It irritates me sometimes when I collect souvenirs. Most of them are opened in the flush of excitement upon returning from a journey and then put back. They get lost in the crowd. The few that have my attention find a place on shelves, in nooks and crannies, on walls. What is their shelf life?
Why do I want somebody else’s history when I try valiantly to brush off mine?
Tomorrow, instead of a miniature
Of course, there are souvenirs that make me feel good. Pebbles and shells I pick up on sandy beaches, leaves and flowers that get pressed between the pages of books, receipts on which I have scrawled words or doodled, hotel stationery where I have written down numbers that I may never need again…and as I type this there is a small battery-operated fan in silver-grey and black.
I had bought it at a mall in
Today, it stands on my table, a tiny redundancy as the large table fan whirrs. I occasionally hold it in my hand, switch the power on and as the wings turn at rapid speed, its three petals merge. I close my eyes and feel the breeze.
It wasn’t meant to be a souvenir. It has no history. It has no value. It cost precious little. The colour is sleek and trendy, no sepia-toned delight. And it had been useless and did not serve the purpose it was bought for. Yet, it is with me, sometimes bringing a smile to my face and, if I don’t want to use a tissue, it even dries tears.
What I like best about it is that it won’t ever become a memory to torment me.