The Autobiography of an Eraser


What legends believe is true: “No one is perfect. That’s why pencils have erasers.” After all, to err is human! To erase is an eraser!

I erase. You rewrite. This way, I help you fix your mistakes. I am an eraser, a crucial tool for writers who use pencils. I am made of some rubber that wipes away anything written by pencil. So, you are free to make mistakes. I’ll be there to fix them, buddy! I form a part of the good old memories of everyone’s school days. I, along with my partner, pencil, am the very first learning tool of a child. I know I am not a pencil that writes someone’s happiness. I am the eraser that rubs away their misery.

I am not one of those ordinary white erasers. I am a pink Apsara eraser! But I have lost my glory now as I have become dirty, overused and old. Sita is my owner. She once loved me so much that she had given me a name – Erashwer. But she barely uses me now since she has gotten a new eraser. The new one is in the shape of a unicorn and has a fragrance. So, I stand nowhere in his comparison. Lying here in one of Sita’s old bags, I want to narrate my story.

I remember I was born in the eraser unit of Apsara factory. I am a mixture of fine pumice, synthetic rubber and other ingredients. It took a long time to manufacture me. In the end, they added pigments, which gave me my peculiar colour. All my peers were of the same make and size but of different colours. I was pink! I was just one of thousands of erasers there in a room that was dotted with the smell of eraser rubber. Then, I was neatly packed and put into a box. Each box contained a hundred erasers.

My box reached a stationery shop through a channel of wholesalers and distributors. I, as well as my friends, was displayed in a small tray inside the glass case of the front counter of the shop. The counter displayed many trays containing different erasers, pens, pencils and other stationery. We coloured erasers would simply look down on the ordinary white erasers. We would boast about our colour. But, they say there’s always a bigger fish in the ocean. Some other erasers had the shape of animals and were also fragranced. They were the ones that attracted all the toddlers. I looked up at them. They were more exotic and costlier. Life in the shop was tedious. Customers would come and go. The white erasers had more demand since they were not costly. The shopkeeper would show the erasers to the customers as per their choice. My friends got sold in no time.

Then, there came my day! A girl named Sita, who was in third standard then, came with her elder sister to the shop. Sita wanted stationery for her new semester. Her elder sister asked for a fancy pencil, a white eraser and a notebook. But Sita insisted on me as she liked my colour; and believe me, she was a stubborn girl. The shopkeeper, to my disbelief, picked me up and kept me on the shop counter. It was finally my time to get sold! At first, I thought it was a hallucination. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I watched my friends as they bid me goodbye. Soon, I found myself in a bag. I could not help but smile.

Later that day, Sita put me in her pencil case. I befriended the other guys there: the sharpener, the pen and the ruler, who ruled the case. Above all, there were two pencils, and they became my best friends. I remarked, “You both are looking sharp today!” On the first day of school, Sita flaunted me in her classroom. She was one of the few pupils to have a fancy eraser. She started writing a poem with her pencil. Then, I came to my use. She was an overexcited girl. So, she made lots of mistakes, and she would erase them using me. That became my day-to-day job. Whenever she would make a mistake, I would lose a part of me. Sita loved me so much that she gave me a name – Erashwer. She used to take great care of me, keep me clean and make sure I didn’t get dirty. In turn, I helped to write neatly, cleanly and correctly. I offered a smooth erasure with a minimum of paper trauma. Blissful it was!

After two months, I saw the love of my life. She was the new eraser of Sita’s bench-mate. She was very elegant and soft. I got to know her name after a while; it was ‘Rubdi.’ We both would hang out on the bench. “Erashwer,” she would say, “we have gotten awfully rubbed throughout our lives!” I remarked, “Well said, Rubdi!”

But then, I started becoming dirty. Sita used me quite often. So, I lost my glory and even became a bit smaller. She bought a new eraser last month. We both have a fierce rivalry between us. He features a unicorn’s shape and has a special fragrance; whereas I am a bit old and dirty. Sita doesn’t like me anymore.

Now, Sita has moved to the fourth standard. I, full of bruises and dirt, am lying here in her old bag. I don’t think I’ll ever get to meet Rubdi again. All I have to say is: I am an eraser. I am a powerful reminder that mistakes are okay. A mistake is the first step towards success. So, mate, don’t blame yourself for your mistakes! I am here to fix them!

No one is perfect. That’s why pencils have erasers.