I have a magic table at home. It’s a simple round cane table with a glass top. When I bought it, it looked like any other, regular piece of furniture. Once bought, it could be put to any use by its owners. I bought it as a dining table. Ha! Had I only known that, how different it would be.
First, our maid put a hot dish on to it and the glass cracked, edge-to-edge. Then, both A and I took our dinner / lunch plates in front of the TV which was in the bedroom. When friends came to dine with us, the table was too small to sit at, and so we used it for serving the dishes while we took our meals either in the drawing room or in the verandah. In case you are wondering about the crack, well, happily, it ran down the middle and I was able to cover it with a long runner!!
So what did we use it for? Well for piling things up on. News papers, bills, take away menus, files, water bottles, medicine box. The chairs were used to hang clothes…laundry, my duppattas, my tote bags etc.
When we moved into our new apartment, I made a mental note of using it as I had meant to. Also, our new place was much smaller and the table lay bang in full view of anyone coming into our apartment in the large hall which served as drawing / dinning.
But that was not to be. Strangely, despite my many attempts, it began to attract all the flotsam and jetsam in our home and lives. No matter how many times I cleaned it up, within a few hours, hey presto, a new set of things were back again on it!
This morning, I did some clearing up including the table. And yet now, some 7 hours later, I find, two bags (mine), a t-shirt, a pair of shorts (A’s), a news paper (I was doing the sudoku), a cook book I was leafing through during lunch, a cup, an empty match box, a nice wicker tray (which I have rarely used as a tray) holding three different sets of placemats (again rarely used; in fact one set still has the plastic covers on it). And oh, there is the nice glass bowl which instead of fruits, is full of little scraps of papers with phone numbers, assorted bills and what not. It held two apples a while back. But both got spoilt and had to be thrown away.
It must be the table then. It has a mind of its own. It was perhaps miffed at being bought by us, and then carted unceremoniously on a “thela” and hauled up three flights and getting scraped in the process. Perhaps, it had, while sitting to be picked up, visions of being amid a beautiful house, surrounded by beautiful things, greenery, beautiful people having candlelit, rose scented dinners with wine in beautiful glasses. And here we were. Dumping cheap take away menu, plastic water bottles, old ugly melmoware crockery, cracking it within a week. Oh ho. So this is my fate is it? The table thought. I will show them. I will make sure, they will never, be able to, let alone enjoy, even get close to having a pleasant meal atop me!!
I am alone now. My neighbour (whose verandah is within earshot) is away. I think, I will go and clean it up, speak to it gently, apologise and be generally very nice. Try and soothe it and tell it I am mending my rustic ways. And when A returns this weekend, we will, A, the table and I will begin anew.