Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The object of my affection - tagged by Preethi

PROLOGUE

Prabhu was a stamp collector at 15. He had 2 albums. One - a huge album with a floral design on the glossy cover (which could easily be mistaken for a wedding album!) with 100s of stamps inside. But the other one was what held his interest- the secret dark green album. The ones that will hold the real valuable stamps.

A tri triangle stamp, a cook Island stamp, a gold and silver stamp etc.... all originals.

This was the book that was exposed ONLY to the ones he trusted. You see stamp collectors can get very tempted, they would steal it if they think it is valuable at that age. So one had to divide the treasure from the tradables. So the green book was a secret. Only his closest of friends knew about it and his sister of course. Nothing escapes her eyes you see ;)

The tag - the object of my affection........A small photo album full of things other than photos...

At 12, seeing him, I wanted to collect something too. I was so attracted to all this very serious business of collecting. The discipline, the amount of time spent on it and the discussions associated with it all looked so grown up! And most of all the prospect of keeping secrets was most alluring.....
So my trials began, i started with the stamps of course, spent 2 days collecting and trading and on third day realised i was not up to that mammoth job of remembering the country names, capitals, assessing stamps for trading... and besides it’ll take forever to catch up with my brother. So donated my little collection to him!

In the next couple of days as I was walking home from school i heard some strange noise coming from the side-roads. I knew i wasn’t allowed to stray but couldn’t resist, so two doors down that lane found its source. A house with a huge bird cage in the front yard, filled with love birds.

It was a sight i’d never seen before. I mean they were close to around 100 and they all seemed to be talking at the same time. keeech -keeeech- keeeeech. I was super thrilled. There was green, and there was greenish yellow, dark green but the best looking ones were the ones in blue.

Yes, collecting feathers was my call.

That day was the beginning of innumerable days of returning home late! The next day I mustered enough courage, called for the owner, begged them to sweep the floor of the bird cage for me to collect the feathers. They were amused at first but saw how serious i was and kindly obliged. I began my collection in a humble white box and finished in a humble photo album. But the next 2 years i spent on collecting and trading and secretly storing and all those memories that come streaming in now cannot be traded for a million bucks.

But i wasn’t as wise as my brother. I would flaunt it to anyone who wishes to see my collection. So lost 2 of my loved ones. One a huge soft feather of a brown-white eagle that i had climbed a tree to collect :( and the other of a peacock, a very small feather with its eye right in the middle. Learnt my lesson that day. I cried for 2 days i think!

The best one though was a beautiful feather of the five coloured parrot (pancha-varna-kili). My granny’s gift to me from her village. My crowning jewel!
Green-red-blue-just a tinge of yellow-a hint of blue.......all in one feather.
I remember sleeping with the album beneath my pillow that day.

Every now and then I flip through the pages of the little photo album full of things other than photos ...... remembering all the stories, names, friends, traitors and best of all, the givers ... keeeech-keeeeech-keeeeeeeech love birds, parrots, eagles, peacocks.................:)

Thank you Preethi for this wonderful tag. I thoroughly enjoyed it....

18 Comments:

At 10:23 PM, Blogger prabhu said...

oh! those were the days... :)

 
At 4:20 AM, Blogger romila said...

Lovely! Your post smells heavenly and I can almost see the many colored feather which was your crowning glory. But the best part is- the memories associated with the feathers.

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ prabhu: Damn right bro.

@ romila: Thank you :) Yes. It is amazing what all these childhood days can do to us when we look back.

 
At 11:10 AM, Blogger DUNIYA-ISI-KA-NAAM-HAI said...

Hi Preeti, Super ... And Glad to see the pic back on

 
At 11:21 AM, Blogger c e e d y said...

wow!!!!

I feel light and fluffy :).....and not grey and dull but colorful :)....

maybe its time to take pictures and share it :P

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

This was so beautiful... hey you should post some pictures and flaunt your collection now!! :)

 
At 2:02 PM, Blogger Deepali said...

very nicely written post :)

never was serious about collection but I did have 2 when I was younger.
I first collected key chains and my mom and sis whenever they saw a "cool" one, they'd pick it up for me. I even have a few international ones from a couple of trips abroad :) - my fav is one that has an image of hong kong on it.

Next (and this was very short lived) came the idea of collecting really old coins. My dad had 2 coins from 1947 and I keep trippin on the idea of having money that was in use before independence. so took 1 coin from him and started collecting all the coins from the 70's that would come my way (back then I only saw coins as early as 1971 onwards). Now I do neither and of course no trading (or stealing or showing off) ever happened cause the neither collection was much.

Damn too long a comment.

Happy memories.

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger c e e d y said...

READY FOR THE SUPER BRAWL :)....

btw did you happen to see the video i put in "appearance of who"

and the grand debate tonite - hillary and obama - i ope you or kp write smg about it :)...me not very politically inclined....

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger c e e d y said...

READY FOR THE SUPER BRAWL :)....

btw did you happen to see the video i put in "appearance of who"

and the grand debate tonite - hillary and obama - i ope you or kp write smg about it :)...me not very politically inclined....

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger c e e d y said...

READY FOR THE SUPER BRAWL :)....

btw did you happen to see the video i put in "appearance of who"

and the grand debate tonite - hillary and obama - i ope you or kp write smg about it :)...me not very politically inclined....

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger Solitaire said...

Wow this is so awesome! Reminds me of the time my mother encouraged me to collect stamps and coins. I think she did more work than me to keep it going!

 
At 8:02 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ duniya: hey barat, thanks man. I hope u approve of it now he heeee

@ ceedy: Right. u talking about the feather pics?? ;)

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ deepali:Coin collecting shud be fun too. As usual my bro was in it first, it is a little difficult 'cos you got to have connections! and also you cuold always sell them all on ebay!! make good money .....
Key chain sounds different. I'm sure you can still continue it.
And i like it when ppl write long cmnts, it somehow makes things more personal. So write on.

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ preethi: hey thanks. you know what i'm just thinking of doing just that. Wait up the pics will come :)

@ ceedy: ready for it and no ooooops i haven't seen the u-tube stuff. forgot about it totally. will get to it now.... I'm now watching the debate. fingers crossed!!

@ solitaire: he heeeee :) :)

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Deepali said...

Haha ya few years back even I thought that when the coins are older, I'll sell them on ebay.

Key chains ARE different - the collection has been a little blessing at times thought - I hate entertaining kids - not one bit good at it so whenever there was no one around to entertain kids who were visiting, keychain box would come out. Of the 5 - 6 kids who have seen the collection all have been super impresses by some of them. Had to even give away a few cause a couple of kids asked if they could have some.

Well I actually stopped the day I realized it was like taking money I could use for other things and locking it up into something that had no real value. No trading no nothing right. So told mom and sis to stop. Now I only get a touristy kind of key chain once in 2 - 3 years.

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger Cosmic Joy said...

Collecting was one thing I never really got a chance to do when I was a kid.

After our marriage, we are now into collecting magnets of the places we visit. The front of our regrigerator is adorned with these momentos .. it does feel nice to look at them every once in a while .. plus they serve as a good memory of the places we have visited :)

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ deepali: That is so nice. You parted with your collection? I don't think i can do that. Tanya doesn't know about the feather book he hee heeeee. Still a secret. Collecting things is a phase i think, as we grow up everyday other interests takes over until someone tags you on that !! :)

@ cosmic: aree yes cosmic u won't believe it i collect magnets now, my fridge is filled with magnets too, when i go back to India i'm planning to set a wall of magnets theme at home. Seriously. Isn't it lovely how memories come streaming when you look at them.....

 
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