I may not be able to leave behind anything, eventually…because i have chosen not to have anyone after me…but i surely leave behind treasure full of memories, experiences & some landmarks. like this stamp for instance. the whole experience with GPO was one helluva fine experience
I had tweeted about how the General Post Office was taking efforts to reach out to kids, popularise schools students to get involved in their various projects. Also, since the director general of GPO is a friend she had said it was a unique event and we must try to attend it personally even if unable to cover it. At no point was I prepared for the enthusiasm and fun that I saw that day.
Now, I had been following the information through newspapers, mainly regional papers about this scheme. I tweeted few times & I was determined to have my own stamp. Now see the reason was NOT only to have my own stamp & see my own face…there is a short background, little history to this whole urge to possess my own stamp.
I’m a sucker for letters As a kid my school friends, sister & I had enrolled for getting penpals from across the world. We used to write letters, exchange gifts, etc. Then ofcourse my aaji’s letters I treasured…as I grew older in college if there was one person who encouraged innovativeness in letter writing, it was fthr Tereence Quadros, whom we lovingly called Father Terry or Terry.
He’d tear nice pictures, write beautiful letters. Then ofcourse were the two pillars of my life –KM & CD. When I moved to Bangalore for a year I depended on their letters. Yes we were all a cell call away, telephone call away, but the way the two wrote, so for me letter writing was integral…along with it was the urge to have a hobby…so began stamp collection. As a school kid I’d tear envelopes and collect stamps. This soon went on to become one of my best hobbies. And you won’t believe if I say I love sending postcards, letters, and I make my parents keep the envelopes to keep those stamps & add to my collection!
So the day this event was to take place I went with my parents photos. That was what I planned. Their wedding anniversary is in February so I thought this was the best gift. And I couldn’t resist the temptation of getting a stamp for myself. When I went to the GPO, it was short of a mini circus. The cacophony was stimulating. I swear I felt my blood rush to possess a stamp of myself on it. It was such fun…I’m accused to feeling like a child all my life and yet another incident to prove it.
I ensured I could get among the first few numbers and got my picture clicked. I hadn’t taken my best picture, because I planned to give my parents a surprise gift. I did that, but when I saw the excitement around me, excuse me I too wanted one. The photo was clicked, filled a form and then came the climax. I was asked to state my birth date. Which I added and then was asked to select the design vis vis my face. And I was very keen on getting either the Mumbai shoreline or GPO building itself.
I was quietly asked to stick to the existing format, as always I want something out of the list. Now NOTHING in my life is straight & easy to come.
I’m NOT exaggerating. According to my mother I showed NO signs of coming out of her womb and when I did, it was just minutes after the stroke of midnight. So as usual in sleep-mode, slow motion. So while my birth date states I’m a Taurus, I’m pushed into the ‘cusp’ category. Hence the officials too were “chala hey Rhishabhl-buffalo,” as was tersely told.
Not the kind to give up I did also try to put this across to the director who said she agreed with me, but this whole idea was for school children, get them involved in GPO activities, etc. So basically I had to fall in line! The officials I must say were helful. Interestingly let me add here, the Marathi & Hindi journalists were lot, lot more enthusiastic than the English media journos. Most leading daily journalists weren’t there even to enjoy the fun. As a result officials gladly helped me.
I felt thrilled. When I saw my parents stamps, I knew it was the most unique wedding anniversary gift i could have thought of, timeless it is. Keep them alive through those stamps. And when I saw my stamp, I could feel my smile from ear to ear. Since then I am busy planning how to send a letter, to whome because I’ve to ensure I get those stamps & add to my collection. Since that may just be a little difficult, wait and see, I will post a letter to myself with this stamp. And yes will add the Chinese seal i have got made on my trip to Beijing which is a seal of my name in Chinese & Chinese birth sign. Again an animal!