When I was young, it used to be fun on every Thursday evening as mom would be busy cleaning all these utensils and would pay less attention to me and my brother, the kids.
She used to slog herself or with the maid to give the best shot to get these vessels to glittering brightness.
During those days, after playing for a longtime with my street friends and enjoying the bonus hours of a Thursday evening when I went to our backyard for freshening-up, I used to see the array of these bronze and brass utensils cleaned to perfection, shining to glare my eyes at twilight, arranged neatly one after the other size-wise kept upside down to dry out the wetness. I vividly remember cursing those vessels to have remained more dirty so that it took more time for my mom to invigilate the cleaning process or do it herself, which would in-turn give me more time at play!
Every festivity was an opportunity that awaited the finest exhibit of these vessels to the best of their utilization with the beholding contents of food cooked deliciously and offered to god before human consumption. This caught the attention of the neighborhood families in the street easily and middle-aged women who were daughters-in-law of joint families or mothers of 2-3 kids like my mom used to stream in to our home to calculate the worth of the bronze/brass utensils and their beauty and take-in the picture-perfect glow of these vessels with a shade of jealousy, that usually ended up in muttering “Why use all these vessels when there’s glass and stainless steel that the world is reaching out for!?” … mind you this was nearly 20 years ago!
An indignant grandmother of mine, used to retort with skilled tyranny “if you cannot stretch yourself to manage precious little possessions such as these, don’t you dare discourage my daughter-in-law who does it with whole-heartedness!”
That saved my mom’s time for one thing that those ladies always kept quiet for the rest of the times they visited my home for the Navrathri Doll Festival or Varalakshmi Vratham days!
Navarathri days used to be utmost fun with the dolls of plaster of paris, ceramic, good-old-mud and wooden dolls artistically dressed in glad rags and trinkets festooned with glitter papers and other eye-catching substances to enhance the beauty of these hand-worked dolls echeloned in a vast gallery with mounds of cereals and grains arranged in front of them in those cute-looking miniature cups and bowls made of brass and bronze, what an ecstasy and a delight to the eyes those were……
All that glittered and glowed in our home when I was a kid, taking advantage of all of those to play, to boast, to fool-around….. is all gone now!
Nothing that’s bronze or brass except for a small lamp and a tumbler are left of the huge range of collectives and possessions that were passed on to the later generations from long, long ago by my great, great grandfathers!