I like decorating my house. More of a DIY thing really. You know, origami stuff, handmade lamps, quilted art and stuff like that… you get it right?
The newest thing I did around the house was to get some family photographs printed and clip them on a string like a bunting. I tied this photograph bunting across the living room window. Just below the fabric bunting I had made and hung some time ago. (Show off alert!) Well, this photograph bunting soon became my most favourite spot around the house. Not just mine, I think it became SSM’s favourite spot too.
These photographs were a reminder of various moments when we were at our happiest. The smiles showed. Each of them had a memory stuck to it. A memory that SSM, Ri and I visited every time we looked at them. Memories that made us smile. Memories that made us forget our present distress.
I got onto the habit of staring at them once every day. But with time, I realised that these photographs looked slightly different every time... So slight was the difference that it could well have been a fragment of my imagination. But I did feel that the smiles and the twinkles in the eye were, maybe, just maybe, minutely less on certain days that others.
And then I realised what it was… the photographs, the memories, the us in our happy past, were actually looking back at us, at our present, our todays. Yes. They, I mean us, trapped in those glossy sheets of paper were actually watching us too. Their happy smiles seemed alive on the days we were happy. On other days, when our days were not too good, our smiles in the photographs somewhere did not reach our eyes. They seemed a little faded, I thought.
It did cross my mind to mention this to SSM, but then I thought against it. I don’t know if he noticed it too, but I did see him glance at the photographs from the corner of his eyes, time to time. When we were in the midst of a conversation or when he was playing candy crush on his phone while I sat with a book.
Well, as days passed, I became totally convinced that the photographs were, well, alive. They looked like regular happy photographs to anyone else who saw them, but when you looked at them every day, you would not miss the miniscule changes in the expressions of our impressions on those photographs.
Life had definitely become stressful and we were really looking forward to a holiday we had planned as soon as Ri finishes the session at school. The stress was building up and the photographs were slowly fading.
Finally, the day for the holiday was here. We were happy and excited after a real long time. And weirdly (may be not) the photographs seems less faded today. We locked up and left the home for a week of serene bliss. And we had a wonderful time. We were happy as can be after a long, long time. It was truly a much needed break. We got back home happier and with more joyful memories.
I did not notice the photograph bunting that evening. But the next morning when we sat for our breakfast, I saw that the photographs had all curled. Really. They were curled and bent. They looked very dull too. I pointed it out to SSM who said that they had probably curled up because of the heat in the city. We agreed that we need to get fresh prints and redo the bunting sometime next weekend.
Two days have passed since then. We have been happy, laughing and basking in the thoughts of the wonderful holiday we just had. We have been having a really good time at home enjoying movies and ice creams.
Today morning was quiet. SSM left for office and Ri is busy reading Chamber of Secrets. I sat at the table and glanced at the photograph bunting. The photographs have gone all straight and stiff again. Not just that, they are not dull anymore. They are as good as new. I called SSM to check if he managed to get new prints and missed telling me. He hadn’t. I go stand in front of the bunting. The smiles are all happy and bright. There is a twinkle in our eyes in there.
Did I imagine it or did the me in that photo just wink?