Once upon a time there used to be calendars. On the wall that is. A month in advance, their arrival reminded us that the New Year was round the corner. Given that my father was a doctor, medical representatives left an assortment of calendars as souvenirs. While the ones with a scenic view brought joy for me, my brother fancied calendars featuring cars and bikes. Ma would then borrow a sketch pen and encircle important family events, payment schedules and PTA meetings. For me, turning a new page was oddly exciting--it signified a new beginning.
Currently, I am on a calendar check spree. In most Gurgaon abodes the humble wall calendar, once a drawing room display has been dumped behind the kitchen door. Instead, I find paintings of Ganesha and Buddha adorning the living room. The universal appeal of the above two deities has sidelined the other 330 million Gods in the Hindu pantheon. Religiosity might not be about displaying divine pictures, but I tend to agree with Richard Dawkins, when he says that religiosity recedes with the advancement of knowledge and prosperity.
Coming back to calendars, the transition has been rather smooth. Gods paved way for nature. And nature paved way for Kingfisher models. Unlike the mainstream images of women, the Kingfisher calendar features women who, it seems, ordered their body parts from a catalog. They will torment you each time you are relishing a chocolate dessert in peace.
It's funny. For one, you never get to see a Kingfisher calendar as a drawing room display--not unless you are a friend of the erstwhile king of the good times. It is expensive. And exclusive. The lesser mortals only get to see the making of it on NDTV Good Times. Or on HuffPost India.
Second, why do they call it a calendar? The appropriate moniker should be 'A Kingfisher Poster'. I am sure, dates, agendas and schedules are the last things on the minds of those who look at the Kingfisher Calendar. Moreover, the demigods of business who can proudly own the Kingfisher Calendar prefer digital calendars. Any other low brow wall calendar in their plush abode will stand out like a sore thumb.
It is not difficult to understand why paper calendars lost significance in a digital world. The idea of simple paper calendars does not find acceptance with a generation that loves to complicate things. Let me ask you this. When you want to remember an appointment, or when you have an idea you don't want to forget, do you write it down or do you record it digitally? I prefer to write appointments on paper so that I can see the plan regardless of whether I can use a phone at the time. So, when I have an 'a-ha' moment, I write it down on the nearest scrap available. The act of physically writing something down works better for my diminishing memory.
It could be an age thing, but I am unable embrace digital calendars whole-heartedly. They complicate the simple job of scheduling. You click the day, it pops up on another screen, you set a reminder, then set privacy permissions for entry and yet it beeps when you least expect it to beep!
Once upon a time, my wall calendar established its prized location--right above my study table. Today, it is not at ease with the modern sensibilities. So it hangs behind the study door. What remains unchanged is the thrill of turning over a new page.
This article was originally published on Freebird.