The days leading up to the New Year was always an exciting one. Not necessarily because of the holidays or the possibility of some drinking in prospect. It was the need to look up the day of the week of my birthday or the beginning of the summer holidays. Frantic looking up the school calendar would help sometimes. The real thrill was to ask the shops, the regular grocer, the banks and friends for a calendar.
Our house would be adorned with at least ten calendars in the last week of the year. Weekly magazines used to vie with each other in providing a colourful calendar. Even some of the temples around used to give the visitors on 1 January a calendar or two – though it was more of an almanac than a traditional calendar.
Some would be a single sheet of paper with all the twelve months on a single page. Others would have twelve sheets separately for each month. Some printed on both sides having only six pages – a bit cumbersome. Good calendars were those with a built-in hole so that we could use it.
The star of the calendars were the date calendar with a sheet for each day. All debates on auspicious days, time and other details relating to festivals were settled using the date calendar. Another important piece the elders would go about getting was the பஞ்சாங்கம் (panchangam) – the all-purpose house almanac.
Alas, this year was not to be like that. No more calendars in printed form. The omnipresent mobiles, iPad, laptops, PC all have the calendars. No one is interested in calendars. Even desk calendars are vanishing from the offices.
In the worst situation, it takes but a minute to print a monthly calendar use it and throw it out all within half an hour.
At least the house owners are happy. No more nails hammered into the wall to hang calendars.
Diaries were a close second – but that is for another day.