‘The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.’
Over the last few weeks, I have been in the process of trimming the contents of my jewellery boxes. It is curious that we often hoard for the sake of it. Yet every piece carries its own story. The core pieces remain. They are the ones that carry memories within their many loops and filigrees. The earrings bought in Brussels (because I had not carried enough jewellery while travelling for a month through Belgium), the pair of statement earrings I bought with my first salary, …My favourite statement pieces are contemporary earrings and head jewellery crafted out of silver from an Indian boutique brand called Amrapali. They rarely fail to ensnare the eyes.
Now my heart beats for the kind of jewellery that make you think that a girl can indeed live without her diamonds. But I did lust for the designs I laid eyes upon at the fashion weeks in Delhi. Jewellery collections that smacked of savoir faire. Yet they were always more expensive than the wallet would allow. All my earnings were frittered away on eating out and partying. As a result, I never ended up buying even an itsy bitsy piece. Now I wonder if I should just pick up a couple to sate that old desire…
Some unworn pieces remain in my boxes but then they shall stay for as long as I live. You see they are bits and pieces from my mother’s collection. They effortlessly pick me up from now and deposit me into the body of the little girl who used to watch her mother get ready for an evening out. Transfixed by the rituals of dressing up, the trappings of femininity. How she used to take her time. Drape on a beautiful sari, when I used to be at hand to pull at the edges to straighten out the folds while feeling the texture of the lush fabric at the same time, apply a hint of foundation since she had flawless skin, don pretty jewellery, apply her favourite shade of lipstick and at the end, dab herself with Estee Lauder’s Beautiful. I have never been able to shake off the haunting fragrance of Beautiful since. The faint smell of it lingers in the air (even though I do not own a bottle of it at the moment). But what am I waffling on about. That’s the power of memory and nostalgia.