The object of my affection - tagged by Preethi
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....