A couple of days ago, I was asked to write about a gem clip– a plain, simple paper clip. Holding the little piece of twisted metal in my hand, I thought how can I possibly write 300 words about this?
As I sat thinking, my hand instinctively reached out to my ear lobe and before I knew it I was wearing the tiny clip as an ear ring. Suddenly, my childhood came rushing back to me.
It was the reopening day of school in 2002. We were in 7th grade. Classes had been shuffled and consequently my best friend and I had been separated. It was a big blow for both of us. Having been together since LKG, we hadn’t really thought of what would happen if either of us weren’t around. Although it was literally just a wall separating us, we were both devastated.
That evening, as we walked home, my friend walked into a stationery store and picked up a box of colourful gem clips. She gave me her “just wait and watch” expression and smiled.
The next day, when she met me before school, she handed me a tiny white paper bag, the kind that shopkeepers hand out ear rings in. I looked at it curiously and opened it. Slowly I pulled out a chain made from paper clips. It would fit my neck perfectly. It had all my favourite colours- blue, pink and purple. Creative genius I thought. I noticed she already had hers on. When we went to school that day, all the girls adored our brand new “best friend” symbol.
Neither of us took it off until we were back together in the same class, which happened only after we passed out of school and got into the same college. It seemed like the paper clips gave us a sense of bonding and comfort. It’s strange how such a tiny pin, which had until then been completely insignificant to me, suddenly became such an integral part of my life. It had never struck me until today that a paper clip’s job is to bond things. It is the universal symbol of bonding.
Come to think of it now, it indeed is a gem of a clip.