Memories from another day . . .

Abscesses and antibiotics and other antics

Abscesses and antibiotics and other antics

As usual, the antibiotics are playing havoc with my system. So tired of camping on the porcelain seat of wisdom. When I touch my tummy I can feel the war raging there. I am prepared for this, thanks to the doc warning me. In any […]

Facts Stranger Than…

Facts Stranger Than…

Weird week, Mi. You won’t believe the things I did. I drank hot water, and liked it. I heard your laughter with every sip I took. I avoided coffee and opted for tea instead. (Gasp!) Truth is, I couldn’t taste a thing and thought the […]

Alterations and altercations

Alterations and altercations

By the way, Mi, remember I told you about my mini-forced shopping during Navratri?  So those Kalamkari blouses were one size larger than I wanted. I had suspected it, but thought I could manage. But then I thought why not see if the next size would be right since the shop guy urged me to exchange it if it didn’t fit. Also, imagine passing up a chance to walk down that street. The next day, I went back, exchanged the blouses and bought one more in silk cotton with an ikkat print. Oh, it looked so gorgeous and I happily walked back home, bag in hand, fantasizing about which sarees to match with the blouses, because ya know, kalamkari is so versatile. And I was thinking of all the plain chiffons, the handloom sarees, and oh, I reached home before the fantasy ended.

So imagine my disgust when I found that the blouses had been tagged the wrong size! Arrgh. And the lovely silk? The sleeves were too short for my liking. I am just not a fan of wearing those super-tight tiny sleeves. I packed up the blouses, intending to go to the shop the next day but the rains prevented me from stepping out. Two days later, I overcame the ennui and headed out again. This time the fella at the counter acted smart.  Can you imagine—he wouldn’t accept that the blouses had the wrong tag in spite of proving it to him with his tape. You know how they hold out the material as if it can magically fit a sumo wrestler’s girth? Bah!

Now I was stuck and feeling stupid about adding an additional blouse to my exchange woes. I managed to find the blouses I returned and added one more since the guy wouldn’t refund.  I trudged back home, soon cheering up, thinking that it is better to run an extra stitch to make the blouses fit than burst out of them.

Can’t say they are prêt-à-porter just yet, though because I have to alter them.

I am giggling thinking of another day, Mi, when I was 14 and alone at home. You and Mama had gone to work and Paati was in Bombay for her annual visit. It was summer vacation and I pretty much spent the day by myself at home, tackling chores and entertaining myself. During one of those times, I saw a cute blouse in a magazine—one of those v-necked things that tied at the midriff. I enthusiastically chose one of my kurtas—that red one with the little dots—and got to work. By the time you came home, my blouse was ready and I had visions of pairing it with that black and white checked wraparound skirt. I still remember the look on your face when you walked in and saw me sitting and working on my DIY blouse with the bits of fabric strewn around me. Of course, your initial reaction was one of wonder and curiosity, until you realized which kurta I was working on! You had recently stitched it for me with that cute applique of a swan in front. But I admire you for getting over your annoyance quickly and appreciating the fact that I had actually produced a wearable garment! he he.

How funny it is that we also realized I had a knack for alterations!

I will miss you so much when I sit and work on the blouses, you know, but I’ll pretend you are here, laughing, egging me on and offering me endless cups of coffee.

Life and times

Life and times

So my heart went back after the short break, Mi. I confess I did a wicked thing—when the airline called to say the Sunday flight was cancelled and asked if they should reschedule for Saturday, I suggested Monday. I mean, why would I cut short […]

After a long time

After a long time

On a whim, today I decided to wear a saree, Mi. I know you would be thrilled to hear that. I had to do the Navratri hop and thought, why not a saree today? So, I checked for the color of the day–grey–and picked the […]

Restorations and decluttering

Restorations and decluttering

So, inspired by all the Navratri spirit around me, I decided to clean out the living room cupboard, Mi. Remember how, when we first moved into this house, it was half decorative stuff and half toys? Then gradually, over the years, two shelves were taken over by books. We replaced those with your books. All so nicely covered in white. And then, as the days passed, we used the cupboard as a repository for everything that didn’t fit elsewhere. It is a good thing only the top half is glass and the rest of it is a regular wooden door.

I had such a wonderful time cleaning it. At first I was a bit intimidated, you know. Even though it looks like a smallish cupboard, it isn’t. It took me almost all day to sort it out. I first emptied it completely, cleaned it, put some freshener cubes inside and then, arranged some of the stuff back in. And of course, once I got to the books, I had to settle down on the sofa, taking a break only during lunch time. Do you know I found pages from your 1968 diary, Mi? What a lovely handwriting you have! And I found all kinds of information snippets—quotes by you, general knowledge stuff and so forth. There were notebooks in which both of us have written things—poems, tips, limericks. I simply tumbled into nostalgia world. Of course there was a lot of Vidur’s scribbling—so delightful to go back and relive those moments.

You know, there are 100 days left this year. I really wanted to do something significant, Mi. So after much pondering, I thought I’d write about one thing every day, that’s part of our home, and the memories associated with it. And perhaps some declutter news.

For today, I picked this cute Kali. I restored her to her former glory by mending her, patching her and repainting her. Doesn’t she look gorgeous? I used different colors to paint her this time to make it more striking. I now have her chilling on my desk. Although, I think I’ll place her back in the puja room.

Kali vidya sury

Remember when we got her? Vidur used to drive me crazy insisting on playing with the doll and I’d be constantly worried he would damage her. Well, much to your amusement my fear came true when he dismantled her from her pedestal. Then I was so mad. Finally, I put a hook on the top and kept her in the puja room. Reminded me of how he implored us to keep bommai kolu and then would insist on playing with all the dolls every day. Sure he enjoyed the prasadam and sundal…and you said: what the big idea of a festival if the child in the house can’t be happy. Ah well, he was three years old and not really old enough to understand a lot of things like tradition. He prayed a lot and I guess all that good karma is standing him in good stead today.

I will be back tomorrow with something else I am doing, Mi. Missing you through the process and the endless cups of coffee!

100 days left in the year.