Monday, August 2, 2010

My collections-Final Part

This post had to be for i had to finish what i had started. Although i feel there can be no end to my collections which of late seem to have diversified into rocks and right now i feel lost without one which i had found while i was at my sister's place.It was a beautiful ochre coloured , transluscent and smooth to touch very cool piece. i had picked it up from the roadside, brought it home and washed it and placed it on the grilled planter ( a rather large contraption which held at least 4 large pots and was fixed to the boundary wall) to dry. My sister tells me that the ochre rock still sits there pretty and bright but only visible to her and those who knew i had placed it there.
Now that should be my latest hobby...collecting rocks and pebbles.

Before that i collected anything and many things that people would generally throw away. So you would find all kinds of empty bottles...dried branches of trees and shrubs...fused bulbs...cleaned and washed pots of sizes ranging from a tiny one which came along with the Amul Kulfi to slightly larger ones ( which come with syrupy sweetmeats) as being an integral part of my collection and these are generally only visible to people after i have done something with them. Something could be just anything done with the object in a way which satisfies me tremendously.
No! none of my creativity is original though because in my mind's eye i have already seen versions of it elsewhere and what i do is generally a serious attempt to cut boredom. The fact of the matter being that i get bored too easily with settings around the house.
 i look at glossy pictures of well done up rooms with expensive objects and the only thing that comes to my mind is,''Gosh! i would be so bored to see the same thing over and over again,all the 365 days in a year. "
 So what i do is an inexpensive way to deal with this weirdness of mine.And what i do is very simple and really price less.
Which is to place things in an attractive way for few days and when i am bored replace it with something else.While the replaced item hibernates in the store room or garage to be used in some different configuration later.
But of all things i get bored with easily, it is rather strange how i can never have enough to do with fused bulbs.
 i am anguished when i see that now i might not have enough as the entire house is replaced with power saving bulbs which are too twisted and too new for any creative flash to occur now but i'm sure with my weirdness intact i might later discover a novel way to exhibit it later.Or maybe i am saying this to console myself and do away with my anguish which was magnified by one email forward which informs me that the fumes inside are poisonous. So i chide myself never to attempt messing with these in a way that i normally do with the other plain bulbs.

As i look disdainfully towards my basket which contains my limited collections and my favourite tool, memories of childhood and my convent school comes flooding in. Memories of how and where i had my first encounter with ubiquitous bulbs used as a decor. i saw them first in the lounge next to the principal's office and was taken away completely at the sheer beauty and enigma of it.
 i was still in the primary school and the class teacher had sent me to the principal's office on errand.So while i waited to be called inside i  fidgeted and looked around and my eyes caught sight of the bulb hanging there with a brilliant foliage of cheerful bunch of Pothos/Devil's Ivy/Money Plant/ right next to the wall unit that held the school shields and trophies. i remember being mersmerised by the mystery that surrounded the bulb and the beauty of Pothos to such an extent that the assistant to Sister Theckla,(our Principal then) Ms Bona had to come and jolt me to back to alertness and remind me of my duty for which i was there.
Back home Ma could not have enough of my story as i narrated to her how our sisters in the convent had created such a beautiful decoration piece with bulbs and i nagged her to irritation demanding explanation from her as to how the bulb was made empty to be a container that could hold the plant.
Ma could only shake her head and tell me with not much conviction though that the carpenters at school who looked into the school furniture had prepared it for the school exclusively . i know now that it was her only soft way to get me to shut up once and for all and to leave her in peace so that she could attend to her other chores.
i never had the courage enough to ask at school because we were mortally terrified of our sisters.At school a mere sight of sisters hushed us to pin drop silence what to talk of approaching them freely with a question that did not pertain to academics.This was then and i am doubtful if class 3 or class 2 kids still feel that way in a convent or it could be that i was too inhibited and scared of NUNS who seemed to loom large in their habits and found them inaccessible to inquiries due to my own silly beliefs and prejudices.
Anyways Ma gave all of us a pleasant surprise one fine day.
i come back home from school to be greeted with these beauties at the landing near the entrance door. She had asked one of our carpenters to do the job with the fused bulbs and soon the house was seeing these hung in all those places which needed some greenery to spruce it up.
But not only did those areas look attractive, the Pothos surviving in just water soon became the exhibition gallery of sorts for all the colony aunties who would on seeing them would be amazed at the art form and exclaim with joy at my Ma's green thumb and  good fortune.
For it is a belief among the locals that Pothos only survives in homes which is blessed with plenty of money.i guess then hence the name -Money Plant.
 i grew up seeing these all around the house and also later in my own room when i was in college and i remember my friends getting attracted by this piece and asking me how the bulb was made thus to which i would just shrug casually and tell them how Ma got it made from the local carpenter. i never made an attempt to learn or to know even how the carpenter did the job. i assumed all the while that he may be having a specific tool to accomplish the delicate task with much ease.

Much later as i settled down into a busy family life for my child was a toddler then, i realised one day that i needed something more to keep me cheerful and brush away my tiredness.Just a small nap in the afternoons with the child would not do.i realised that other than weaning and cooking i loved doing up the house.And because i never had that much free time for myself to conjure enough creativity i decided one fine day to try my luck at the fused bulbs that had accumulated in the store room.
As my first step to beautifying the empty narrow walls, i thought of  creating the lovely planters on my own with the help of that tool of mine which had a heavy pointed edge...just adequately heavy to make a hole and later get rid of he bulb's contents and make it fit and proper for his non fussy and cheerful creeper that only needs enough water to thrive.
Needless to say then that success was not achieved instantaneously. After a couple of broken bulbs and a few nicks here and there i managed to get the hang of the rhythmic beat and the force/pressure that is required to first make a tiny hole and keep jabbing till he hole is completely free of the sealants and is wide enough for the tube with the filament to slide out.
i cannot say that even now i am successful at all my attempts as sometimes though i may have the bulb intact in my hand, the holder too comes out like this bulb that i was preparing recently.
But i never give up. Not on this holderless bulb which is still lying in my basket for my sudden flash of creativity nor my attempts at making planters out of fused bulbs.
Yes the house does have many of these placed directly or otherwise where all my branches and twigs come to my rescue so far as creativity is concerned. Just like this thrown away branch of a guava tree which was varnished and hung on the wall to be an amazing holder for my bulb planters.
Then there is this dry Cycas branch picked up from the terrace that looks so pretty. Solitary and turned naturally at an interesting angle in an empty dry wine bottle it looks artistic on it's own.Actually i was meaning to convert the wine bottle into a lampshade which is taking more time than i had anticipated so for the time being this arrangement suffices.
My collections have never once deserted me whenever i have this sudden urge to change.There is always something to be done with these and some area in the house always has an exhibition space for these .So out they come into my eager hands from their hibernating grounds to satisfy my restless self and brighten a bleached and naked area.In a way that even a boring staircase landing looks attractive with ordinary rocks,  dry branches and some greenery.
Thank God i get bored only with sights around the house and nothing else...
Thank God that i am one crazy collector who feels everything and anything has a potential which is latent and can be best brought out with one's crazy ideas.
And thank God my tool keeps me going at it...for i am one happy soul to see Pothos hanging everywhere around the and oh! so brilliantly vareigated and such an adorable green that does not ask for much... just plain water and one casual look to make you smile.


  1. Oh Shivani, I admire your creativity and love for nature. I do remember these bulb planters in Convent, there was one in the needle-work room and I always wondered how they did that. Now you've got me all motivated to try it out here. Not sure if I'll have success, but will give it a shot. Mini is a plant lover like you and has a green thumb, her house is also full of plants/flowers - indoor and outdoor. Thanks for sharing these lovely pictures in your post.

  2. @Chandra Vir thank you for reading :)

  3. @Preeti Thank you for reading what most would find utterly boring.i feel so happy to see you comment and i actually look forward to it.Thanks for obliging me.
    Yeah i know that Mini also shares the same and i've seen the wonderful pics of all her seasonals.
    Mine is basically all greens because seasonals make me sad after their show is over.
    Sure try the bulb thing and don't be disappointed if u don't get it at first...i wish you were near and i could gift you some :)

  4. this reminds me of ma.she d wait fr her victim with a fused bulb in her hand. these green things u do will always keep u alive inspired by u i too did one green thing.

  5. in my last comment i have said abot ur range of interests.Now i m admiring the way u put the things in proper perspective which is marvelous.U r able to convert seemingly small things into wonderful art piece.WOW..Keep it up

  6. @Gauri thank you dear and pls do go ahead with green thing because i know it makes you feel alive too.Yeah Ma who else...always:)

  7. @Anonymous thank you so much for what you say sounds like a compliment.:)

  8. yajnaseni (class6)August 3, 2010 at 8:43 AM

    even in school sisters use bulbs fr the money plants in school....

  9. @Yajneseni thank you doll and yes i saw it there too for the first time when i was even younger than what you are now.
    See some things are same to same...same pinch :)

  10. Wow ... that is a tutorial and a wonderful narrative packaged really well. Ma used to do the same things, like I told you in the past. Make pots out of every day stuff. Kudos to you and Ma again for making our lives and homes beautiful. Keep up the great work !!

  11. Wow ... that is a tutorial and a wonderful narrative packaged really well. Ma used to do the same things, like I told you in the past. Make pots out of every day stuff. Kudos to you and Ma again for making our lives and homes beautiful. Keep up the great work !!

  12. @LEB...Thank you and because your words give me faith i carry on with my rantings about things i do.What pleases me is the fact that some things really don't Ma...your Ma...and now me...who is another Ma.
    There were 2 comments that needed moderation and both from u and i did not have the heart to delete any even when both had the same.i like reading it i let it make me happy.
    Thank u for appreciating what someone called monotonous the other day.:)

  13. Who the heck called it monotonous....that is just not right. Keep up the good work Shivani. Do not worry about who wants to read these. This is your blog. Do whatever pleases you. That is all that matters.

  14. @LEB Thank you so much for ur kind words.And yes as u say i shall continue because i want to.:)

  15. Yeah, I can vouch for your creativity and the knack for turning trash into something decorative.. :)

  16. @ Aakaash thank you sonna for reading and's nice to know that you have noticed...good through my blog i am coming to hear so much from u.:)

  17. Hey Shivani, wonderful post. Very creative task. People (well, me too) normally try to spend money buying something creative. Your post shows how one can be creative, love changes without spending money everytime and gaining satisfaction too.
    I love plants in my house but due to my negligence and ignorance they all die. But after reading your post, I will also try one more time to have that shade of green and hopefully the bulb thing too one day.
    Keep inspiring.

  18. @Shaifali thank u for visiting my post.Yeah i agree with u when u say that creativity of our own gives joy and lots of satisfaction.
    Feel happy too that you liked my post.:)

  19. love your collections, shivani. I remember doing the bulb when i was little- well my brother had to make the hole in it, it was difficult. Thanks for remembering my love for plants. My house has no room for any more. Every unused surface has a plant and it is challenging to keep them alive in the long winter season. I just pray that they just survive. This year, I put all the house plants outside in summer - they have really grown and look so green and luscious - i don't know how i am going to fit them inside and clutter very inch of space in the dining room and kitchen where I get the most sunlight. But, enough about me- your love for ordinary items and turn into extraordinary is very motivating. keep up the passion.

  20. @Mini i have heard it all about your beautiful hobby which extends happiness to everyone around.Let me be very honest i am not as good as you.
    Thanks for motivating me enough to keep going at it.
    If possible send me some more pictures and let me see if i can identify your beauties.It will be good learning on my part.
    Thanks again for your kind words.:)