It’s my birthday in a couple of days. I’m going to turn 24 and I believe I’m every bit as mature as a 24-year-old ought to be, and as childish as a 24-year-old ought not to be, I guess.
Every year until now, I’d expect too much on my birthday day – gifts, surprises, new clothes, an extra load of happiness. And every year, I’d expect too much and what I got never lived up to my expectations. I was always left disappointed on my birthday. Which is really not any way to celeberate a birthday. I know. It was probably dumb on my part. But this year, something has changed. And strangely, the change hasn’t been brought about by my realisation that my expectations were too high.
Just like every year, I went shopping at a mall to buy me a new dress, or a new watch, or new shades, a bag, an Arsenal jersey, anything. But every time I picked up something, I was outraged that I’d even think of owning such things. A watch – not less that Rs.3,000. A pretty dress, a good bag, a branded shoe, a pair of shades – nothing less than Rs. 5,000! I know it’s not about the money, but I could actually feed all the dogs in CUPA with Rs.5,000 for a whole week!
Maybe it was my stint in lifestyle journalism that made me realise how vain some people are and that’s not who I want to be. I mean what are clothes meant for if not to cover your body? What are chapplies for, if not to protect your feet? What is a watch for if not to tell you the time? Whether it’s a diamond encrusted watch or a simple black watch with a plastic strap, it serves the same purpose.
So I actually walked out of the mall empty-handed, with my mind bustling with thoughts. Sylvia Plath once said, “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” Well, I’m not sure I understand exactly what she is trying to say, but I’m probably the “we” in her statement. Or I’m probably as confused as she was. (Well, no, I’m not going to pop my head in an oven anyway. “Oh Swathi! How reckless of you to say that!”)
Anyway, I said I’m as childish as I ought not to be because I like the simple pleasures in life. Goatee had given me a box of 21 orange candies on my 21st birthday. I think that’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. Of course the orange candies are gone, but it’s the thought that remains close to my heart. Last year, Nuvena made a picture frame for me, and a lot of thought and hard work went into that as well. This year, my friend ordered a book for me, and then received a mail that the book is out of stock and his money is being refunded. Actually, no, in his case it’s not just the thought that counts. : P I’m going to make him buy another book, because honestly, I think that’s the best gift one can buy for anyone.
So if you want to buy me gifts I like, go to my Goodreads account and see the “Want to Read” section. Haha.
Ok just kidding. That’s not where this blog post was headed. Hehe.
All I’m saying to you (and mostly to myself) is, when it’s your birthday, don’t give in to peer pressure to “celebrate” and make merry and be extra happy. Do what you like doing best. It could be as simple as drinking a cup of tea, spending time with your pet doggy, or just a quite dinner with a few good friends. There doesn’t need to be cake, (if any one of you is planning to get me cake, I prefer pizza (extra capsicum) instead. Put a candle in the middle of it), there’s no need to 200 people surrounding you to shout out to you and remind you that it’s your birthday. You can sit idle for 24 hours if you want to.
Hope this blog post finds you well bored.
My intention is for post to inspire you, to create something extraordinary sufficiently imaginative.
Usually when I’m bored, or on my day off from work, I like to read. One day, I decided to make a bookmark for the book I was reading. And then it turned into a wonderful habit! So now, I make bookmarks for every book I read, corresponding to the content of the book. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
A crown for Game of Thrones: It all started off with this book. I already knew what would happen in the book because I’d seen the TV show, so I had to do something interesting to motivate myself to pick up the book and read it. So I made this bookmark. It’s a bit childish and too colourful, but it worked and I finished the book.
A lipstick for The Bell Jar: This idea seemed so ironic that it made me extra excited to make it. I love how it’s so glossy, in contrast to the content of the book. But then again, Esther Greenwood, the protagonist, is working as an intern at a fashion magazine. So this one kind of made sense. (PS: I didn’t find this book as depressing as people made it to be. It’s an interesting read.)
A football field for sports books: I made this one while reading My Story, by Gazza (Paul Gascoigne). By this time, it had already become a habit – a sort of gift to honour the book. I quite like this one and it suits all my sports books, and football is the only sport I really read about. I read It’s Not About The Bike by Lance Armstrong, and then felt horribly let down after the drug scandal. I don’t trust any other sport other than football, although Arsenal have so far only let me down. Let’s not get there.
A shirt with a tie forTrainspotting: I don’t remember why I chose to make a formal clothing bookmark for Trainspotting of all books. I must have probably drawn a syringe or something. But again, I think I fancied the irony of it. Besides, the book probably starts off with an interview that Spud goes to.
Hearts for romantic books (Like du’uh): I usually don’t like hearts but I LOVE these. They’re so easy to make and look really pretty! I tried making these as a gift for Nuvena’s birthday. I made a few for myself. It’s just origami and doesn’t even require glue. It takes two minutes to make it. It’s a pity that I can never get myself to start romance novels.
This one is for fun fantasy fiction books, like 13 and a Half Lives of Captain Blue Bear: This book by Walter Moers is one of my favourites because it’s just so ludicrous! I can’t get enough of the book. This bookmark seemed fitting, because it’s equally absurd and the book has so many funny monster-ish characters. I felt it perfect.
Vegeta’s space pod for Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: I think this one is my favourite one so far, maybe simply for the last picture. I’m currently reading this book and also currently obsessed with Dragon Ball Z. And the two of them seem to have so many similarities. In both the series, people are set out to destroy the Earth and have extra terrestrial creatures, from Magrathea, Namek, Planet Vegeta, Earth, etc. It is a fairly simple bookmark, but I loved editing it on Pixlr Express.
This flip bookmark for Memoirs of a Geisha. It looks like a geisha on the surface. When flipped opened, she’s a normal girl, with the exact same eyes.
A kite for Kite Runner: What a book! I just couldn’t put it down. I read it even as a PDF during work hours. Sshhh… Obviously, it’s a kite, with a little thread (not made of powdered glass) hanging from it. :)
My puppy’s paw for animal books: The next one I made required some thought. It was a book about animals. All kinds of animals. It was Beasts in my Belfry by Gerald Durrell. Before this, I even read The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot. I couldn’t figure out what kind of an epic bookmark will do justice to animals. So, after a lot of thought, I went to my doggie, painted her feet read, and got her pug-mark for my bookmark. I asked my friend, Aditya, to come up with a cool line to put on the bookmark. So this is what came out of it.
The Star of David for Exodus: The next bookmark I made was for Exodus. I’ve written my thoughts about the book here.
A mountain for Into Thin Air: I borrowed Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer from Justbooks (with my brand new membership card)! It’s a very interesting book and has a lot to do with the work I do – about trekking. So I decided to draw a mountain. I almost made it very childish, by throwing some glitter into the picture.
A bookmark as a gift for a friend. I really loved making this bookmark because I’m a tea-lover myself. And thanks to this, I got another idea for another friend.
This was a coffee bookmark that smelled like coffee. Well, at least for a week. I painted it with coffee decoction and let it dry and then wrote on it. It was a big hit at office. I had to make one for everyone.
A cartoon-ish rocket forSurely You’re Joking, Mr.Feynman. This was such a pleasurable read! It was funny and sciency at the same time. So I felt this bookmark with formulae I don’t understand scribbled on it apt. That little blue arrow-like thing acts as a clip on. Cool no?
A dagger for Aarushi. This might seem quite morally inappropriate, but I couldn’t think of anything else. It seemed apt for that “khukuri” that kept popping up in the book.
A quick sketch of River Siene in Paris for All The Light You Cannot See. This might be one of my favourite bookmarks. I loved the book, it had a lot of little life lessons. I can still hear snails sighing and crabs scuttling about when I think of this book. And this pretty bookmark did justice to the book.
A sketch of Mars for The Martian. Well, du’uh. And that’s mitochondria or anything of that sort. It’s how Mars looks, ok?
Annoying Orange for Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. This bookmark is no not the book, but having “orange” in the title was the perfect excuse to make an Annoying Orange bookmark.
A leaf from Dehradun for Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra. When I went on a trek to Kedarkantha, I picked up a leaf and brought it back home. I made a bookmark with it. It says “Protect the forests just as they protect you.”
A playing card for I Am The Messenger. For a guy who finds messages hidden in playing cards, this one couldn’t have been easier.
This pathetic philosopher’s stone for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was a re-read of one of the most epic series. And I thought I’ll make a grand bookmark with a 3D effect. Finally the bookmark sucked.
A Swastika forAlone in Berlin. I hope my blog doesn’t get reported for this bookmark.
A pretty cool flag of China for Wild Swans. This book by Jung Chang is one epic read! This bookmark was also pretty nice because I made it with cloth. If you look closely, the stick has Cantonese inscription on it.
A seahorse forLove in the Time of Cholera. Well, this book has nothing to do with sea horses, but my colleague Seersha drew this beautiful seahorse and I had to make a bookmark out of it! Also, I tried to draw a relationship with how sea horses are asexual animals and how Florentina Ariza has to go on living like an asexual creature for 51 years despite his mad love for Fermina Daza. His love remains unrequited, so I guess a sea horse is a good bookmark. :P
Towards the end of 2015, I made around 40-50 bookmarks for charity. They were sold at a corporate company for some small amount and the amount was given for charity. I drew warli art on all these bookmarks. Soon, I began improvising and drew footballing warli people. It was so much fun and also fulfilling!
That’s all I’ve made so far. The best part is, I’ve recycled random cardboards for all the bookmarks. See? They’re random boxes in which I get clothes, chocolates, etc. I save them for future use. Try not to buy new materials for these purposes. : )
Also, my friend had once done something very brainy. To invite us to a dance, Supriya had made invites, except they could be used as bookmarks. It’s a very thoughtful thing to do if you don’t want to waste paper.
Also, I’ve been gifted these bookmarks by Supriya and Anand, and I think they’re the cutest ever!
So I hope I’ve inspired you to do something creative in your free time.
Because every good book deserves a good book mark. : )
If you’re all fascinated by my creativity and want to see some more, check this out.