There was a time when we ushered the new year with wall calendars. As the old year would near its end, we would wait for our father to come home every evening with wall calendars and journals of the year to come. Being a senior government officer we would get a lot of wall calendars each year, from different departments, different organizations. The nicer ones, those usually from ONGC or Air India, would adorn our drawing-room walls, the not so nice ones would be hung in our bedrooms. There would be definitely one in the kitchen where my mother would keep a note of the day when she changed the gas cylinder or opened the new Dabba of cooking oil.
Those calendars were part of our home décor then, placed strategically on the wall where they could be seen and admired. They would keep track of the days and the months passing by, we would mark important events on those calendars. There were all kinds of calendars – the artistic ones with prints of paintings, landscapes for nature loves, the religious ones with pictures of gods and goddesses, with pictures of babies or animals. The number of calendars that our fathers got every year was a matter of pride, discussed eagerly in the school. Some kind of a status symbol it was!
And then there were annual planners or dairies as we then called them. The best ones that my father got I would keep and promptly write my name so no one else could claim. The remaining would go to my sisters. My mother would urge me to use those diaries for practicing math, writing essays etc. For me, they were too precious to be wasted on such mundane tasks. I would save them for jotting down my ‘finer thoughts’ and once in a while scribble something on them that was too precious to be shared. Soon they would lie in my drawer waiting for those finer moments to dawn on me. The hoarder in me would refuse to part with them.
A few years ago, on one of my trips back home, I finally got rid of those unused, once cherished, diaries. Most of them were absolutely bank but for my name written on the top.
The wall calendars outgrew their charm as well. I can’t imagine a calendar on the well-planned walls of my sitting room or any other room for that matter. And who needs a physical calendar anyway with our mobiles and laptops keeping track of every little thing – from our meet schedules to our monthly bills. Surprisingly though, wall calendars are still available. Some people, like my old fashioned mother, must be still adorning their walls with calendars!