My grandfather once gifted me a Ray-Ban, when I was not concerned about its authenticity; I was seven if my memory serves me correctly. I clung to it for years and cared for it like I wouldn’t care for an authentic one today.
Digitization hadn’t crept in yet. My grandfather used to type his way at work. When I visited him at his office, he had all sorts of files and papers at his desk, ornated with stamps of various shapes and sizes. I liked to see him type. The sound of the typewriter clicks and ding of the carriage return felt musical to my ears. On my lucky days, even I got to type my name on the white sheets.
We used to go for walks in the tourist-struck Mall Road, Mussoorie. I had learnt to flaunt those pair of stylish sunglasses back then. I was so fond of them that I sported them until the night dawned and it became impossible to see anything.
We frequently visited small restaurants in the suburbs. My grandfather bought me sweets, and I used to have my fill. There was a particular brand of biscuit that cost him two bucks, and I was more than happy to have it.
My father travelled across India, not out of passion, but his job took him. In those days, I used to write inland letters to him. I filled in half the portion of the letter with my wishlist of insane stuff. I remember once I asked for six kinds of cricket balls and four types of bats. I guess I considered him Santa who’s going to bring me what I wish. I didn’t even think how he would carry all those things along with his luggage. I had not watched a cricket match back then, but I was a fan. That was the hype. Men liked and played cricket.
I see my grandfather now. I wish I could be more close to him in person.
I am in my late twenties now. During festivals and other special occasions, our house floods with sweets of several varieties. They remain in the refrigerator for days and is eaten gradually, to be thrown out at last for fear of food poisoning. The two bucks biscuit did quite well though and managed to stick around until now.
My wishlist shrunk in all these years. And, today I don’t even have a wishlist.
The transition was so gradual that I never paid heed. When I look back in time, I notice everything.
It was my oblivious mind that never let me feel it, and I came of age.
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