i can imagine this like i was there shooting it all on home video. in one of those triasic or mesozoic or some other era my ancestor along with his fellow neanderthals through luck and sheer stupidity managed to stun a huge brachyosaurus. the giant lizard which was chewing placidly on the leaves from some tree was shocked when a group of tiny humanoids jumped from somewhere making guttural noises that unknown to them consisted of the choicest bad words in dino lingo. like any garden variety dinosaur it should've normally responded with a sweep of its tail knocking attackers of their feet,but now it was confused. its tiny brain, unable to decide between responding to those bad words in kind and giving a command to its tail to thwack the neanderthals (my ancestor included), went into overload, burst a few arteries and succumbed to internal haemorrhage. while the other neanderthals harvested the meat ,most of which would go waste because they chose to invent fire before ziploc bags, my ancestor after having a small bite was busy scavenging for the 113th neckbone from the skeleton. on finding it he carefully and clinically jumped on either side and then hit away with a club till he was able to separate the neckbone. he then lifted it and added it to his velociraptor skin pouch. for you see he was one of the earliest to take to a hobby. he was a bone collector (no reference to that serial killer movie) .
this trait had passed unhindered through generations of wiser men and women till one day (in the past of course) it surfaced. out of the blue i decided i had to start a collection of marbles. those glass spheres were like tiny worlds that were begging to be discovered. i was fairly good at the game but i think i played it only so i could buy more of these. i had a large collection in various sizes and colors. some of these were blue or green ones that one could also find inside those ancient soda bottles. one just had to admire the ingenious way by which the makers had sealed those bottles with those marbles and had ensured that no eight year old, with the singular aim of increasing his marble collection, could possibly extract them. thus a 50 paise panneer (rosewater aka attar ppl..not that cardiac clogging cottage cheese) soda would surely result in a sticky but fragrant t-shirt for the rest of the day as i quite literally showered in that sweet stuff in my hunt for the precious orb of glass. the last time i counted i was upto 102 of them stored in a piggy bank that was actually quite representative of my savings.
when i grew up (not a lot) i quickly jumped onto the bandwagon that many a indian kid was already riding. coin collecting and stamp collecting were the hobbies du jour. i took to stamp collecting after i discovered a huge cache at an older cousin's place who was only too happy to give it all away as he had other "interests" to occupy his time. so without effort i had a huge stamp collection that was neatly organized already. i'd pester our neighbors ,whose daughter was abroad, everyday to see if she'd sent them a letter and had a hand in several shady dealings in school. the dealers would almost always meet up under a tree or a corner of the playground. out came the stamps from the middle of textbooks or dirty pockets. after a quick recce of the other one's offerings and a nod to seal the deal the stamps would quickly exchange hands. one had to be extremely clever to avoid being fooled by the "fakes" for once the deal was closed that was it. the stamp mafia had its own set of laws and no one dared to break it. i got a stamp album that alloted pages to each country , intending to populate it with my collection but grew tired of maintaining it soon and it was mostly empty after Australia.
the whole collection/hobby thing was becoming less fun and i gave it one last try with the bus ticket collection. frankly i dont remember why i even started collecting them. i guess i was trying to be the anti-conductor...he would tear out the tickets and i would collect them and create books organized by denomination. my noble intention to recycle the tickets by selling them back to the pallavan transport corporation was shattered, rather bit, into pieces by a family of rats. they deemed their need for comfortable bedding more important than my intention and that was the end of that collection.
people collect all sorts of things these days. everything that was ever made before 2000 has become a collectible and thanks to ebay even toasted bread has a significant value. i stopped collecting bus tickets after the rat event . the cta issues a silly magnetic card that neither me nor the rats particularly favor. but i'm still collecting memories, real and imagined, by the busload and filing them all away. i'll give you a couple of guesses to figure out where they end up eventually.