Goodbye, my saucepan

Goodbye, my saucepan

In the last 15 years, I have used it practically every morning to prepare my oats porridge.

Recently, I had to bid goodbye to my saucepan with a heavy heart. It had been part of my life for the last 46 years. I felt almost the same emotion of losing a friend.

I came to Bangalore as a bachelor, in 1969 to take up a job. I was fortunate to get a spacious room with an attached bathroom in a good lodge. Food was not an issue as there was a hotel right below our rooms. The only problem I faced was getting my bed coffee. I hated the idea of getting dressed and going out to drink my morning coffee.
My roommate had an electric stove, and Nescafe, sugar and milk were easy to get. So I went in search of a saucepan to boil the milk. I got one easily for Rs 30 from a stainless steel utensils shop nearby. We proudly inaugurated our morning coffee project the next day along with a few friends. That started my long association with my saucepan.

When I got married and moved into a house, most of my bachelor items were discarded, but not my saucepan. It occupied a prime place in our various kitchens, as we moved from one house to another. In the last 15 years, I have used it practically every morning to prepare my oats porridge. 

Two weeks ago, its handle broke suddenly. Although it was still very much useable, my wife suggested that we retire our good old saucepan. I had no option but to agree, though I felt very sad. It had been our constant companion over so many years of happy and difficult days. I must say that I had similar emotions while letting go of my first rented house, my first scooter, my first helmet and my first car, but my saucepan seemed to evoke even stronger feelings.

The emotional attachment to inanimate objects seems to be somewhat hereditary. My son and his family live in London. Mostly, he visits us during Chr-istmas holidays every year. He has a cupboard in our Bengaluru home in which he has carefully preserved some of his marble collection and an old brick from the St Joseph’s High School building, when it was remodeled some years ago.

On each of his visits, he will always open the cupboard and lovingly examine all his artifacts. During his college days, once my wife wanted to give away his collection of marbles, but he threw a big fit. She finds her husband and son a little weird, but I understand that we are not alone in having an attachment to inanimate objects.

The Japanese observe Hari-Kuyo, also known as the Festival of Broken Needles, where participants hold a memorial ser-vice for worn-out needles and lay them to rest in gratitude for their years of service. I may not hold a memorial service for my saucepan, but would definitely like to say a big thank you and goodbye.

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