Going for the movie Toy Story 3 was nowhere in sight until I landed at the movie hall waiting for my friend and her kid nephew and niece. Luckily she had an extra ticket on the same day I called her for lunch. And so it all worked out! I reached the place in no time while she was running late. Usually I hate missing any bit of the movie, but what the heck..it’s not like I was planning on this for long. So after the 20 minutes late entry, with the hot dog and coke and the 3D glasses in my hand, apologising to all the people i stamped on while finding my seat in the dark, I tried to settle in as quickly as possible. After wearing the glasses I hoped this was worth it all. And worth every bit it was.
If you have read the post on “The living Potato” you would really understand why at the end of the movie, I was more emotional than my friend’s 6-year-old niece there. The movie wasn’t a movie…it was my truth!! I believe that stuff. Things having a thoughts, everything having feelings and even toys having a life. I believed this as much as Michael Arndt who along with three others has written the story of the movie. As I kept watching and getting more and more involved in the story, my precious three flashed on my mind continuously.
My 1st was a plastic doll boy. He wore a hat which was blue and a suit that matched. He was a big doll, or maybe I was very little (as most of the things i remember from that age turn out to be not so big), a matter of perspective. Well as I was saying, this suited boy doll was my company almost everywhere. My mother could easily be free from worrying about me as long as she made sure I had him. I wasn’t old enough to think of a name or maybe I just didn’t think of it. I have little memory of what I spoke to him, but I do know he accompanied me everywhere, proof of which are my childhood albums, where this little gentlemanly fellow was always around. Then one day while my mother was cooking I was probably playing some game in my head too. Mr. Suit and hat wasn’t far too and at some unfortunate hour he landed close to the stove. His trousers got fire and his legs melted in seconds. The handsome doll now had a gaping hole in his body. There was a black charred mark around the area that was around. His hat was safe but I think he cared for more. It was tough for my parents to replace him. But I was young. Better at coping and less used to things so not very hard to distract. And this is how my 2nd came along.
By now I was 4 (or maybe 5). He was what we all call a teddy bear. A brown coloured, small enough for me to carry and big enough for me to hug, guy. Had round black eyes and a mouth attached on contrasting white bulging part. Short ears and limbs. He only sat in one position and unlike now, when teddy bears have a bunch of soft fur, he had none! He was made of a fabric which was soft but nothing extraordinary. And it never mattered as his face was warm and eyes kind. He liked me. I knew it. By now I was little more grown to read the expressions on things’ faces. I heard them a little more. I loved them a lot more than before. He lasted very long. But his brown covering was getting weak. I thought he was getting fatter hence the sponge popping out every now and then. Mother insisted we donate him, I argued he wouldn’t like it. So I convinced her to stitch him up and give him new clothes. He wore a skirt. (Don’t ask me why, if only I knew Teddy’s don’t prefer skirts :p) But then, that was the easiest to make. His face never changed. And it’s the look on that face that I cared about more than what he wore. He was living with dignity again.
By this time my 3rd had arrived. While all attempts were being made to cure and help the 2nd survive, a new fellow, a monkey this time, had found his way, into my ‘now’ 6 year old heart. He was a happy guy. Big smile, confident posture, small ears, corduroy trousers, with suspenders and white and pink striped full sleeves t-shirt. He was really fit. His long arms would come around my neck when he wasn’t busy hanging from a swing that came with him. I was very happy with him. He and I shared the maximum conversations so far. Teddy was never neglected and they both were comfortable with each other.
There was someone else in the house who liked the monkey too. My pet dog Suzy. She was so fond of him that she chewed on his soft hands all day. One day Mum realised his fingers had disappeared. His hand was hollow. Suzy chewed it so much that the poor monkey had nothing to hang on with anymore. Slowly, his t-shirt was weakening and his stiff arms were now limp and folding in places. But his smile was big as ever. I wondered how he managed? He was quite the brave one. As I was my parent’s only child then, I thought of the monkey like my brother. And to show that I meant it I tied rakhi to it every Rakshabandhan. It was just a little odd when I offered him my old baby frock to wear as his t-shirt was quite torn by now. I did question in my mind that maybe the whole ‘brave monkey’ brother’s character didn’t fit very well with the white lacy frock I gave him. But the Teddy consoled him and I thought it was just practical.:p
Now I was seven. Also the year my brother was born. Well, it means very hard times ahead of Teddy and Monkey. Teddy survived (or just got ignored by my brother), but Monkey. Oh, he was tortured. My mother insisted I shared them with my brother who pulled and tore him apart. I was trying to fix him every other day. He was putting up a great fight but then one day.. Monkey left us. His chewed arms were unstitchable to his body and his face was all that was left. The same, smiling brave face. I cried a lot I remember. Felt like my oldest and best friends were gone. My brave brother monkey was now no more. I wasn’t very vocal about it but my parents realised it effected me deeply. Soon there was a replacement. Another monkey. But he had a conical maroon hat stitched on his head and a banana moulded along his hand. “He wasn’t real” I thought to myself. “What kind of monkey wears a conical hat, has a banana in one hand and swings with the other. Not just that, he wore boots!!!!!!!” This was surely a fake. I was even more upset.
I had no more special toys. I felt I had already had my share of coping with the loss. More than anything else I realised that these guys were with me when I needed them most. They weren’t the best looking or the latest ones outside, but inside they were as much people to me as my cousins and friends. I even shared my old dresses with them. They were always around when I needed and most importantly they were truly mine.
Today I am 26 and as I was wiping my tears after the last scene, it wasn’t just the what happened in the movie. Deep down I know that the tears that came were connected to something else. They were dedicated to the memories of my own little story of the three. The unnamed, the teddy and the monkey. If you can hear me like you heard me then, thank you for being there. My 1st three true friends.