Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My Grandmother's Almirah

It was made out of pure Burma teakwood, about 6 feet tall and a gleaming exterior. It seemed to survive through the years of humid climate without much wear and tear, it only got one coat of polish after it was broken open by burglars.

All through my growing up years, I looked forward to visiting my Grandmother in Calcutta and in long and lazy afternoons my favorite pastime would be to explore her almirah which she indulgently let me as I had the privileged position of being the eldest 'naatni'(granddaughter). Every time I opened the wooden doors, there was this smell of clothes, perfume and wood, there were many drawers with brass handles, some having secret chambers and false bottoms which added to the mystery of the almirah.

My Grandmother carefully preserved all presents, knick knacks, photographs and other things which various relatives got for her from their many travels. There was a Japanese fan, a miniature windmill, tiny crystal figurines, ivory paper knives, Czech glassware, glass tulips, lace handkerchiefs, my mother's wedding photographs, a complete miniature battle set with tanks and soldiers and so much more. It was like taking a trip around the world, going back in time and a lot of wonder for my young mind. That sense of wonder never really faded even as I grew up, opening the almirah was always quite magical.

I wish I had my Grandmother's quality of saving memories and then browsing through them at leisure. I wish I could make my almirah as interesting an experience for my son, but all he sees are neatly stacked sets of clothes and essentials, there is no room for memories, the past or clutter, perhaps it’s the lack of space in our hearts...

1 comment:

Jane Sunshine said...

Thanks for dropping by. Here's to more almirahs and many more stories.