2008/01/13

Just a cupboard

Trust Anamika to come up with a tag like this one . When I was around 3 , the black almirah came into our world . Created out of the best mahogany , it was a sideboard , with a glass walled bar which opened outwards and down on hinges . It has a middle portion with double doors and two narrow portions with glass fronted doors on either side .

Originally it was used as a clothes cupboard when the family was very small . Thereafter , it was used as a bookcase with every conceivable book in the house going in . My father much given to artistic impulses , enrolled us into painting the glass panes on the doors and they still remain , 30 years after he painted them . The "kalo almari"remained a part of our lives, moving with us from place to place . My mother personally supervised the packing of the cupboard every time we moved , so paranoid was she about breakages and scratches on it and it featured in every photograph , inveigling itself into the frame .


For some reason it was always varnished black and therefore referred to as the Kaalo almari or black cupboard . When Ma died and we disposed off the various items that had accumulated through the years - an extremely painful process which my sister did mostly single handed , we were struck with the dilemma of whether to dispose it off or keep it since space was a constraint . So for a long time it stayed in an apartment which my father in law has.

The strangest thing was that it tormented and plagued me - popping up in my dreams with alarming regularity bleak awful dreams filled with dread where we lived in huge cavernous dark houses on the fringes of dark , marshy fields that stretched over distances and which always made me wake up drenched in cold sweat. Till I decided to bring it to my house and carve a space fit and then filled it up with my books and cds and the bar with the whisky tumblers and other glassware.

Now it seems to be at peace - in the happy hotch potch of our daily life - so is my psyche - which is neither troubled with floating cupboards nor of being stranded on the brink of dark desolate marshy landscapes .

I would like to tag Usha , Onedia and Susan to write about one piece of furniture that holds a lot of meaning for them




14 comments:

Hazel said...

hello, first time here..

Anamika said...

Wow! That is one intelligent cupboard, to psyche you into adopting it!

I loved this, specially the thought of having furniture that you all, as a family, had a hand in painting on (the glass panes, I mean) - it's like living memory!

Thanks for doing the tag. Had been checking your page daily and going back disappointed. Came today to whine about it in a comment and was pleasantly surprised!

Opaline said...

It's still the kaalo almari, despite being repainted. I liked it better kaalo.

Usha said...

God, it is almost a character in your life's story- this living thing! And you didn't think we deserved a picture of kaalo dear? whoooaaaaaaa..
Will take it up - this is perhaps the most interesting tag that I have come across. :)

ONEDIA said...

I aim to respond to your tag as my last post for today and then I am caught up...I think and I can even make this post link to friendship....oooooo.....good job my friend for giving me this prompt.

sbora said...

thanks for leaving a comment on my post.
i enjoyed reading this one!

dipali said...

Wonderful post! We need photoo of the kalo almari.
Beautiful photograph on your header- such a gorgeous smile:)

Anamika said...

I love the new header! Who is she? Hope you're feeling better.

eve's lungs said...

Hazel/Sbora - hi welcome
Onedia -waiting....
Usha - It is ! Actually its more of the people associated with it rather tha the ting itself !
Anamika - yup it did psyche me . My headerpic is a young friend - isnt that the most gorgeous smile you've seen?
Dipali - will oblige only its a natural grain polish now!

Usha said...

Tag done ma'm!

A Muser said...

We need a picture of that which inspired such bleak dreams! Cute laughing kid on the head. Daughter?

Primalsoup said...

Lovely. I can visualize a mother figure supervising the packing of the cupboard. Having gone through some eight transfers, there used to be perpetual excitement and fear when we unpacked and packed our furniture.

Hip Grandma said...

So much life in a cupboard?It must be a splendid piece.I can understand the sentiments.My father had a transferable job and was allotted furnished quarters.But hubs would literally give his life for family furniture.

david mcmahon said...

Many words conjure up the sights and sounds and images of my Indian (Calcutta) upbringing to my mind's eye - none more so than `almirah'.

Thank you for bringing up some great memories!