Wednesday, 16 May 2012

a little story about a little girl...

once upon a time, in a land far away, lived a little girl...  ok, ok.. i admit that was a bit too much... well, it was actually sometime in the late 80's, and the land was india...

there lived a little girl though, whom this story happens to be all about... like most other little girls, she grew up on a diet of fairy tales and fantasy...

one day she had gone over to the neighbour's house to play, and her playmate's little brother was busy with a colouring book. the story reaches a crucial point now, when the boy, deciding he needed assistance, asked our little girl what colour he should use for a suitcase in one of the colouring book pages.

maybe the girl gave it some thought, maybe she didnt. (it was a long time ago, remember ? the itty bitty details are forgotten.) what matters, is that she told him, "blue" . yes, blue, for a suitcase. it doesnt seem like such an outrageous idea now, but it was the 80s and it was india. suitcases came in black, brown, or maybe, grey. off-beat colours werent so common. (especially among the middle class indian traveller whose primary reason for travel was still pilgrimage !)

when the parents of the boy looked at the colouring book sometime later, they thought the idea of a bright blue suitcase implausible. maybe even impossible.  whatever it was, they lost no time in teasing and making fun of the little girl and her idea. despite the girl insisting that it wasnt such a bad idea, and maybe she had even seen them somewhere. anyway, the family for whatever reason found it to be amusing, and got a real kick out of making fun of the poor girl and her idea.

fast forward more than two decades later. much water had flown under the bridge. luggage came not just in blue or green, but pink and purple. with polka dots and animal prints and houndstooth. with cartoon characters. practically any colour you wanted. the little girl (who was not so little now) crossed the seas and spent hours sitting around and people-watching in airports in different countries, different continents. and boy, did she see a sea of luggage in every colour imaginable... and her thoughts often went back to that incident, and that family, which for some reason lingered on in her memory despite the years.

moral of the story : never make fun of a child's creativity.
never ridicule a child's idea, just because it seems funny to you. you never know.
dont belittle a child just because you have lost touch with the child in you.
and most importantly, if you cant say something nice, say nothing. zip.

update : when i wrote this post a year ago, the pics i had posted above was from a sale flyer dropped in our mailbox. (which i photo'ed, cropped and posted) 
yesterday i had accompanied friends who were luggage shopping, and i couldnt help smiling to myself when i saw suitcases in the brightest possible colours - so took some pics so that i could add them here. (pics are mobile-camera quality though, and i'm no good at taking pics with a mobile.)


luggage, bright colours

bright color luggage

strolley, luggage, suitcase, bright color

Thursday, 3 May 2012

may day reflections...

this post comes a couple of days late, but then its never too late to reflect on certain things, isn't it...

may 1st is celebrated as May-day - worker's day or labourer's day, in many countries around the world (except, as one would expect, in the US - which has its own labor day in the end of summer)... and it is a public holiday in india.

being a public holiday, the vernacular indian channels had lined up an array of 'special' programs... the trailer of one of those programs showed celebrities talking about the first salaries they had received in life... and that got me thinking of my own...

the first 'official' payment i got wasnt exactly a salary, but a stipend for the training i had to do for my course. that was 11 years ago. and an insignificant sum of Rs450 a month. (thats about $10, and it seems so weird now that such a sum was a month's payment - whatever be the service !)

thinking back now, its amazing how having money of one's own could give a feeling of confidence and happiness, regardless of how small the amount was.

i guess i was quite frugal, even back then. besides petrol for my beloved scooty and the occasional cost of books and the frequent cost of exam fees, the money was spent on little else. i am happy and thankful that my friends too are the simple and no-frills kind (birds of a feather ?) - for having a good time those days, we didn't need overpriced drinks from fancy malls, or frequent movies in expensive multiplexes... in fact i would have barely seen one or two movies a year those days... those were days when i had no computer, no branded clothes, and no mobile phone (my first mobile phone came some years later, in 2005 - after i earned my first real salary )... and yet felt a lot of freedom and happiness...

well thats the story of the paltry 450.. and how it went a long way in life... a little flashback from not so long ago, yet what seems like long ago... hmmmm...

since the post is in the spirit of May-day , i've attached the above image, which is the Triumph of Labour statue at the marina beach, chennai. it was sculpted by Debi prasad roy chowdry, who was the principal of the college of fine arts in chennai.
 (image source- wikipedia  )


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