In all my last posts I have been doling out ‘gyan’; the gyan-giver in me today wants to take a break from that and write about something rather personal .
“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things…”
sang Maria aka Julie Andrews in the classic Sound of Music -one of my favourite films.
I’ll tell you what. Besides the soothing early morning sky, all kind of non- humans and plants, raindrops and rainbows, I also have a few inanimate objects that are included in that favourite list. Here is a lowdown.
I have always been a story addict; tell me a good story and I am hooked. As a child, the world of fairy tales captivated me like no other. The illustration that accompanied those books was so well done that I still try to find them in old, second hand book stores.
There were several things that I liked about the protagonists – Rapunzel’s silky tresses, Snow White and Red Rose’s pretty gowns and Cinderella’s beautifully crafted glass slippers (not to become someone else, but because they looked so damn pretty!) but above all this I craved the idea of having a nice dresser with a huge mirror with some dainty stuff on the top delicately placed on crochet doilies. I somehow had a firm belief that all genuine princesses have that dresser. Absolutely no logic, but then ‘logical thinking’ has never been a strong point for yours truly. And these days I have something that fits the bill – finally!
Disclaimer: Err, no I am not a princess and definitely do not aspire to be one.
A dainty intricate-work-on-it white box (picked up from a random décor store) which takes care of my pearls -real and artificial ones. Every time I take one out, I toy with it for a while soaking in that princess feeling! It of course helps that I do own a rosewood chest of drawers – yes real rosewood!
This tea-light holder is cherished. Don’t ask me why I like it so much; we do not always do things for a reason. I have picked up from a thrift bazaar; it’s one of my favourite mood enhancer. And boy, its pretty – sometimes when the living room is done up with only tea lights and moonlight filtering in, I get lost looking at this.
This wood carved box was considered a treasure trove in my growing up years. Aware of my fascination, Ma had taken her belongings and would let me keep my most coveted stuff in it. Nowadays it holds some of my most cherished memories. A Maggie club membership badge (Maggie still is my favourite breakfast), a golden fountain pen gifted to me by my grandfather (who died when I was six) a beautiful ballet dancer brooch that Ma saved for me to wear, a small handwritten note by my first painting teacher, an itar bottle that smells of love even after 2 decades.
“Ek chutki sindoor ka kimat tum kya jano Dev Babu?” – an epic Bollywood (read FILMY) dialogue that we have all laughed at. Considered dramatic now, there was a time, few decades back when vermillion or sindoor was truly the Holy Grail for women of marriageable age. Vermillion powder applied on the hair parting stands for the woman’s identity after marriage in most parts of India – definitely Bengal. Sindoor-kouto is the container in which the powder is kept. This belonged to my late grandmother whom I addressed as Amma.
The inscription has her name ‘Molina” and a saying ‘Pati Param Guru” loosely translated as “Husband is the ultimate teacher”. Yes, yes in these days of ultra-feminism we scoff at it, but she kind of believed that; they stuck together till the end. Why do I like it? Maybe because the nostalgia junkie in me feels good every time I glance at it – the bygone era, the bygone beliefs.
So, these are the things closest to my heart. What are your favourites in your abode?