Kitchen treasures

Interestingly, I discovered the full name of one N M Desai engraved on a vessel.

After my retirement, now I have lots of time to observe things which was unthinkable during my working years.  My wife, a few days ago had asked me if I would try my hand in preparing sambar and I bravely accepted the challenge.

With age comes procrastination. I took the next one hour to finish my Sudoku, watch the highlights of the previous night’s ICC championship trophy match and finish my breakfast.  I knew that I could no more delay my promised task and entered the kitchen like a gladiator entering the colosseum.

I knew the first step in making good sambar is to choose the right sized vessel. The recent rearrangement of the kitchen by my wife added to my woes. During my search, I found initials or full names being engraved across each of the stainless steel vessel.

 While most of them were LD, the initials of my wife I found there were many that bore initials like NB. KV, AD.  My mind went back to the days when every shop selling stainless steel vessels employed an expert engraver with a nail and hammer, who used to help the buyer in establishing his or her rightful ownership for a small fee.

Interestingly, I discovered the full name of one N M Desai engraved on a vessel. Very often I have seen my wife use this vessel.  I raked my mind for the next thirty minutes trying to trace this person’s identity, but without success. Soon my wife returned to find the kitchen in a total mess with vessels and spoons being strewn across the kitchen counter and no sign of sambar; obviously she was not too pleased.

  After her initial annoyance ebbed I gathered my courage to enquire if she knew N M Desai.  She first thought I was suspecting her fidelity!  Sure enough she also could not recollect any one by that name. It was obvious that our favourite vessel had changed many hands before landing in our kitchen.

The other items that find different owners during its life time are books and novels. I had a full collection of Alexander Dumas, Alistair Maclean, Nevil Shute but cannot even find one in our book shelf today. On the other hand I find many novels owned by unknown and untraceable names.  Some of them are from lending libraries!

The current generation may not face these problems at all, as they exchange sweets and snacks using disposable containers; physical books are slowly becoming extinct with the advent of Kindle. But then they will never know the thrill of  finding unknown treasures in their homes nor will they know the trauma of wondering how many of our treasures are in other homes “Unhonoured and unsung” .

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