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My childhood home

chandigarh Updated: May 08, 2013 09:18 IST
Kanika Dua Ahuja
Kanika Dua Ahuja
Hindustan Times

When I was a child, all furniture items in our house boasted of pretty, handmade crochet covers made by grandma. Everywhere the eyes went, one was sure to spot a neat white lace or crochet cover, gracing the sofas, covering the ubiquitous TV trolleys, decking up the centre table, side stools and what not.

Moving from the living room to the bedrooms, here too, the invasion of the covers was a sight to behold. The bedside table was covered in pink flowery crochet cover, while the TV was adorned with a white cover of intricate pattern with wool fringes and hangings. Pillows too were not to be left behind, decked up in pristine whites, cuddly pinks and fluffy yellows, neatly hemmed by grandma's loving hands.

The steel trunks and boxes in our storeroom, which are a rare sight today, had two sets of covers to be washed and changed periodically. At that time, shelves on the walls were used to display proudly framed trophies and certificates, old photos of family members and other interesting knick-knacks. These shelves were also lined carefully with covers.

The big containers in the kitchen containing delicacies were draped similarly to prevent them from dust and moisture.

In those days of big households and numerous family members, grandma still found time to chat with the neighbours every afternoon, comfortably sitting on her chair, a cup of tea by her side and some kitchen towels in her lap that needed hemming. Every morning, she surveyed the house; straightened out her beloved covers that went messy because of my playful romps and naughtiness in general; dusted some and changed some and within moments the house metamorphosed from being topsy-turvy to our neat and cosy home.

Times have changed. Grandma is no more. TV trolleys have been replaced by LEDs and plasma screens mounted on the wall. Old sofas and tables have given way to sleek, minimalistic super-expensive furniture on which even guests fear to sit comfortably lest it gets spoiled leave alone kids romping about on them. Old photos and trophies sleep soundly in boxes.

Shelves have resigned their pride of place to wall murals and contemporary art. The shining modular kitchen is in sync with the times but I still see the ghosts of those old ceramic containers peeping behind porcelain crockery, which disappear as soon as I extend my hand to catch them.

In this modern house, I still have some old trunks and boxes hidden away in the storeroom and among those is a box which contains all those lace and crochet covers that adorned my childhood home. Every time I miss grandma, I open that box and take out those beautifully embroidered covers, which still bear her fragrance.

This is the last and most cherished relic of a childhood gone by. There are no objects in this house today on which I can drape those covers, otherwise full to the brim with every conceivable gadget and luxury, necessary or unnecessary. A house it may be, but it's not home.