Calendar craze

To calendar lovers, its many designs and varieties are just as alluring as rainbows.  

Much as I admire William Wordsworth, my heart leaps not ‘when I behold a rainbow in the sky’. My spirits soar at a sight less spectacular, though by no means deficient in colour. 

As each year draws to its close, assorted calendars make an arresting appearance and I choose several of diverse designs. They include some with biblical verses that I procure from select outlets. These adorn the room where I work, so that my study becomes a sanctuary. 

When depression, real or fancied, deters me from getting down to business, I imbibe words of scriptural solace such as ‘Be of good cheer’ and ‘Let not your heart be troubled.’ ‘Love your neighbour,’ urges my planner. I try to oblige by ticking dates to make calls and pay visits, but do not always follow up on those commitments.

What I pursue assiduously are calendars! In late 2013, a friend coming down from the US asked me what I wanted. ‘Bear calendars!’ I replied promptly, and she arrived bearing (pun irresistible!) four of them. They portray teddy bears in different styles and stances, appropriate to the months of the year. 

February, in one calendar, depicts two of those cuddly creatures clutching a heart-shaped Valentine’s Day cushion. In another, a fuzzy fellow salutes a flag in honour of July 4, American Independence Day. As one might expect, these cute calendars are not much use for checking Indian holidays. August 15 is not a red-letter day, but American annual observances are marked distinctly. 

September 1 stands out as Labor Day, while the evocative 9/11 is Patriot Day, not to be confused with Patriots’ Day in April. The hallmark of October is Halloween and Thanksgiving the highlight of November. Incidentally, on an attractive calendar my nephew sent me from Melbourne, our special January 26 is Australia Day!

Thus, if I want to know on what day of the week Gandhi Jayanti falls this year, I must consult my Bangalore calendars or one I acquired in Mumbai. The latter is in Marathi and unusual enough for me to recall a calendar that I possessed when I was in Iran. Since it was in Farsi, my Iranian calendar or ‘taghvim’ was largely incomprehensible to me. 

I do know, however, that it began on March 21, the Iranian New Year that coincides with the vernal equinox. I also remember that it featured Revolution Day, Islamic Republic Day and the Nowruz vacation. 

Nearly three decades have passed since I bought that calendar from a friendly newsvendor in the southwestern city of Ahvaz. As the cliché reminds us, ‘Time flies’! I can scarcely believe that most of 2014 is over.

It seems just the other day that I was browsing around bookshops and stationery stores for bright and beautiful calendars, as alluring to me as rainbows were to Wordsworth!

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