Showing posts with label Nostalgia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nostalgia. Show all posts

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Phillumeny: Collecting Stories, One Matchbox at a Time!

I was a child, travelling in a train when I found this matchbox.

The first matchbox that caught my attention :)

Little did i know that this would be my first ever matchbox in my upcoming collection that I'll start to build in my teenage years.

a collector of matchbox or matchbook labels.

I am a phillumenist. I find it interesting how these little matchboxes stores such large stories. What started off as an inexpensive hobby for me, it turned soon into a gateway of understanding our history better. With over hundreds of matchboxes in my collection, I have noticed how there is a common theme that runs across all the designs on the pack. While tigers, elephants, roosters and bicycles are the most common ones, the diversity ranges from mode of transports, food items, historic monuments and deities of worship. All of them printed beautifully according to the era in which they were made, like a pretty intrinsic design on a tiny box! A piece of art.

I remember getting these as souvenirs while I travel to any part of the globe as I search for a local paanwala with my eyes glued to the window of my car to get a unique matchbox this time. And oh how the managers raised their eyebrows when I asked for a matchbox in a non smoking room in the hotel. My friend Pranjali, helping me in building up this collection in the summer break and my mom remembering all the boxes I still need. So many memories!

I don't understand why phillumeny isn't as popular as it should be. Just like stamps, it depicts the history of the era, stories and values that raises a society and hence are little treasures that serves as the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle when we look back in time. With the modern times, it only gets less popular which concerns me. I wished everyone can see with the same amazement as the seven year old me in the train.

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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Brewing Chai: Why Indians love tea

As I was driving through the old streets of Delhi, I couldn't help but notice the number of chai-wallahs or tea vendors occupying their place in the vicinity. This made me think of how Chai is one drink that India cannot live without.

My mom has been in love with Chai for as long as I can remember. Saying that, the first thing she taught me in the kitchen was how to make a cup of piping hot ginger tea, the way she likes it. I remember how fascinated I was when I saw her brewing tea for the first time. She added some tea leaves and sugar in the water to boil along with spicy root ginger (which is a must in her tea) and then added milk to create a harmonious melody between them all. When I caught a cold or during the winters, she added some holy basil, cloves, cardamoms, black pepper and told me this will keep the cold at bay.

Chai or tea
You'll find this in every home

Like her, there are thousands of people where tea is a staple in the homes of India and no, I'm not talking about those people where they will prefer tea over other drinks occasionally. I mean, they need their cuppa at least once or more in a day. 

Tea is undoubtedly India's favorite drink and rightly so, this nation is the second largest producer of tea in the world after China. You go to visit any home in India, the first question is "Would you like some tea?." From the streets and corners, the railway stations having vendors shouting "Chai lelo Chaaaiiiii", the Assam tea near the foothills of the mountains, the Masala Chai, the Cutting chai, the 5-star tea, the Kulhad (red clay cups) chai, the Kehwa, the Kashmiri sheer tea, the Ginger tea to the modern favorite Green tea. This nation runs on Chai! 

Different types of tea
Different types of Chai

My mother used to brew tea and hand it to me while I was preparing for my boards in class 12th as I studied late at night. An energy booster that is, this memory will forever stick with me along with how I used to help her out as a kid. Does this make it so special here? Making and recreating these memories from generations to generations as it evokes emotions each time it is sipped with a loud nostalgia sigh later. 

Whatever it is, tea has been conditioned into our system now. It's a part of the nation, an integral part that is. For the rest of us, the monsoons are here. Let's have some hot chai and pakodas, will you?

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Cherishing the PRESENT: Lets live in the moment

We humans are weird. We tend to search and look for things that makes us rethink everything about life and then lose our moment of happiness. One such reason is longing for the past or being afraid of the future.

We have quite forgotten how to live in the present without letting our mind drift off to an another time frame.

I was struggling with this right now before it struck me and I decided writing it. I was constantly being reminded by my brain that I'm leaving for college next week. Hence I was wasting the one week I already have also which is inevitable by focusing on what the future holds for me rather than enjoying and cherishing these days.

We tend to look back and yearn for the days gone by, trying to get one last chance to say or do things that we haven't while we had the chance. We go into nostalgia and reminisce. We replay all the scenes in our head and think about what could have we said or done if you were there now.

We get so caught up in the past because we did not allow to live those pasts when they were our presents. 

We also seem to look and figure out what lies ahead of us, the future. We're scared of what it holds for us.  The worst part of living in the past or the future is that we lose the power of controlling the present and creating the future. We lose the ability to create the future that we have been stressing over. The past is gone, the future hasn't arrived yet. The only place where we could take an action is the present.

If you aren't living in the moment, you're living an illusion.

Living in the moment means doing or feeling or seeing something what is right in front of you, in your surroundings. The most important thing is to let yourself experience everything, the good, the bad and the ugly and once you have experience it, you let it pass. We must feel the presence of the moment otherwise it will haunt us and would make us live life with regrets.

Lets live in the current frame of time and feel the cool breeze and smell the fragrant flowers because what is life full of care if you have no time to stand and stare.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Sleepless Nights: When your mind is racing with thoughts

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There're those nights when your mind will refuse to shut up and all you would do is THINK. You would think about what happened the past hour, the past week, the past month or perhaps the past year. You would think about the good and the bad. You would think about what could have been, what should and why it didn't. You would keep replaying the moments like a stuck record tape until you're convinced that the universe is conspired against you and you just can't seem to have your own way.

You would toss and turn around in your bed unable to fall asleep. You would wonder why isn't life so perfect? Why isn't life similar to fairy tales in the books and the movies? Why couldn't you be flawless and perfect? Why is it when everything seems so easy and right, it ends?

"At any given point of time, our one foot is in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss."

It's at night when you seem to see your true desires.You would think of the failures and what would have people said, the successes and how it motivates you to strive for better from then, the messages that you never sent, the things you never meant. You reflect on the moments of unhappiness which gets momentarily blinded by the sun. 

Its when you become poets and philosophers.

Its that time of the night when your most tender, vulnerable side of you come into play in front of the non judgmental  eyes of the stars. At this current point of time you feel completely alone. At night when the world goes to sleep, you're left with your worries, fears and pains. The weight of all this might me unbearable. The feeling of chaos in your mind makes sleep almost impossible and all you really want is someone to hold you and say "You're not alone". 

Ah! These magical words would light up your spirits but well, there is no one around and instead you tell your mind to shut up and sleep so that you could wake up on time for the important meeting the next day. But your brain doesn't listen and you are left with your fears gripping you tight making you paralyzed. Your mind races and so does your heartbeat. It is truly said that "Negative thoughts creates room for more negativity to appear"

So, you start from one incident and jump on to the next related incident and the journey is endless and you're exhausted. You look at the clock and it says 3 am and finally your eyes weigh more than your thoughts and you drift off to sleep.

How do I know all this, you might ask. I have been in your shoes would be my reply.

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Friday, 11 July 2014

A nostalgic blast from the past

I clutched the mp3 player in my hands tighter as the tune I listened was drifting me to the past. I have always called music as an effective mode of a time machine. Re-discovering my favorite old songs and my mp3 player which I neglected a while back when I fell in love with my iPod Touch, I was immersed in a deep thought. Nostalgia hit me, quite hard. I was astonished to see how much my life, my thoughts have changed in all these years and all it takes is one song, to bring all those memories back.

Not only songs, it could be anything that could trigger nostalgia and evoke memories that you thought lay dead within your brain. A photograph, a tune, a smell, a touch and before you know it, you're transported back in time to relive those moments that you had thought lost forever.

The other day, I saw an ice cream cart on my way to the mall. I saw a few children gathered around him eating ice lollies. That sight took me back instantly to a park that my mother used to take me as a kid and where I used to have an orange bar. Now, I don't have anything less than a Baskin Robin chocolate fudge. The under constructed building that I pass by almost all weekends where I had my first garlic bread and pizza with my dad which paved the way to my love for Italian cuisine further, the song on the radio from the long lost years, that reminds me of my childhood days and the person that I used to be and the list could go on.

The smell of rain reminds me of my grandmother home where I used to play in the rain and my grandmother made us tea and fried chips which she said was the perfect snack for a rainy day. The fragrance of Dior Addict makes me remind of my high school days.

Like every evening, I'm hearing children playing outside together happily which takes me back to the park I used to visit each Thursday and played the entire evening, sliding, building sandcastles and making friends from different countries while my mom and dad sat on a bench smiling at me.

I'll get teary eyed if I continue this post any further. It's amazing how as a child we want to grow up and become an adult and as soon you become one, you want to be a child once again but life doesn't work this way.

What triggers nostalgia in you? Share your experiences! Let's share stories and for at least a moment reminiscence the good times and the bad times that helped us shape into who we're today.

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