Last year, on second day of Eid, when I woke up in the morning, after cleaning my house, I thought to invite someone on breakfast. I was invited for lunch at my brother’s house that day and I was free till then. Whom to call I thought? Somebody nearby will agree on this quick invitation! So I called my neighbour whom I call aunty. She lives three houses apart on the same street. She answered my call with a surprise and told me she was still on bed and it was great to know that somebody could make breakfast for her! So after 20 minutes, my door bell rang and she was there smiling! I had already boiled eggs, toasted the bread and prepared fizzy peach drink and got hot tea in a tea pot! When I was about to take out my tea cups, she interrupted and said” please Zeba don’t do this much “takkaluf” for me and pour tea in mugs”! I hesitated but carried out her order and gave her tea in a mug. We chatted on a peaceful breakfast table and then I asked her why she didn’t let me serve tea in cups? She said she didn’t want to trouble me. I told her, I was more than happy to serve tea in nice cups even for myself when I am alone in the house! I know she also likes beautiful crockery that every such woman wants to display in show cases! I wonder why we rarely or never take out these lovely porcelain for the guests? Probably we think and save for a very special guest who never visits?!! Maybe somebody who comes to fix a “rishta” of a daughter or may be lazy ladies don’t want to wash more dishes or I can not guess more! Why we keep these beautiful porcelain inside showcases only and never enjoy our tea or meal in them?
Once a friend of mine told me that her mother loved to collect crockery and when she died, my friend disposed many things from her house and that crockery came out of the showcases and chest drawers for the very first time, all untouched!
My young demonstrators told me their mothers do not let them take out the crockery to use in fear that it will be broken. In fact these two girls sparked this idea on my mind to write on this topic. My mother told me when she got married and came to Kanpur in 1943, my father used to tell her to bring breakfast and food in nice dishes and cups properly set on a tray. I always admire the aesthetic sense of my father that he used to advice me” never fill tea cup full with tea that it spills down and spoils the saucer!” When he went to Japan for a business trip in 1953 (even before I was born!), he brought a beautiful dinner set and a tea set for my mother. This set was used on all the special “Dawat s” in the house and my father let a carpenter made a nice showcase for that crockery. For decades it was in my parents’ house. When my father died and we constructed new four houses in the same plot after demolishing the old one, I insisted my mother to give me that dinner set and tea set with that showcase to me. As none of my siblings asked for it so I easily won it! I asked my carpenter to renew that show case by adding some book shelves on it so this new white unit is there in my house now with books and crockery together!
So I enjoy my tea specially on weekends, in beautiful tea cups, while reading a book or listening to the music. You can also indulge by taking out your beautiful porcelain and enjoy tea yourself or with anyone who visits you! Be happy with your crockery! Dr. Zeba Hisam 18th June, 2017