In the lazy afternoon of 5th July, 2013, as I lay on my bed, my eyes staring fixedly at the bare ceiling above, my mind escaped into slightly forgotten territories of the mind. And one such place was the world of Pokémon.
Ask some of my school friends, especially those who were my class-mates in Section B of Classes 6, 7, 8 and 9, and you would be surprised to hear from them how obsessed I had been about Pokémon at that time! Those were the days when this new show called Pokémon had started to be aired on Cartoon Network and within a really short span of time, it became highly popular among the kid-folk of my hometown, Duliajan. As a matter of fact, the reason for the huge popularity of this English-dubbed Japanese anime can undoubtedly be attributed to Uncle Chips. Reason is you used to get a free Pokémon goody like ‘Tazzo’, ‘Zenga card’, ‘playing card’ etc. inside every pack of Uncle Chips! And for a Pokémon fanatic like me, seldom a day went by, for 2 years or so, without purchasing at least 1 Uncle Chips pack! 😀 Well, don’t be scared by the jumbo degree of junk food as I rarely emptied the chips packets into my mouth; my sole concern was to grab hold of the goody as soon as the packet was blasted open! (And if luck favoured me, sometimes, two or three goodies popped out) 🙂
I wouldn’t be doing justice to this post if I don’t write about my Pokémon-related antics in Class 6 in 2003. The year saw an exponential rise in sale of Uncle Chips and a wave of frenzy, to collect Pokémon goodies, swept almost all boy classmates of mine. Such was the craze that we used to trade each other’s goodies, either with the purpose of keeping and admiring them at home for a night, or in order to create variety in one’s collection. (Once, I really got annoyed because I found the same Pokémon Tazzo in 11 continuous Uncle Chips packets!) I admit that a tiny amount of trickery did help me collect goodies without having to sacrifice from my own set, thus, allowing me to amass a huge assortment of varied goodies. 😉 I don’t know whether my good friends Souvik Ghosh, Abhinash Saikia, Abhinav Jha, Manisha Dutta and Jayashree Doley remember or not, that we used to sit near each other in the classroom and spend every free minute, between periods or during tiffin-break, in playing Pokémon battles in rough notebooks. I fondly remember how I used to randomly draw some weird-looking creature and give it a weirder name, and tell my friends that it is a very powerful Pokémon and that it shall appear someday in the cartoon series. Quite unexpectedly, most of my hand-drawn creations did appear on TV in one form or the other! Pokémon eventually turned out to be my favourite time-pass activity.
As the slideshow of bygone memories continued, I withdrew myself from bed and walked up to my almirah, where I safely kept everything I had collected during my salad days. A mini search in one of the shelves led me to my prized collection of Pokémon goodies. The box was a little dusty, so I brushed it off and opened it. Emotions stirred in me instantly. Picking out a few of the goodies, I spread them on my table and captured them with my camera, hoping that this picture is able to reinvigorate the same vibes in future, as it happened this day. 🙂 🙂 🙂