These charms...

As a teenager, I used to LOVE key chains. God alone knows how much pocket money I spent on buying silly key chains in various shapes and sizes ... that the money I spent on books, but the latter is something that gives me joy even today. The key chains, well, they don't... they make me realize the follies of youth. Those Chuimui-si-tum-teddy bear key chains, the ones that stick to the shirt, the shoe-shaped ones and what not... :)
This love , I noticed, didn't entirely go away. Instead, there is a transformation in it now. I now carry items that remind me of happy times and sometimes people in my key ring at all times... and this morning, as I was sorting stuff in my handbag, I noticed that the bag was heavy only because of the heavy key ring, and just how many charms I carry on me!
Presenting to you, the contents of my key ring...

Lets start from the most latest and first on the left - the green jade colored angel I bought at St.Stephen's Cathedral in Budapest on my most recent trip to Central Europe. The trip is special to me because I took it with a girlfriend, and needless to say it was tonnes of fun. I also bought a similar one in turquoise stone for another dear friend and she has it on her keyring now, I think... so there, two happy memories for me from this one! :)

A couple of years ago, I took a solo, short trip to London. All I did was to walk along the Thames and eat lots of fudge brownies from Pret-a-Manger... and oh yes, I made the inner 12-year old happy, by going to 221B Baker Street to visit Sherlock, pose silly in front of the sign at Bond Street, and ask a hundred directions to reach Platform No. 9 3/4 at King's Cross. The merchandise was obscenely expensive, but I had to get myself a wee little bit of Potter, and hence the brass token of the platform number.

For someone who worked in the IT industry for a long time, my first visit to the US was pretty late in my career. Literally everyone I knew had visited the States before, and there were jokes on how I was the last person in Andhra Pradesh to visit the States among certain groups of friends :). So this trip was something like a milestone for me, workwise... plus, it also acts like a bottle opener, so I am never left with a bottle at hand and not an opener. :)

One of the brief phases I went through in my late teens is getting personalized key chains done. It felt special and made me feel like an adult at the same time, some kind of a new found freedom at having something like this. I remember, I got three such personalized key chains done at once, all names with 5 letters (that was a minimum requirement with the maker, and he charged me 50/- back in 2000, I think!). One was for my brother, and another for a friend, and I had to shorten their names to fit the 5-letter-requirement. This charm is for the sweet trip down the nostalgic lane!

Greece was the first European country we visited, the husband and I, and also probably the place where we had the most fun on a trip. I can still taste the food I ate there, and scorching heat of the sun; the azure skies, and the white houses are just a blink away in my mind... I bought a Circle of Life charm at the Monastiraki market in Athens... and I cherish it!

Well, its evident by now to friends of mine that am childless by choice, and that I love their children a lot. A LOT. There are a few kids whom am close to, who are growing up and I feel fortunate to be a part of their journey... I cherish the bond I have with them, and the kids know they mean a lot to me! This is a handmade wire based charm a friend's daughter made for me when she learnt this craft at her school, around 6 years ago. She most definitely doesn't remember this now, but the fact that she willingly gave it to me after she made it... that's one of my most happy memories.

I know its a long life, and am going to collect more happy memories... I keep thinking I wouldn't have place to carry all of them on my person always... so yeah, there will be a time when I'll have to prioritize... But till then, here I go, with my heavy handbag! :)


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