"Will you tell me what it is called?"
"Yellow pencil!" I replied between sobs.
"Arre that is the color, tell me the name of that pencil" my Mom was getting irritated which lead to a proportional increase in my crying.
"Ok I will look for it."
I was in first standard. I had a friend of mine who had bought these yellow pencils to school. I used to somehow love her stationery. She was the first one who had brought "penpencil" to school. Those pencils which had many leads in it. Loss of one lead and the entire pencil would be useless. Nevertheless I had wanted that too and Papa had brought me a blue penpencil. Now this yellow pencil had caught my fancy.
Mom searched in stores and came back with a yellow pencil which had black stripes on it.
'This is not the pencil I want! I know you will not bring it now!" I threw a fit.
"There's nothing called as yellow pencil! The shopkeepers keep asking the name. This is also yellow so keep it." she yelled at me.
For days I kept pestering her for the yellow pencil.
In the lunch break my friend opened her pencilbox for some reason. She used to place a paper in her pencil box so that it doesn't get dirty with the pencil marks and for some reasons she also put something fragnant in her box so that everytime she opened her pencil box it would smell of sandalwood.
I saw four bright yellow, sharpened pencils. It had no name on it.
Ego kept me from asking her where she bought it from. It made me more stubborn to have those pencils now.
I dared not ask for those pencils after Mom's outburst. After some days I even forgot about it.
One day while watching TV, I saw an advertisement on cable. It was the same yellow pencil! Its name was Lion!
Now finally I had a name for the pencil and called out Mom to tell her I want Lion's pencil. She might have been frustrated but it was rare that I did not get what I wanted so much.
My Mom worked far away from where we lived. There are many places near her workplace which are places for wholesale stationery and many book stores as well. She made it a point to go there on a Saturday (when it would have been packed with crowd) and look for the Lion's pencil. The shopkeepers told her that the pencil might not have been produced on a big scale yet and the ad might have been just promotional. There was no Lion's pencil in market yet.
She had promised me to bring those pencils if she found them but she had no luck. She knew I would be inconsolable if she returned empty handed.
She came home with four pencil sets. Two each of Apsara Gold and Apsara Extra Dark. Those were the times when Nataraj and Apsara (the normal black one) were used in our school. These two were newly launched so she had thought this would make me happy.. How right she was!
I was satisfied with the new pencils and forgot all about the yellow pencils. More than writing with them, I played with them and sharpened all of them :P
How much joy a pencil can hold only innocence can know!
Today while travelling back from college in a crowded local train, I saw a girl seated and writing with a yellow pencil. Memories came back flooding. Years later, when I think of it, I realise the tact with which Mom dealt with me. I realised how even I might have been a cause for many young children of my class crying for the new "extra dark" or "apsara gold" pencils.
Later ,when my stop was about to come, I stood near the entrance and the girl with yellow pencil too came there. She was still holding her pencil in hand.
Ego kept me from asking her the name of the pencil :P
Some things never change I guess!