Wednesday, April 2, 2008

GIFT-WRAPPED IN BROWN PAPER

Today I spent three mundane-magical hours covering my elder daughter's newly-acquired schoolbooks and notebooks in brown paper.
Shiny, plastic-coated brown paper, fresh off the roll. My daughters helped and hindered - taking away the scissors, sticking the cellotape all over their fingers, allowing me to stick the labels only after I uttered a frequently-changed "password" (which I kept forgetting).
As I busily cut and folded the paper, trying to shape the edges and corners neatly, the brown paper turned to sepia in my eyes. Sepia-tinted with memories.
When I was young, my brother and I loved this annual rite of passage to a new class. The crisp smell and bright colours of the new books , tantalisingly hidden under the brown covers, invited hours of exploration. Writing our names on the precisely-pasted labels gave an unmatched thrill of possession.
I saw the same thrill on my daughter's face today. Exploring and possessing - the age-old human instincts.
And so a chore became an adventure for both of us.

4 comments:

lopamudra said...

no such nostalgic moments here...we don't get to see the books which are strictly made for school & not to be meant for parental prying eyes.mostly they work in computers and i have absolutely nothing in common with my daughter and nothing to compare or relate to,hence,no sepia for me just 32 bit 216 color palette.

Archi said...

Waiting for my daughter to move from class to class and relive the moments of covering her books and putting labels :-)

Paul Bernard said...

I'm afraid to say I loathed covering my school books - always made a mess of it. Not very crafty, me.
Thanks for commenting on my blog last week. Sorry - only just getting time to answer people.
You asked what writers inspire me. You mentioned Poe, and he is an influence - I like my Gothic horror. But I would say HP Lovecraft was a bigger influence on the weird fiction. For the other stuff, Raymond Carver and John Steinbeck with a little Virginia Woolf too.
Who are your influences?

Arushisdost said...

forgetting passwords - a simpler solution, I came across decades earlier - ROBOFORM.com.
There are other niceties also - all secure completely & cheap. All the information you enter stays on your computer - not on an obscure server.
Finally, you do need to remember the Master Password (only one), which may be as simple as combination of birth years of your children in ascending or descending order., e.g., 200219991996.
The tool to simplify your life in cyber arena.

Best wishes