I was rummaging through that light blue box with those compartments, Mi, where I used to keep all sorts of knick knacks – if you can call safety pins, lone earrings separated from the set, toe rings, friendship bands, bangles, hairpins, a teeth mould, beads, tie pins and other odds and ends knick knacks – wondering what I was going to do with it all, when I came across these Binaca toys.

They filled me with such joy – bringing in a rush of memories. How excited I used to be as a child when our toothpaste was on the verge of finishing – because it meant a new tube and a new toy in the carton! I am surprised I only had these left. I wondered where that fat little swan had disappeared – I coveted it for so long before I actually got one! How I used to wish we could buy a bunch of toothpaste cartons and get hold of all the little toys! Haha! But only one was in our budget at each point in time.

I’ve played innumerable games with these toys, imagining all sorts of stories and fairy tales. One thing I remember, I so coveted a big doll back then, especially after we saw that golden haired beauty at Vengan’s place. I fantasized about holding that huge doll and brushing her hair, braiding it, making clothes. They kept her in a large case and I wished they’d just hand her over to me! How hilarious it now seems.

Years – nah – decades later, I picked up our cute Caroline on impulse, along with a bunch of other stuff at a garage sale. I wonder what possessed us to name her Caroline? She still sits in a corner of Vidur’s closet and I laugh when I look at her little pillow and mattress. I still change her dress for her and diligently rinse out her blue dress. I also carefully tuck her little milk bottle under her arm.

Sometimes we never grow out of some fantasies eh? Although you’d be so proud to know that Vidur is happy to give away all his toys. What a generous soul! Can you believe he’ll be 18 in a couple of days? Seems like just yesterday that we brought him home for the first time! Sigh.