Treasured possessions

Watching this red stone studded neli (a type of ring worn by married hindu women) glinting against my mom’s fingers, my eyes were hooked. Slipping it off hers and onto mine, I admired its old world beauty. For someone who doesn’t like to wear jewelry at least while asleep, I held on to it like a favorite well worn toy. Waking up, the first thing I did was to reassure myself it was still there – red stones and all.

All through today, I am so aware of it feeling heavy against my fingers. I pause what I do to spend a moment admiring this little nugget. I enjoy the feeling of wearing something that has  been part of the family for a good many years. I wonder if years ago, my mom felt the same joy as she slipped this on her finger to match a red kanjivaram saree or on the rare occasions she got to dress up for some wedding, she slid this on as an afterthought.

I think of the ring as something that has a life of its own. It has seen the birth and death of many joys and sorrows in our family. Like all else, it is treasured and cherished.

Be it a ring or a heavy cast iron pan, I love coming into ownership of things owned by my mom or anyone of her generation. I love hearing stories behind how that particular item became part of our household. Of late, each trip home becomes a hunt for treasures lodged in crammed over filled cupboards and memories hiding in the folds of a saree wafting out with the smell of the moth balls.

7 thoughts on “Treasured possessions

  1. Yes, the nelli motharam is always a favorite in many brahmin homes. I love mine.

    @Mitr: There are quite a few distinctive pieces of jewelry that I like and I try to wear them when appropriate. Next on my list to acquire is an authentic pattu kunjalam 🙂

  2. Ya!! Even i love the feeling of having something that’s been a part of the family. Like in Coimbatore, our thatha was a priest in a temple opposite our home, i love going to that place always!! The very thought of my dad spending his whole childhood there excites me! Not exactly in the context, but still…this just came to my mind. 🙂

    @Shalu: Totally empathize with what you say. For me that way, I want to spend time in Chidambaram.

  3. Hey Laksh, is that called a Neli modhiram or Vangi modhiram? I also have one treasured Neelakkal modhiram. I was thinking to write about it, and there came your post… nice coincidence.

    @Deepa: Guess most of us have something similar that evokes nice memories.

  4. Hey laks,

    Just catching up on all your posts. My brother gifted me the exact same modhiram as in the picture last year. I treasure it and hope to pass it on 🙂 Like you have written, I so love to hold on to items that have some history attached to them.


    @Laks: Old jewelry especially has a charm and romance to it.

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