A pair of black ribbons

Like most of my friends, who lived in our small town in the hills, I studied from kindergarten to higher secondary in the same school. 14 years in the same school and then straight to university.

I used to love our school uniform. The school required girls to have their hair done up in two braids, with black ribbons to keep the braids in place.

At the beginning of each school year my mom would buy us each a pair of black ribbons, nice shiny ones. It was an unspoken rule that we had to keep these ribbons carefully, so that they would last the year.

Courtesy – http://www.123rf.com
Sigh! That never happened, however much we tried. There was a constant battle with my siblings if any ribbon went missing.

Necessity being the mother of invention and all, if we lost a ribbon, we would cut the other ribbon in half. This helped for a while. The halves then became quarters sometimes, and when we reached the ‘quarter-size’ ribbon, we would cut the ribbon horizontally. We were innovators, the best ribbon innovators ever.

Our mom would watch us snip and cut, but would not say a word. We were expected to take care of our things and make them last.

However, when our ribbons completely vanished or when they shrunk to the size of threads, my mom would give us a brand new pair of ribbons. We never knew where she kept her stock. All that we knew was that my mom had a box secreted away in the kitchen, which had a supply of safety pins, hair pins, shiny black ribbons and rubber bands.

We took the new pairs with relief. We placed a lot of value on our possessions. Nothing was taken for granted, and we were taught to appreciate what we had. 

We learnt many valuable lessons, in addition to being superlative ribbon innovators!