I am pleased to put together this short story about one of my Secretary friends, Josephine Allan.
A flashback to the 1970's, when Josephine (now in her 40's) loved to play "house house" with her toys and dolls. Playing "house" was a common past time for girls in those days, long before the Barbie culture took over. I remember that time, well, do you?
Today, you can find a plethora of dolls, who come not just with their clothes and jewellery, but also with their make up, cars, designer dresses, shoes, costumes and houses.
But in the good old days and earlier, to which Josephine, I and many of our group of Secretaries belong, we had simple dolls, made out of moulds, already dressed in their plastic, rubber or fabric clothes. There was nothing to do, but hug them, sew or knit clothes to dress them over their rubber or fabric clothes and wash them when they got dirty. We would actually pin our dolls on the clothes-line to dry !!!
Little girl, Josephine wanted much more. The creative child came to play and she started 'dolling' up her toys, by creating jewellery and costumes for them. The thrill of doing this, slowly metamorphosed into something much bigger and she progressed to creating a lot of handicraft items with beads and wire.
Some of the things she created were doilies, thorans (beaded strings hung in a doorway, in place of curtains or even over curtains), beaded toy furniture, beaded vases and much more. Eventually, she started fixing some of her broken jewellery and gradually started making her own jewellery - earrings, neckwear, finger-rings and bangles.
In the good old days, when we left school and college, we would buy beautiful note books or what we called "autograph" books. We would then go to our teachers and fellow students and ask them to write a few lines about how they remembered us. One of the very common rhymes that was often written in our little books, was :
First comes college...Then comes marriage...Then comes ...........................................With her baby in her carriage !!!
Where...................................would be filled in with the name of the person.
For Josephine, too, life followed a similar pattern...college, marriage, a baby and a job. Her hobby of creating jewellery, came to a standstill of sorts, as she coped with the demands of adulthood, marriage, managing a family and a job.
However, her "little girl love" viz. designing jewellery, kept peeping over her shoulder and somehow, somewhere along this journey, got her attention, once again and then, there was no turning back.
It was not easy for Josephine and though from her lovely smile and the beautiful jewellery she creates, it all looks so casual, it was not. Where would she find the time? Her family, her job, her Church work, her friends, all needed her. Could she really dare to upset the apple cart and let her "little girl love" into her heart?
However, one thing that she had learned from life was, that getting UPSET would not sort out any issues, but getting UP to SET things right, would be the better path to follow.
Josephine, slowly, cautiously, but surely, started going down memory lane and re-living her designs, however, this time, with more determination and urgency - perhaps making up for lost time? When her friends and colleagues saw her sporting some of the jewellery made by her, they started placing requests for a certain style, colour or piece. Thus, her journey started once more in full swing and with doubled passion.
Josephine is a member of the 'Angels of Change' group - a 'wing' of St John's Church in Fraser Town, Bangalore. She started displaying her craft at the Sunday 'breakfast' sale that happens in the Church some Sundays, during the year, after service. There are a variety of stalls selling eats and knick-knacks. With more visibility, there was greater demand and her friends and well-wishers, encouraged her to take this hobby further and pursue it relentlessly.
The proceeds from the sale of jewellery at the Church sales are donated for a worthy cause - an NGO, an orphanage or some such needy cause. This has been a big drive for Josephine to create better and more beautiful jewellery - born from a burning passion and fire.
Josephine, currently works full-time in the retail industry and is also a full-time wife and Mother. In Josephine's words, "Mother to a beautiful 12-year old girl child". She beautifully specifies girl child, because she feels that she is blessed and complete with her baby girl and has no regrets or wishes for a boy.
If you thought that jewellery was all that Josephine seriously dabbled in, do go ahead and note what her other interests are...reading, dabbling in a wee bit of glass painting and regular painting occasionally, other handicraft items such as 'flowers made of stocking material' and to a large extent collecting antiques - be it household utility items, furniture or curios ! She has a collection of the same too ! Well now - that's another story ! She is hoping to convert her jewellery hobby into an online business, someday.
In conclusion, Josephine joins me in endorsing the following quote, attributed to Hudson Taylor :