received, and perhaps the one I will treasure the most…
The elections for the municipal corporation were held today. Where there are elections, there is bound to be campaigning. So I too have jumped into the campaign mode. Albeit, of a different kind.
This year, as part of an internal competition, students were asked to make short films under various categories. I too was encouraged to participate.
I had no clue as to what I should do. But since the staff members wanted me to participate, I searched the internet world for some inspiration. After several days of wandering, out of sheer desperation, I decided to settle for a biography. It wasn’t the most original of ideas, and it wasn’t very interesting, but it was something. After discussing it with our teacher, I picked up the registration form and headed home.
The evening had set in, and I was sitting next to the window of the local bus. As the wind blew across my face, something happened. All of a sudden words streamed into my head. In a matter of a few minutes, I had a concept, a story, and even a vague picture in my mind.
I submitted my form on the very last day of the registration and over the next 4 weeks I set about executing it. And so, I am proud to present to you, Mr Paper.
This is an advertisement for a fictitious company named Papyres. The spelling mistake is intentional. I had intended it to be Papyrus, but after I had almost completed the animation, I searched, and found out that it was a real company. So I had to change it.
That brings me to the disclaimer – this video is a purely creative venture and not made for any commercial purposes.
So what does all this have to do with campaigning? Well, this video was short-listed for the viewers’ choice award. Yippee 😀 So now I have to get people to ‘like’ this video on Facebook. Being one of the rare breed of people not having such an account, I decided to post it here. So if anyone accidentally stumbles on to this blog, I hope you have a look at the video. Liking is not compulsory, but I do hope you enjoy it. I, for sure, enjoyed making it. 🙂
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For those interested in ‘liking’ it on Facebook, it is posted on this page:
Update: The competition ended in the video being nominated for the award. It was showcased during the cultural programme and award ceremony :). The response on the facebook page was overwhelming and I have a lot of people to thank for that! Thanks everyone! 🙂