Treasure from a jewel. This vase was a gift from a very special person the year I moved back to India. I was trying to adjust to being in migraine-inducing Delhi after 12 years of living away, coping with a toxic, soul-sucking job that had sounded amazing in the interview, one I gave up my entire trajectory, security, and lifestyle for only to find they’d handed my designation to someone else. What kept me going through the feeling of, “Did I give up my life for this?” was the family I lived with, a family I sort of borrowed from another family-friend. I moved in with my oldest friend’s mausi, who, with her husband, daughter, husband’s two nieces and nephew, 3 dogs and their house help became my scaffolding, my anchor, my shelter.
I would try to make my presence less of a burden by trying to bring cakes and things for the motley crew from the market and would also get myself flowers to brighten up my space.
I don’t see them a much as I should (ugh, Delhi!) but I still count them in my blessings and am grateful for them every day!
This vase harks back to that time … and yes, I still buy myself flowers.
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For 27 years, I’ve made pilgrimages to Berlin to visit family. My mother’s sister moved there in 1964 and her children and now grandchildren were all born there. Since I can remember, Berlin has never been a tourist destination, more a homestay, sometimes a stopover. When I lived in Poland I went numerous times and when I moved to the US, I tried to break my homeward journey there. And still, when I visit Europe, (more…)
I can’t get over this album sleeve! It’s from an LP of my mother’s, issued in 1964, featuring classical compositions for that most weary sounding of instruments: the shehnai. I don’t really have an ear for it, but what marvelously eye-catching, modern cover art!
This is my mother’s stray button collection. When I was little, it occupied my OCD younger self for hours to spread them out, arrange them by color, then by size, then by material. She has wood, bone, crystal, plastic, matte, shiny, glittery, round, oval, innies, outies … endlessly fascinating even now.
no, not the band, but the drink! While it’s not available anywhere except in our childhood memories, here’s a restaurant in Matunga that hasn’t updated its board in years. Perhaps this should have been a tip off about the quality. There wasn’t much attention to details. We had really unhappy utthapams. But a Gold Spot would really have hit the sweet spot … Sigh. I remember drinking it more because there were Jungle Book characters under the bottle cap but every memory of it is pleasant. As they said, “The taste goes to your smile.”
Once in a while, I see something that takes me back to my childhood with such an intensity that I have to stop and take a breath. Remember these Phantom cigs? I’d lick their pink tips and pretend to smoke them (back when I thought smoking was ‘cool’.) I seem to remember competing with my friend Rima to see who could make the end most pointy before it broke.
Maybe these have always been around and I haven’t been paying too much attention. Some candies I adored as a kid have disappeared, but others, like Parle’s Melody Chocolate Toff, have been resurrected, with shiny new 21st-century packaging. Harnik, here’s blowing phantom smoke rings at ya! 🙂
I’ve lived in many cities now and one reason Delhi didn’t work for me was that it’s too landlocked. Boston, Bombay, New York…give me water! When I feel restless, here in Mumbai, I can’t jump on a bike and go off for a ride (there are no sidewalks to even walk or run on) so these days I slip off towards the sea. And then I can see the sweep of the bay – punctuated by fairy lights and the vast futility of man wrestling with nature. Or something like that 😉
So, while I do miss Trader Joe’s and biking along the Charles in Boston, the one thing I’ve found a good substitute for is the library. I actually patronize (that sounds awful) Eloor
which is beautifully stocked and really a pleasure to visit. The other day, though, I was surprised to find that the hole-in-the-wall library I frequented as a kid, daily (except on Mondays when they were closed, so I was allowed two books on Sundays,) had re-opened. As a 7-year-old I would ride to the library sitting side-saddle on the back rack of our Man Friday’s bike. By the time I was 11, I was deemed old enough to manage the 8-minute walk on my own. Displaying my OCD tendencies even then, I serially ploughed through all the Enid Blytons, Carolyne Keene’s, Franklin W. Dixons, Alfred Hitchcocks, Robert Arthurs‘s Three Investigator books (Jupitor Jones is responsible, I’m sure, for my obsession with business cards) graduating on to Sidney Sheldon and Lawrence Anderson. What was my mother thinking?? Nah, I’m glad she gave me free reign. Yes, I was precocious, but, hey, I knew stuff!! 😀 Oh and the 3L’s are: Live, Laugh, Learn. Cute, no?