Picture this: big plane, seat belt on, excited in mid-air. Handed to me, possibly in a plastic bag, is something for a small kid. Soft and yellow, a toy ready to land to its new home.
I don’t initially remember really playing with this 4-pawed, stuffed toy which I sometimes presumed to be a dog while the rest of the time, it was a cow.
Be it a dog/cow, it was the brightest yellow ever.
Also, 6 orange spots and 2 purple ears, complimentary to the already bright self that it was.
I think I kept it neatly (maybe, not) arranged on some shelf or above a table. It was special because it was mine like all the other magically created, little pieces of constant joy that every toy to every kid is.
Then I was in a plane again. Not immediately after, I guess an year an a half later.
I was allowed to only take 1 magically created, little piece of constant joy from a collection of otherwise many. We were flying to Germany and looking after any more of those precious things was risky. I was obliged to listen to this advice even if not exactly on will.
So I chose it; my vivid cow, or like you know. A dog.
It was nice to have it cuddled tight when I slept. More so, the-chosen-one was a piece of something from home. It wasn’t foreign like the land I was on.
The family had further plans so a road trip was inevitable.
Picture this: Car packed tight, driving in a Hulk-sized, 9 seater car. Destination: United Kingdom. Yet I, squished in the last row, well I sit confused. Struck by the uncertainty of whether this car actually has my toy in it, or not? Lost with any way to clear this sudden doubt, naivety ensures I come back to Germany still equally prey to confusion.
Plane ride to Germany it is once again. I don’t anymore get plastic wrapped pieces of constant joy on-board planes.
No matter: I’ve been told where mine ended up.
Picture this: Walking up the stairs, cautious not to act suspicious, I maneuver to where it must be; obviously a room too pink with princess paintings stuck on the walls. It doesn’t take me too long to find it. My cousin’s daughter doesn’t notice me pick it up from her pile of toys and walk downstairs.
It had been about 3 years since I had clumsily forgotten my toy back in Germany. My first cousin once removed was the natural kid, to be given this abandoned thing, with all the rights to presume it to be her own.
Was it stubborn to still want to take it back? Yes, probably.
But did that stop me from trying? You bet, it didn’t.
Call me childish, I hated not getting it back. Despite finding it and succeeding in the kid not noticing, I wasn’t allowed to take it back. I wasn’t allowed to call it my own now, not after 3 years of it being someone else’s. I wasn’t only sad because I didn’t get it back, I was sad because that day, I felt defeated.
Defeat is worst when you think you’ve won.
Germany trips were so frequent now. I’d go far as to call it a part of routine. This place wasn’t as foreign as it once was. I knew the people, the surroundings, a bit of the language; even the still too-pink room.
Picture this: The same cousin’s house, around a table crowded with relatives and dishes topped with food; everyone eager to eat. Out of nowhere, I remember it.
Yet this time it’s different.
This time, I don’t quietly climb up the stairs or avoid my cousin’s kid from noticing. Nor is there the restless feeling of rush to grab it and take it back to my ownership, as soon as possible.
This time, I mention my toy aloud like a guest seeking a ticket to visit. I do get one. Hence, I climb up the same stairs again. Not towards the painstakingly pink room but to the room in the opposite direction. On top my cousin’s kid’s bed in her parents’ room, I find it among some other of, truly and originally, her toys. Still doesn’t take me long to find it. I hear she too has it cuddled tight when she sleeps.
It has been 6 years since my vivid toy didn’t find a return flight. 6 years since the meaning of its home was due for re-calibration.
Yet it still truly was just as yellow.
I pick it up and that was when I understood the meaning of change, change that isn’t apparent: I didn’t mind it being here anymore.
And in that precise moment, the little thing gave me my victory.
Not in coming under my ownership.
But in its gleaming black eyes; for looking at them showed me how much it had grown.
Obviously not the object itself.
But the person I found reflected back at me.
P.S. Okay phew! That took quite a long time to finish, I’ve been working on it for well over a month to find just the right bit of satisfaction. Because personally, Object Tales is about experimenting new ways to tell new stories of every thing that makes an appearance. So quality over time in particular for this series. Apologies for making you people wait too long between posts. That magical idea-providing, light bulb that goes “TING” wasn’t going “TING”. 😀