Sometimes we never know that we are so much attached to ordinary things, until it goes out of our lives. We take it for granted when it is in front of our eyes. We think that it is occupying the extra space and cleaning/dusting it, is an extra work. Once it is removed from that space and when we look at the empty floor with scratch mark, our heart becomes, sort of, heavy, maybe for the first few days - I feel so now, I might be wrong, only time will tell.
I learnt to pedal a sewing machine as soon as I finished school. I went to some free classes for a few days, in the school holidays and learnt to stitch the corners of kerchief-like squares! When I was pregnant with my first child, I stitched napkins for the baby - again squares and triangles! No 'Huggies' were available in those days (1976!)! I used my neighbour's machine for stitching them.
After we shifted to Hosur (I remember Smitha's words saying that I write a lot about Hosur which must be my favourite place, yes, Smitha, you are right!) and settled with the school routine of my children, I joined a tailoring class. A Maharashtrian lady taught me and I and my friend used to go to her house thrice a week for 2 hours. I got very much interested and wanted to buy a machine. Got this USHA machine for around Rs.2000 (27 years back!) and paid in instalments of Rs.200 a month! I stitched so much that though it was a 'table top' model, I never folded it and used it as a table until some years back, no, I should not lie (!), say 10-12 years back.
I remember going to the local textile shops and buying for pittance, the last pieces of blouse and dress materials, design and make frocks and skirts out of them. Since I don't have daughters, I used to gift them to my nieces, friends' daughters, etc. I remember stitching umbrella cut skirts, frocks etc. with garden dress materials (one type was called china silk and it never faded for a long long time). Did smocking, applique work, mirror work etc. on frocks. Stitched pinafore school uniform dress for my friend's daughter, full-arm shirts and full pants for my sons (though not many!)too.
I had many many good friends there and once three of us planned to do an exhibition of baby dresses. We stitched nice cotton jablas and small frocks etc. with embroideries. Small small dresses with smocking...all were of pastel shades. Tied some ropes on the walls of my friend's house and hanged them with clips. The price was very nominal. Because it was a housing colony, news spread very fast and people visited our exhibition and everything was sold within two days. I remember stitching small small flowers (french knot, chain stitch etc.) at night after finishing all the house work, on frocks and kerchiefs. I learnt many new things from my talented friends, when I was in Hosur. One friend was an expert in cutting and designing, one was good in embroidery, I was good in stitching and to some extent, in some embroidery too......hmmm...those were the busy busy happy happy days!
I used to stitch my own blouses until nearly 15 years back. Mostly high necked blouses with short sleeves, sometimes round necked with long sleeves. Then when we had a function at home, I started giving my silk blouses for stitching with lining material to a tailor and lo, that was a wrong decision! I stopped stitching blouses! Later on, the machine was used only for stitching pillow cases and other ordinary things. Then, most of the time, it was used as a table!
We had been thinking of disposing it off, for sometime now, because it was lying unused and occupying space. When my servant maid said that she was looking for a second hand machine for her father-in-law, I decided to give it off for a nominal amount. Nothing is valuable if it comes for free, my husband always says. So, my machine was sent off and after it left my house, I feel bad now. I was consoled by my friends, saying that they had sold their machines long back!
'My pyjama is torn near the ankle and no machine to stitch it now', my husband was grieving, today morning!
Monday, May 10, 2010
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