Tuesday, 25 December 2012

my birthday gift to me.

Sixteen years ago, when we shifted into a new apartment, I got a spanking new study table for the room I was to share with the sister. It comprised of a desk, a shelf and a small cupboard. I lovingly arranged my Enid Blyton's and Roald Dahl's on the shelf and thrust some encyclopedias into the cupboard. When I had to 'study', I'd place one of Blyton's many adventure books into the pages of my text book, leaving the cupboard door ajar while reading, so as to conceal my transgression from my parents if they happened to pop in to enquire of my progress.

The study table underwent a startling makeover as it bore the brunt of our transitions, from childhood all through the teenage years. For one, half the Blytons, were replaced with the Harry Potter series. The smooth pine colour was scrawled upon with names of all the awesome men I or my sister crushed on over the years-the Backstreet boys, John Stamos (Full House), Gareth Jones (How 2), Tulio and Miguel (The Road to El Dorado - No. 1 on my list of all-time favourite animated movies), Aragorn and Legolas (The Lord of the Rings), even a couple of Bollywood actors at one point-in blue permanent marker. One entire side of the cupboard was covered in names of all our favourite witches and wizards from Harry Potter in whitener. Later, half the names were shrouded with a poster of The Emperor's New Groove (that'll be No. 2) from a teen magazine called Young Times. We were young; we were fickle.

After school, we moved to Pune and I shipped all the Blytons, Dahls, Potters, classics, novels there-I don't EVER let go of my books. I designed a study table cum bookcase for our room there, the mother got it made, but the sister hijacked it. When we moved back to Kuwait after MBA, I decided the table here had to go. I was a mature twenty-three year old and this embarrassment in no way validated that. I needed a new bookcase to house the books I'd bought in India (you may think I'm crazy carrying books back and forth across the Arabian Sea, but do you know how hard it is to find decent books in this country??).

I also wanted a writing desk. I actually really wanted my paternal grandfather's which was in Hyderabad. Ever since I learnt of its existence, I demanded to have it sent to me. I've been told it's a huge, beautiful, classic piece of teak furniture. I've never seen it but I'd like to own a tangible piece of family history, especially one that's akin to writing. I was also told it was just not practical. So I conceded to buy one.

Two years went by; my inertia coupled with my dislike of every piece I saw in Ikea inadvertently put off the purchase. The books however, kept coming in, mostly from clearance sales at bookstores closing shop, and would end up stashed under the bed and in every corner of my room because there wasn't an inch of space on or in the superannuated study table. But then, a couple of weeks before my birthday last Monday, I finally set eyes on this secretary desk in a furniture shop in Farwaniya:

and was enamoured with its antique appearance. I bought it instantly.

Kuzco took the words right out of my mouth.

I also found a bookcase to go with it. The two pieces were delivered to me after a week, during which I finally tossed out the aging study table, after painting over the names of my old flames and erasing all traces of my teen years.

I kept my tattered poster though.

I spent a happy weekend organizing my books and other bits and bobs that I've held on to, into the shelves.

Twain, Tolkien, Wodehouse...no
longer refugees looking for a home.

The postcard is a print of Caspar David
Friedrich's La Tonnelle. Google it, it's gorgeous.

My first thought when I bought the desk (besides that it was soo bee-yootiful) was that every night, I would spend an hour or two writing narratives and articles that had Pulitzer Prize-winning potential (just potential - eligibility to the relevant category is limited to American citizens) but the universe has been conspiring against me, I barely get to rest my elbows on it for an hour the entire week.

I may not have a lot of time to use my desk at the end of each day and there may not be any masterpieces drafted upon it smooth surface, nevertheless, just seeing it first thing in the morning makes me, as Kuzco puts it...sooo happy.


  1. nice furniture! when googled La Tonnelle its showing your desk first... Emperor Kuzco brought back so many memories that i read the entire imdb quotes from office :)

    1. Thanks! Lol really? Maybe 'coz of Google's personal search results algorithm; it didn't show up for my search. Isn't it beautiful?
      Kuzco is so quotable. "Uh huh. Uh huh. Uh huh-uh huh-uh huh."

  2. I think you are quite delightful and I cannot thank botamba.com enough for helping me find you. I stumbled across your blog on a dreary day and I was feeling a bit down but reading your blog post about your new closet cheered me up :) you are such a good writer and I do hope you will be a famous author.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words Anon. Your comment cheered me up too :) It actually gave me quite a high! I hope you'll be back for more.

  3. I spent the last couple of days reading your very first posts, I have been enjoying them thoroughly. You have been a great source of inspiration, you are much younger than I am but I am so moved and driven by you, and you have been an impetous for a new beginning. Thank you so much

    1. Anon, I can't quite express how effective your comments have been in boosting my morale :) Thank YOU for taking the time to read my posts and commenting, I am truly humbled by your words.


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