Saturday, September 4, 2010

Trophy glasses

Listening to the re-mix of jawaane-e-jaane man, I am reminded of days when I was 10 and had absolutely no idea about western dancing. Especially when invited to birthday parties, I remember this song being played quite a lot. Absolutely blank on how to move…I would just stand still and shake my body as per the rhythm (wish trance was in then).

Stretched out arms and weird footsteps were in fashion. So much so that I would keep looking at my friends and then go home and practice it. All in vain as the next birthday party would find me standing like a cold clod anyway.

Another low point would be the gifts I gave at these dos. It would unfailingly be a steel glass! Other kids gave fancy games in colourful packets. I gave a ‘steel glass’ wrapped in a ‘not so tactful way to hide it from looking like a glass’ package. Inscribed with my name and date using a motorized needle, it would just immortalize my shame.

Coming from a family which knew what a ‘rupee’ meant, these glasses were 8 rupees each so it wasn’t like they were cheap. I am talking of the early eighties. Once in a while it would be a steel lunchbox or a set of steel spoons. Grrr…but steel nevertheless. Maybe it had something to do with it being strong and lasting.

The next best thing I did was to start wrapping them up myself in discarded cardboard boxes so that at least they didn’t look like glasses while I was giving them.

So I would just gift and forget.

One day my school gave me three steel glasses for winning a race. Date, my name and name of the school inscribed on them! The universe was plotting against me!

Years passed by. I left home at 20 to come to Mumbai to make a life of my own. Packing a messy suitcase, I saw a few utensils my mom had kept aside for me. There they were again. Beggers can’t be choosers (I was leaving home out of my own will) so I was back with those glasses and a few plates.

I turned 35 recently.

I am married and have a lovely house. Everything just as I wanted. Curios from all over the world adorn walls and showcases. Some are gifted, some are bought.

The ones I cherish and have actually earned on my own are sitting pretty on the top shelf in the kitchen. Three steel glasses which say ‘Vandana Natu – KV Bambolim 1986’!


  1. Hey! Lovely Vandu! When I started reading it... I was thinking of the same thing! Aai has given me and Abhaya, Apurva some of her steel utensils... and all of them have our names and the dates... whenever I see them, I always remember our childhood!! Very well written Vandu!!
    Love! :)

  2. Hai na :)
    Last year when I was buying things for my marriage, I regret acting snooty and saying 'I don't want to put any names'. But my father insisted he was going to put name, date and 'Ptd By:' on things he wanted to give. Today when I look at them, I wish I had done the same with things I bought.


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