shilpa

1. A Rock my dad gave me
In 1959 my father found a beautiful rock while on a military exercise in MHOW in Central India. He was an outdoor man, and in spite of the rigours of the training spotted the beauty in a mundane stone! He put it in the truck that transported the officers back and flung the rock out beyond the edge of the road as they drove past our house. Walking back he picked it up and got it home. His three little girls were very excited to see a huge stone shaped like a thick slice of fish!
We put the precious cargo in our car and from then on it traveled wherever we went. This beauty stayed in Dad’s retirement home from 1972 to 2010 and now sits on my balcony.
It has been a home to small cactus and often served as a door stopper. It tells me tales of my childhood!

2. A Rock from the Himalayas
The Himalayas are young fold mountains formed of stacks of sedimentary metamorphosed rocks. Still moving upwards and growing, they are snow capped and have big and small glaciers and rivers coming down.
The Siachen is one such massive glacier from where the second soldier in my life, my husband, during one of his visits to the blitzy frozen river, brought me a rocky gift. It was a shiny pristine white and has now picked some colour from the garden pots it decorates!

3. A Jewellery box
The jewellery box was made by my mother in 1974 as a wedding gift! It has a base of ply wood and is padded and covered in turquoise blue pure silk and embellished with a silver and gold brocade band that came from a saree from Benaras. The lining inside is a salmon pink taffeta and the stitches are so tiny you can barely see them! The lower tier held the bigger necklaces and the two compartments on the top were for rings and earrings.
It’s a box of memories of a young me, my mother and her many skills, a family of sisters, a very young brother and all the fun times!

4. A bracelet my son bought me
My son as a young lad of 8 or 9 trailed behind his father on the golf course collecting and swinging twigs and eventually playing really good golf. I drove him around to his many coaches and accompanied him during his sub junior and junior tour days. I did not know the first thing about golf so really it was of little use! He toiled hard during his college days, rose at 5 am, cycled to the course with a few clubs held across the handle bars. It bore fruit and he started winning and getting home prizes. These were always given to me while the details of the game he shared with his father.

This bracelet is one such gift he proudly brought home, its diamonds, gold and silver designed as little golf balls. But it’s much more to me. It’s my son’s goodness, his hard work and perseverance and love.

5. A piece of pottery by Sardar Gurcharan Singh
I always wanted to do pottery and rather late I did get my chance to learn it at the prestigious Delhi Blue Pottery Trust studio! So imagine my delight when I was gifted a piece thrown, glazed and fired by the founder and India’s top potter, Sardar Gurcharan Singh!

This piece is very Japanese in design and was probably bought at an exhibition. The set of six broke down leaving just two. It was then turned upside down and made into a candle holder, there is still some wax in there and has also suffered some chips! Now it sits on a shelf in my glass cabinet! Mute to what ice creams were served to some stylish gentry some twenty or so years back!