Writing 101, Day 17: Maps.

But the truth of the matter is, there are more maps in the world than anyone can count. Every person draws a map that shows themselves at the center.

— By Catherynne M. Valente, The Boy Who Lost Fairyland

“Mum, mum, see, this looks like the picture on fathers reading room wall. Isn’t it?” shouted the kid. He pointed at the Indian Territory on the world map. He was very excited to have this new globe as his birthday present from his mother. When his mother opened the box in front of him and presented him the globe, he first hugged his mother sitting close to him and then took the globe in his small hands. He placed it on the ground. It was a blue ball on top of a metal base. Another metal piece was holding the ball tightly on top and it was connected to the base. He started rotating the globe by small touch from his index fingers. The world rotated in front of him. Then he started observing each and every part of it and started asking his mother all the questions he had in his mind.

“Yes son. It is India. The country we live in. You father has an Indian map on his reading room wall. India is a part of the world. That is why it is there in the world map” explained his mother a way that a kid can easily understand.

“Mom, where is our home?” asked the kid drawing his mother’s attention towards him and the globe.

His mother pointed out the state in the east part of India and said “Here. We live in this state”.

“Mum. Why does not it have our house in it?” asked the kid in a tone that suggested he was hurt as well as irritated.

“There are so many places in India. How can they have all house pictured in this small globe? If you get a bigger globe, then it will have more names like the town we live in or so” explained his mother.

“Mum. We need the biggest globe to have our house on it” said the boy triumphantly looking at his mother. His eyes glowed with excitement.

Ten years later. The boy was in his adolescence. He was working on his home computer. He started calling his mother from his desk. His mother was cooking downstairs. She came in a hurry after his son started calling her incessantly till she comes up to the study room.

The boy pulled a chair beside him asked his mother to sit.

“Mum. Let me show you the biggest globe now. I have finally found it” said the boy with over excitement. He opened the Google Maps and showed his mother the blue globe on the screen.

“Look mum. Isn’t it like the same globe that you bought me on my birthday?”

He rotated the globe with the touch of the mouse in his right hand. Once the Asian territory became visible, he clicked on the zoom button to zoom in to India.

“Wow. Nice” replied his mother.

“Wait mum. It would get even nicer” smiled the boy looking at his mother. His mother’s eyes were fixed on the computer screen.  He then zoomed again to the east corner of India and showed his mother their state.

His mother fixed her gaze on the computer screen. She loved what she saw. She was very happy at the fact that his son was showing him the same thing that she taught him earlier when he was a kid, in a very different way.

The boy further zoomed in to show his mother the town they lived in. The map now did not look like a map and it looked like more of an aerial photograph of their town displaying notable places and building.

“Mum. I have changed this map to display my name whenever anyone looks into our house” said the boy triumphantly and further zoomed in.

When he was done with this, he looked at his mother. His mother was still looking at the computer screen smiling. On the computer screen, it showed their house from the top and it showed a name beside it. “Ishan’s house”, it showed the name over there.


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