The world in a showcase

Unique Hobbies
Last Updated 31 August 2014, 14:37 IST

Arthi Anand has several passions and makes sure she excels in all of them. She is a full-time marketing professional, part-time story-teller and has a fetish for collecting masks and kettles.

Her aesthetically done-up home has a shelf teeming with kettles. 

Two of the walls in the house are painted in different colours to highlight the masks that she has collected from across the world. 

   “Each mask and kettle have an interesting story trailing it. I was not only carried away by the designs on them but also the stories ingrained in them,” Arthi tells Metrolife.   Arthi recollects that she picked up her first mask during one of her trips to Nepal. “My family is into home decor. We pick up little things that we find attractive. The first mask I bought was that of King Ashok made from yak bone. I found the expression very peaceful,” shares Arthi. 

   The couple always keep their eye peeled for anything that is attractive and unique. Don’t masks evoke a feeling of negativity? “No, not all masks do. Some have an aggressive expression but the intricate work on them forces you to overlook everything else. We also have a couple of masks from Sri Lanka and some depicting the Kathakali art form as well,” explains Arthi. 

 The collection of kettles happened much later. The first kettle is from Auroville and after that, her friends have also gifted her kettles. 

   There were some that she got customised and made according to her taste. There’s a kettle with dragon figurines on it which Arthi’s father picked during his visit to Kashmir. “This kettle has dragons on it. We wouldn’t find a similar piece anywhere here. The work on another kettle depicts day and night while one kettle has two handles and a cup as well,” notes Navaneeth, Arthi’s husband who also enthusiastically contributes to her collection. 

Arthi says the mask and kettle collection has made travelling more meaningful. “There’s a purpose to travelling now. At least, we are spending money on something that we, as a family, like to have. It’s not just about what I want,” she adds. 

   However, one of Arthi’s favourites is a kettle with frogs as legs. “Although I persona
lly dislike frogs, the kettle with frog legs has a quirky feeling about it,” says Arthi. 

She uses some of the masks and kettles during her story-telling sessions as well. “I use the kettles when I narrate a story like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the tea party that she hosts. Using objects like this while narrating a story makes the session engrossing,” avers Arthi. 

   And Arthi has used only one of the kettles and preserved the rest. “An avid collector can never really use what he or she collects,” she adds. 

   Her children are in primary school but they understand the value of her collection. “There are a lot of people who admire the collection and are eager to listen to the stories about masks and kettles. Their support is truly encouraging,” she concludes. 

(Published 31 August 2014, 14:37 IST)

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