Also visit the Cartoon page on RwB.
A couple of days back, I got to know how useful a mobile can be! I did not use it to make / receive call, nor did I use the mobile:
as a Digital camera
as an Audio recorder
as a Video recorder
for Multimedia messaging
as an Email client
as a Web client
as a Gaming platform
as a Documents viewer
as a Computer
as a Music player
as a TV
as a Wallet
as a Bar-code reader…
…actually I did not use my mobile at all. I got help from a person who, like me, had come to watch the Kannada movie ‘Anna Bond’ at Santhosh.
As I entered the hall, it was pretty dark, and I was searching for, firstly the Row – ‘A’….that was slightly easy, as there was a very dim light on the bottom of every corner seat in the centre. But finding seat numbers 30 & 31 was a task. I imagined myself to be an archaeologist trying to first find and then decode cave drawings! I found it impossible to see anything written on any part of the seat or the wall! I thought I saw something like ’30′ there on the seat…but on a closer look, it was the sponge popping out from the torn part of the seat cover!
Then I just turned around and saw lots of lights from mobiles, using which everyone was finding R 24,25…S 11 & 12…B 3 and 4….OMG! What a genius that person must have been who fitted a torch into a mobile…or the person who made the mobile screen itself so bright! Am sure he / she was a movie buff, and had been in the same situation that I was currently in.
Just as a person without a watch asks a person wearing one ‘Please, can you tell me what’s the time?, similarly, I asked the guy next to me, “Please, can you tell me which is your seat number”. He immediately pointed his ‘as-big-as-a-palm’ mobile towards the wall, where I could see 28, 29, 30, 31 so very clearly – I could see them in Arial Black, size 100, White colour!
A few years ago, all those entering the cinema hall had to rely on the lone skinny fellow with the dim blue torch to know their seat numbers. And he would act so busy, so pricey…as if he was the film director. Although he would yell at us, I would be amazed how he knew all the seat numbers so perfectly – he would stand near the door and tell us exactly where C 18 to 25 was, or where F 27, 28 was, or where an empty seat was, all this while talking to the Popcorn guy outside but pointing the torch to the exact position! I think this guy’s lineage can be traced back to the Madhyama Pandava – Arjuna!
However useful the mobile is, I miss the torch bearer, who was our guiding light, everytime we entered the cinema hall! As I came out after the movie, I saw him standing in a corner and looking at the crowd outside. Dressed in whites, he still had the torch under his left sleeve!
Some of the below mentioned activities are advisable for children, some are not, while some are fine with parental guidance.
It’s time for more nostalgia on RwB. Wherever you see or read today, the one word that hits you is REUSE and RECYCLE! Just remembered a few things that we used to reuse as kids. So here goes:
Empty Cigar packs : This was between 1st standard till 3rd standard. Me and my friends dutifully hunted for used cigar packs on the footpaths, roads and near any petty shops. As soon as we got a few, we threw away the torn or soiled ones, while the OK looking ones were wiped and taken into the ‘secret production chamber’, that no parent knew where it existed! The packs were carefully made into a walkie talkie phone, which when you held in your right palm (between the index and thumb fingers facing you), would open up. The main tools used were a strong rubberband and a ball point pen (blue and red) to customise the phone to your requirements!
Any cousin or relative to visit the home would be shown the proud possession! And when they asked to give our phone for them to hold, we wouldn’t let them touch it,and we would run away to our production chamber to make some changes, lest our enemies duplicates the hi-tech phone!
Cycle tyres : Around the same time, it was a pastime to play with thin cycle tyres (Some boys would have small and plumpy scooter tyres, which made a ‘tob-tob- noise when you hit them). Cycle tyres were quite easy to get, as the nearby cycle shop owner would happily get rid of unwanted tyres. When Amma used to send us to buy a soap or when we suddenly found a 25 paise (on the window sill, with which we bought a Double Bubble Gum), we would hit the tyre along side (either with our palms or with a smooth chota stick), and as we turned so would the tyre, which obeyed us only when we had that small stick). As we stood at the shop, we would hang it on to our right shoulder, and would be back home in a jiffy if the house was down the road! Where most of today’s cars are parked on the roads would be our rightful lane to play the Tyre aata!
Magnets and Ball bearings : When with the cycle tyres, I remember collecting a box full of ball bearings (again this came free and easy, as there would be plenty of them lying in and around the cycle shop, some visible, some hidden in the dark soil, some shining, some black and out of shape…)
There was nothing as fascinating as seeing the ball bearings stick on to each other (similar to 3-4 people holding on to each other on a cliff, one holding the other’s leg) when a Magnet made its presence. The ball bearings would wobble when the magnet moved near it. Magnets would suddenly be in so much demand, that the round badge like things that Amma had purchased from 8th cross Rayara Gudi, and pasted on the metal window frame in the kitchen (or later the refrigerator) on which were Krishna, Rama, Raghavendraswamy, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Saraswathi etc. etc. would all be left to pile up on each other in the shelf as the magnet behind them would have been robbed!
Coloured Glass pieces : This was a very short lived hobby. Maybe during 2nd standard till beginning of 3rd standard. When we used to play Mann-aata, we would suddenly get dark brown glass pieces, while digging. While walking to the bus stand with Amma, I would chance upon a yellow shining glass piece. I used to collect these and watch the world through them. Such a surreal feeling!
Film Reel : Lengthy film reels would be thrown on roads, which we would collect and try to see if we could see the characters moving when we moved them really quickly. Negligible movement! Unless I found a reel with Rajkumar in it, I would not bring these into the secret production chamber. And I never found a reel with Rajkumar in it!
Scud Missile : These were clearly during the Gulf war, when I was in 9th standard. All that was required to make the scud missile was a small wooden plank (as big as your palm), 3 small nails, a rubberband and some matchsticks. The 3 nails would be partially hit on the plank to make a triangle. Two nails would be wound by a rubberband. A matchstick would now be placed, ready to be shot. When one of the nails having the rubberband around it would become hot (due to the heat transferred by another matchstick), the scud matchstick would fly into the air, to the enemy’s camp!
Hand made Cork ball : When in 4th standard, me and my friends spent considerable time in the summer trying to make our own cork ball. For this, we would go in search of Gobli mara / Rain tree (Acacia).
Once we collected lots of pods from the tree, we would then climb on to the parapet of my friend’s house to crush the pods (Why there? Who knows!). We would suddenly realise that Oil was missing - so we would ask our friend Umesh to get some oil really quickly – he would sometimes get cooking oil, sometimes coconut oil. Now the grinding would start until it became a fine paste with a smooth texture. We would then make a ball, pouring oil on our hands and rolling the stuff in our hands in a circular motion. Then, it was the turn to keep the ball for drying on top of our house for a week.
After the exercise, we would wash our hands usually with 501 bar soap (used for washing clothes). However long we washed, the smell of the pods would stay for atleast for a day!
Grandpa’s Walking stick : Every house would have a walking stick -either Thatha’s, or your father’s Kashi Yatre stick, which would suddenly be more important than the cricket bat… because the stick would turn into a hockey stick overnight!
Magnifying glass : Commonly called Lens, we would keep it in our small pockets, take it to school, not to use it for what it is actually meant for, but to burn paper or dry leaves during Lunch break (January till March.) I think this was during 5th standard.
Matchbox : Collecting and sharing different matchbox covers was a hobby between 1st standard and 4th standard. But by 6th standard, only men of steel would learn the trick of using the ‘striking surface’ in various ways. Firstly, we would cut the piece and paste it onto the shoe heel. A match would always be hidden, unknown to the opponent. During a face off, the stick would appear out of no where and be rubbed on to the shoe… the lit matchstick would be put off by blowing it in a very stylish way, with the eyes seeing the opponent and only the lower lip moveing (as close to what we had seen our hero doing in films!)
[Got caught doing this during SUPW class... made to paint 15 more chairs than others as a punishment]
Another use of the matchbox was to put small insects into it and release them in school / classroom!
Peppermint cover : This was one of the earliest tricks that humans learnt. After the chocolate / peppermint is totally chewed and swallowed, the cover would be pulled tightly by both hands and held close to the lips and blown. Beginners would get a ‘tussss’ sound, First graders would get a screeching noise while the Experts would be playing with the whistling sound!
Broom stick : Ramayana made us desperate for bow and arrow. The lucky ones would get a nice and strong stick of an unknown tree which would act as a bow while we (cursed souls) would have to be happy turning a broom stick into a bow and another broomstick for an arrow. Highly dangerous… we never managed to cause any accidents, but always heard someone tell us that some one in Rajajinagar/ Yeshwanthpura / Subramanyanagara lost an eye… we never believed it…but still we were scared of hurting each other!
Edges of the footpath towards the road : This was where we sat after playing cricket, and drank ‘Chombugattle’ water!. We would discuss about the game, rag, tease, eat bubble gum… While playing, if the match was ‘single side fielding’, then the batting side would sit usually on a compound wall behind the batsman (Usually there is one everywhere!).
Empty Bottles : These were used mainly during Deepavali, to light Rockets. In our days, we used to send some horizontally on the roads, what with such less vehicles.
X-Ray sheets : To watch the sun during Grahana, we would hunt for Ajji’s Xray sheet (that she had been given after her recent visit to Jayadeva Hospital near City Market). Once we started asking for the Xray sheet, Ajji would think it was being asked to discuss about her health, and she would quickly and obediently give it, taking it out from the bottom-most part of the ‘kabbinada pettige’, only to be later told that her Xray has become a toy for the young brutes!
Newspapers : Some of us would use newspapers for various things – to bind books, to make kites, hit flies, light the kerosene stove / hande-vole-uri, as a chart sheet to make collage, to fold and keep a piece of the newspaper under the shaking part of the Godrej bureau / shelf / almirah…
Soap cover : After taking out the new soap bar, the cover would be opened and kept under the clothes, for a few days, so that the aroma spread across the clothes.
Dairy Milk Foil : The aluminum foil one found in a Cadbury Dairy Milk, would be neatly kept in a school notebook, after rubbing out any crease on the foil! The metallic sound it made every time we held it was music to my ears. Even today, when I eat a Dairy Milk (which is the BEST chocolate in the world), I cannot forget how many foils I must have preserved in my childhood!
Bangalore Press Calendar : “The empty space behind the Bangalore Press calendar was where we wrote and practiced our tables, handwriting…” father used to tell this. For me, any empty space is worthy only to be drawn. And draw was what I did behind the calendar sheets! (Good, there was no back to back printing then!)
Old socks : This was after we came back from school, and without removing the school uniform. 6th and 7th standard. The tennis, rubber, cork or leather ball we had would be put into the socks and tied to a high beam / grill. Kept hitting the ball with SG bat to get the perfect shot, feet movement and posture!
Used Dalda / Farex Tins : Rangoli powder in my house, neighbour’s house, or any one’s house would all be kept in either Dalda or Farex tin only! And these tins with Rangoli would be stolen to put the crease on our pitches i.e. my house compound!
Cleaning the comb: Bottom portion of any used Agarbathi would be used to clean the comb. Later on, used and dead toothbrushes would be used to clean the comb. Another typical sight was seeing my opposite house Ajji using a matchstick to clean her ears.
Old Ball point pen: We would love to fix the small pencils to the bottom portion of the ball point pen and write our home work faster than normal. Got a kick out of this simple act!
Winding the Pencil : We would twist and wind the pencil box using a rubberband and a long pencil. When left alone, the pencil would rotate, thus making us feel our pencil box is a helicopter! 3rd standard project.
Another activity was piercing the eraser with the pencil and hitting the table or the friend unecessarily, with our new tool! 1st standard assignment.
Eraser / Rubber as a seal : We would write our initials in reverse on the ‘rubber’ and print it on our text book /note book, hands, thighs, sometimes crazily on our forehead…. thus sealing our fate literally! 2nd standard.
Exam pad : Invariably, every boy’s exam pad (brown color with metallic clip) would be broken in at least one corner. That was because it would be used as a cricket bat after the exam!
Cardboard in the Agarbathi pack: would be used to as a make-believe telescope…which would be used on a hot summer afternoon as we stood in the middle of the road to see if the Joy ice cream gaadi is coming or not! Seeing through it, we always believed ‘objects looked closer than they appeared otherwise’.
Blade and Compass : To make carvings on school furniture (Some of my teachers follow this blog…so no more details)
Tamarind seed : We would have this in our pockets anytime of the day. We would rub it on the wall or the ground and keep it immediately on the cheeks or necks of those who would annoy us.
Notebook Cover : The hardbound covers of our previous year’s notebooks Lekhak, later Vidya Lekhak, would have the pages torn out, and the hard cover would be used as a table tennis bat.
This post has become much much longer than what I actually thought initially. If you’ve read it fully , thanks for getting till here. Hope you have enjoyed this post. Let me know even otherwise.
We see them everywhere – on the wall, on the shelf, on the desk, all across the city, on hoardings, at the road entrance where people are mourning someone’s death, on the mini screen with a series of visuals of the birthday kid, behind the chairman’s seat in his chamber, hung to a tree inside the temple, leaning against the electric pole, hung on a bare chested man at the traffic signal, inside the wallet, on your boss’ table… not to forget the albums with velvet covers in every home. Today you can expect any PC, laptop and mobile to be brimming with these. The Picasas, Flickrs and Photoblogs were all started to facilitate us to make a better use of this which is equivalent to a ‘k’ words.
Well, imagine a world without photos! In today’s age, we cannot. But long long ago, there was one . Since the last 100 years, photos have transformed from being a status symbol to a necessity.
Any place you go today first asks you 2 passport sized photos and only then, your name! Today, a mobile without a camera is like a girl lacking oomph. You can manage a wedding without a bridegroom (No, I am not talking about LGBT.) Remember so many movies where one of the guests marries the bride. But without a photographer – are you in your senses?
For a long time, humans have been recording history (hmm… Nala or Neela should have blogged about Ram Sethu). Jokes apart, in the puranas, we know that the Śrauta tradition was used very effectively for teaching and recording events. Other methods include cave drawings, etchings and engravings on wood, stories with illustrations, manuscripts, paintings, sculptures, wall carvings, books, newspapers, online diaries, blogs, photographs…
I can already see a thousand images when I hear the last word PHOTOGRAPH – so you can imagine the power of an actual photograph! As a kid, I saw my father using Alpha Reflex camera, while my uncle in the US had a Polaroid camera for some time. I still cherish those pictures I took using my Kodak camera (a special gift indeed!) in the mid ’90s.
A world without photos would be impersonal, sad, colourless, lonely and depressing. The joy of holding a picture cannot be matched when one sees it online on the computer screen, mobile phone, digital camera or on the television – we have to agree that we have a soft corner for the hard copy print!
Today, it is not just photo prints, we are able to etch and engrave pictures on different materials to add that special touch. Technology can help us keep memories etched forever! Gone are the days when these were available only in the developed nations. Today, there are firms in India which are capable of catering to any specific demands and requirements when it comes to engraving.
One place I can recommend immediately is Engrave.in – which is your source for photo etching and personalized gifts. Engrave.in utilizes state-of-the-art laser engraving combined with a master craftsman’s eye for detail to produce top quality laser engraved products & gifts, perfect for any occasion.
Whatever your engraving needs, you can trust the quality of Engrave. Their engraving materials are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. With several products in-stock, Engrave offers you a large choice of materials for the Plaques, Crystals and Wall hangings in their product catalogue – Wooden Plaques, LED Illuminated Acrylic Plaques, Brushed Aluminium Foils, 2D Engraved Crystals, 3D Engraving – Religious Idols, 3D Engraved Crystals and Wooden Wall Hangings.
It was strange how I got to know about Engrave – I received a congratulatory mail from them a few days ago. It read:
Was browsing through some art blogs and got your link. Congrats for turning 5! Read the post and could connect with your journey. Keep the posts coming.
A start-up and going to turn 1 pretty soon, Engrave.in sent me a Wooden plaque of my picture.It measures exactly 20cms wide and 14.5 cms high. It is a beautiful solid wooden piece 10mm thick, with a drilled hole at the back to fit the 6cm long brass easel.
Engrave.in handled the complete process in a very professional manner. They asked me to send my picture (their FAQs page is very informative and answers clearly most of your queries), and before processing the artwork, they mailed it to me for a preview.
I received the wooden plaque in a week’s time in a well packed carton. It was amazing to see the details in the engraving. I got the smell of fresh wood bringing nostalgic memories. The engraving is very close to the actual picture!
Clockwise from top left: 1. The original photograph. 2. The design before engraving. 3. The wooden plaque arrives. 4. Front view. 5. Side view. 6. Rear view (notice the easel. Engrave logo is at the bottom right.)
The amazing detail of the designs, coupled with beautiful and unusual materials makes these products memorable gifts and eye-catching marketing materials as well as powerful memorials.
It will be a lovely way to surprise your loved ones with a laser engraved personalized photo gift that is designed to last a lifetime. What more – Engrave.in are now offering Cash-on-Delivery at no extra charge!
Thanks to Engrave.in, memories needn’t disappear when they can be etched forever, shared and cherished so easily.
Mail Photos to:
B-236, Popular Center,
Shyamal Cross Road, Satellite,
Ahmedabad – 380015
Email: support [at] engrave [dot] in
Video: The engraving process on a wooden plaque