Zap back ten years and offer a gift to this Child of the Universe at age 8- and guess what I would want.
An age-old liking compounded by my obsession for books and paper.
I loved collecting pencil boxes. Of course, as kids, all of us waged the my-box-is-better-than-yours-naanananaaa wars with classmates and buddies and got influenced by the shop-wale uncle’s this-one-is-the-latest-beta-imported-from-Bombay sales talk. In primary school, I remember flaunting a yellowish-green one shaped like a music system with a mathematical tables slider and a pink Alladin and Jasmine one which had a magnet mechanism to close shut in particular- although fashion trends and me are poles apart,I was quite a modest trendsetter in such matters!
I enjoyed art class-preferred painting over drawing and drew my own lines and colored within, much to the obvious irk of the teacher! Middle school art was enjoyable, but 50 students cooped to paint within the walls of four topics led to a lot of..ahem..originality! Primary school was the best- a class of 22, we enjoyed teaching the art instructor a craft or two which would require long hours of preliminary work under a shady tree we haunted during break. But the end result was always great- we used to puzzle our-6-year-selves with such innovative concepts of engineering that a weekend would be enough to start from scratch!
Pens-you name it, I’ve had it-and I think the longest fad was for glitter pens. I have never liked markers much, although they are pretty handy. Like good fountain pens, love gel, and cannot stand certain brands of ball-point pens which make my wrists swell up due to the pressure I tend to apply while writing! Prefer cursive in black to blue anyday-an inclination formed due to my innate love for pencils.
We used pencils in Primary School, and somehow, the habit stuck through middle, high, higher secondary, and now-college. No, I do not stick a pencil in my pocket nor collect perfectly carved pencil sharpening with glitter or flowers, but academics at home and a dark or light leaded pencil-depending on my mood (and the lighting!)- pacify me to no describable end.
Love fancy letterpads! Had won so many from Tinkle, with Chamataka and Shikari Shambu dotting the sidelines, that it became an addiction. Hallmark and Archies in town were constant prey, and I had my own standard letterpad by the time I turned 12- a sophisticated yellow background with a sunflower framed in red in the bottom right corner.
Now? With deadlines galore and tests on the double? With markets playing peka-boo? With that most important number on the television screen?
Give me that envelope and let me scribble on it with a ball point refill!
* That was ten years ago and I was a sincere kid. Now I am a mean Belgian- and-Swiss-dark-chocolate monster. Bring on le rain de la chocolate! Gimme gimme.. *growl*