Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “container.” Use the word “container” any way you’d like. Or think about a container of some kind and write about it. Enjoy!
I thought of a very special vessel when I read today’s prompt. I checked the meanings and saw that I could write about this vessel as a container. This is an idli making vessel which we call ‘attinalage’ in Kannada. My mother got it from her grandmother. The story behind this vessel is very interesting and of a very strong and resourceful lady. My mother loves to talk about her.
She was Mukambike but my mother called her ‘Bobbeajji’. Ajji means grandmother. She was my mother’s grandfather’s first wife. They had been married for some years and had no children. In such circumstances in those days a man married again. Maybe they felt the problem was always with the lady! I am reading a fascinating book called One Part Woman by Perumal Murugan. The story takes place about hundred years ago. The hero and heroine are married for twelve years and have no children. The hero is expected to marry again but he does not. I have just finished three chapters. I remembered the book because it reflects the society of those times and it reminded me of my mother’s grandmother. Her grandfather married his wife’s niece. Ironically, Mukambike conceived after her husband married again. A daughter was born to her. My grandfather and his sister were the children of the second wife. Unfortunately, she died at a young age and the three children were brought up by Mukambike or Bobbeajji. My mother has very fond memories of her grandmother.
She remembers those days when her father was a teacher in a school in a small village. They had cows and Bobbeajji looked after them and sold milk to a hotel. The hotel owner would never pay her on time. One day she marched to the hotel and brought back a copper attinalage from there. She told the owner she would return it when he paid the money for the milk. This incident happened in 1944 and who knows for how long the owner had that vessel 😊.
He never paid the money and that vessel was passed on to my mother. She used to make delicious idlis in them. She steamed them in glasses. I remember my father always ate two of anything my mother prepared for breakfast. Small dosas or big ones, he ate only two. The idlis were big and he ate two of them 😊. My mother would tease him about this.
That attinalage is with me. But I have not made idlis in it because it does not have ‘kalai’. I have thought of getting it done but I feel scared to let the attinalage go out of my hands because it is old and beautiful. I keep coconuts in it. Maybe next time we go to our town I will give it at the shop where they put kalai. It is time for this beautiful container to be used for what it has been made.