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