In children’s books words are the deft-defying ambassadors of adventure, beauty, intrigue, delicious frightfulness and hope, the latter is as fantastically dogged and hard-nosed as a rhino who thinks he can beat anyone in the ring because he has just rummaged through a fresh bag of Haribos that has served to induce a huge energy surge in his legs! Whoopsee! Giggle, giggle!
So, with tea and cake in mind, but decidedly deferred till a little later in the day, Katie and I, who are both completely buffoon about books, skidded into Winchester’s only dedicated shop designed to cater for the appetites of those who cannot live without words, and we began to inhale, gulp and wash down the papery treasures neatly laid out in piles on various tables whose order somewhat defied logic. I prefer the exile of systematic pathways in such places, for books were meant to discover You as much as You are meant to discover them, an odd but comforting sentiment that is most effectively reinforced when there is an element of haphazardness in the layout of the fortress – a maze of sorts – where You never quite know which literary mass will cross Your path. A bit like Life itself, since we never know who is walking round the corner, and who on our path shall become ‘a star-cross Lover’, except I tend to take editorial liberties at such junctions, prodding Destiny to pen me something far more nicer than that of the tragic ending of Shakespeare’s masterpiece!
Well, today, of all days, a character born out of words swirled his fabulous attire of wonders in my path! Katie and I, in the middle of the bookshop, felt at once as if we were swept off our feet and placed in the very core of the capital itself! Whatever was it that made us believe that we had transported ourselves to one of the most bustling train stations of all of England? ♥
Because and behold and be bewitched…
We had suddenly spotted a certain extremely cuddlesome, furry immigrant!
He told us that he came from Darkest Peru and that his Aunty Lucy had, with breaking heart, sent him to our world so that he may find a loving family and a new home.
A worrying marmalade habit he admitted to, this chap was in possession of the real artefact which he kept safely under his floppy hat in case of those nasty, disastrous moments of Code 5 emergencies!
And, incidentally, it was being found on a London train station that had inspired his rather exceedingly strange but affectionately poised name.
I speak of Paddington, of course! ♥
I do have every right in the universe to whack You on the head with my Poppins umbrella should You have not correctly guessed the figure in question from the first clue alone! Ahem, ahem!
Katie and I jumped with strawberry-flavoured joy to see our dear old Paddy, a modest little bear, lost and unwanted in one of the largest cities in the world, and yet who eventually comes to realise that there was more to him than he had expected. A life of horrid rejection and loneliness is turned on its head thanks to a discovery more splendid than finding gold or diamonds or the lost world of Atlantis! A family to match the colour and bohemianism and outgoing spirit as his own, when the Browns open their doors and arms to the orphan bear, he promptly returns to being his happy self that at times he himself notices that it becomes incredibly tricky to tell the difference between love, marmalade and the sunrise! It was all the same to him because true happiness does that to a bear! ♥
“Katie, it is a Sign! We’ve found a rare Paddy Bear, look at those waterproof red wellies he’s got on!” The words blabbed out of my mouth at a speed of knots and if You remember we were in a bookshop, temples of respectable silence, that my rattling of the vocal chords stirred a few heads out of their trances to poke stares at me. I must say none of it was hostile, there were smiles of agreement and a few fond smirks that acknowledged that it was perfectly acceptable for two grown women to be thoroughly passionate about a children’s book character! That is Winchester for You! Giggle, giggle!
May I remind You that Paddy Bear in the film DOES NOT wear any sturdy footwear throughout his time on screen which was a little let down for those of us who had grown up with the books, though it must be said, his pudgy paws all exposed allowed me to admire them in a way I had never done so in the past. He does have the most adorable set of feet, dear Reader, and no matter the grossness of the terrains he must clamber and climb I can never imagine those little digits of his – no not numbers – to ever be smote with stinky feet! It is a bare – sorry – bear thing to be endowed with such stench-busting traits!
“Mazzy darling, take the photograph!” Katie was on all stations go! An auspicious acquisition, a bear with no bare feet, equipped with hardy footwear and ready to take on the barbaric temperaments of the British weather system, my friend urged me not to hesitate a second more and I gladly obliged her legitimate whim and took the shot!
The moral of this short tale, as short as the hero in it and the heroine who wrote it, is that time NEVER stands still and nor does Destiny, with a dinky self-sprinkle of Faith in oneself, You never know of all the places You will go. If You do not believe me then ask Yourself, why are YOU reading my words?
Words have the power to hold Your hands even if the weather to be walked under is wet and windy, and by reading this story – that happens to be about a story – tonight You have travelled a little closer to my Home, courtesy of a pair of Wellington boots blessed by the colours that You have already REaD of in the breast of the winter robin and in the strokes of Lata ji’s pen… ♥♥♥
LINK [A big giver but never did he ask from anyone for a pair of Wellington boots!] https://www.facebook.com/PaddingtonBear/photos/a.157585777634955.33066.125079994218867/1002772773116247/?type=3&theater
“… Words have the power to hold Your hands even if the weather to be walked under is wet and windy, and by reading this story about a story tonight You have travelled a little closer to my Home, courtesy of a pair of Wellington boots…”
Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester| UK 2015