Wednesday, December 31, 2008

CALENDAR COLLECTIBLES

This is the time for many a change, including that of changing the calendars on the walls and on desktops.

Calendars come in two basic categories, the USEFUL (use and throw) and the INTERESTING (display and then keep).

The useful ones are no-frills-only-numbers-in-bold-type (which I can see from a distance without squinting), with the holidays generously marked out in red. These are usually gifted by various publishers (being a teacher has its perks) or bought for Rs 25 (for the Hindi version of Kalnirnay – ‘time-determination’). The Kalnirnay has detailed information on moon-phases and festivals and fasting-feasting dates, all in fine print my maid loves to pore over.

I, however, love getting my hands on interesting calendars, though not of the Kingfisher lean-mean-unclothed-supermodels-variety (maybe I’m envious of the monthly parade of hourglass figures). I like calendars with interesting concepts, not just nice photos but read-worthy texts as well.

In 1997, HSBC, my then-employer then called HONGKONGBANK, brought out a calendar showcasing different traditional trades and crafts of colonized India, with authentic portraits of the craftsmen and brief write-ups. A museum-piece.

The next year, they had a calendar with photos of different instruments used to measure time, chronicling the journey of time from sun-dials to modern nanosecond-measuring digital clocks. A calendar which will definitely last the test of time.

Three years ago, the spouse got a desktop calendar from an association of Bengali book publishers, which had rare photographs of Satyajit Ray and his films. A fine display of the master’s art, for all Bengalis to cherish.

I also love the PETA calendar, which has heart-warming tales (and totally-lovable photos with cute names) of various animals and birds rescued by PETA during the previous year. Each month tells a Janus-faced story of human cruelty and human charity, reminding us of the good and the bad that make up our world.

And on that note, I would like to say HAPPY NEW YEAR in hope and prayer.

12 comments:

Vivek Patwardhan said...

Interesting post, enjoyed reading it. Calendars seem to have lost their importance because of electronic diaries available everywhere, but my generation will remember many great calendars which are not getting published any more. Advani Oerlikon used to publish calendars which carried four paintings of a great a great artist and were much sought after calendars. My employer publishes [a] a calendar for muslim community which all dealers demand in great numbers, [b] a hindu calendar giving 'auspicious' time too and it runs from Diwali to Diwali, [c] a Jan Dec calendar. I think the last one is least in demand.
Thanks for bringing an interesting subject to us,
Vivek

ugich konitari said...

Some calendars emphasize the photographs/visuals, and some the dates and their significance. When I was a child, there used to be some company in the south, that had a calendar where 90% of the space consisted of the Goddess Lakshmi, in absolute intricate detail/jewellery/accessories/. Every year it was the same Goddess, but always looked different. A small set of pages at the bottom, kind of hurriedly took you through the months.

Of course we didnt go anywhere near Kingfisher types, but I remember Air India having a calendar that was always greatly prized.

Today, I enjoy the Kalnirnay types. they have so much interesting information on the back of eachpage......

Enjoyed your post a lot....happy new Year to you and your family.....

Lazyani said...

Here's wishing you a very Happy New Year Sucharita as you turn the first page of the new calendar that you have been gifted this year.

Pradip Biswas said...

I like calendars in which the paintings or photos in them remind us the flavour of the month.

Wish you and all your family members a very happy New year. Visit my blog sometimes.

jyotsana said...

hi sucharita a very happy new year to you ....

sukku said...

Happy New Year...and what calendar did you get this year?

Mina Jade said...

Happy New Year to you, too!
And PETA calendar is great. Animals are best friends for me!

Stitchwhiz said...

I put away my "2008 Through the Glorious End -The Out of Office Countdown - Yes the End of George W. Bush is Near" calendar, even though we have 19 more days to go until the inauguration of Barack Obama. And I opened up my "B(eco)me 2009" from Half Price Books, and my Quilts 2009 calendars.

Your post prompted me to get out a stack of old calendars I've saved over the years- what a collection I've got. I find now I not only love calendars but also my notebooks and journals that have recorded lists and notes, the major and minor events in my life.

SwAtI said...

Heyyy!!
Wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!! :)

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Hi Vivek, UK, Lazyani, Swati, Stichwiz, Pradip, Jyotsna, Mina, and Sukku,

Hope you all have nice calendars for 2009 and a great year to match. I enjoyed reading about your calendar-comments, wish I could see them, though.

my space said...

Happy New Year... Hmm never got a kingfisher calendar though heard lots abt it...as a kid i remember we had these plain ones with numbers..now i get every year a calendar from my neighbour,who is a devout follower of sai baba..it has sai baba in different poses ,huge blow up n dates are really tiny...its tough cos i can`t chuck it nor keep it ..no place to hang u see

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Hi Myspace,

Thanks for visiting. Sai baba in diffrent poses seems rather, you, know, quirky?