Monday, November 21, 2011

Of Gods and Calenders

If we look at the way calenders have evolved in India, it gives us a good indication of the way we as a nation are evolving.

There was a time when a calender adorned every living room wall proudly hanging from a naked nail jutting out of a cracked wall.
Most calenders had twelve pages, mostly around two or three themes.

Gods. Calenders with Shiva, Lakshmi, Durga and other deities hung not only in the living room but even in the kitchen and the puja room. These calenders outlived the year they were designed for. The pages were carefully cut and pasted on  the puja room walls to replace the earlier agarbatti smoke smeared aging ones.

Babies. Smiling, gurgling, chubby cheeked babies in diapers- actually looked more like loincloths.
These calenders were lovingly hung on bedroom walls and also outlived the years.

Nature. Flowers, waterfalls, rivers formed the third popular theme for calenders.

The fourth kind was just dates printed in bold black in chequered squares on white pages with holidays marked in red.

All of these calenders bore the name of the sponsor in big and bold at the bottom, printed in a way that it was seamless with the image and could not be torn off.

So Kasturilal Family Jewellers  found place in most homes and hearths. Key dates were circled with ball point pens, casual notes were scribbled on the page ends at times.
Sometimes, calenders also doubled up as dhobi khattas- with the clothes count marked against the pick up and delivery date!

Today, we hardly see calenders on walls.
Unless it is the coveted Kingfisher one.

Boards on desks have smartly designed  planners at times.
Diaries and Yearbooks provide us flashy pages, glossy pictures and the dates.
Outlook Express and Lotus Notes pop up calenders and dates everyday.
Watches show us digital date and month.
Mobile phones do the same.

So, except for some ace photographers in India who still mail out calenders with their images to agencies and clients, are calenders, as we knew them, becoming extinct?
Should we preserve a few of the old ones, just to show our kids what calenders looked like?

Or maybe we should just move on and embrace the new, like all things in life...

1 comment:

  1. loved this one.. maybe after all we should preserve them and preserve a lot more things because technology with each passing day is making us more more robotic and less fun and interesting.. in the name of technology i sometimes feel we have started looking for shortcuts for everything and life and simply stopped celebrating life all together.. and i can go on and on.. but yes this post of yours is a superb example..