A friend from childhood who has followed my career throughout my life sent me this image on Whatsapp and asked me “Do you remember?”
These were called sutar buttons, Sutar being Gujarathi for yarn. On researching for these for writing this post, I came across and interesting post about how to crochet these buttons. Difficult now to imagine, how much effort must have gone into making these buttons in large volumes.
That one question and that image took me down memory lane to the proverbial three score and ten years ago when as a student in Class IV wearing an all white uniform daily to school. The top and bottom both had buttons like these and we had to ensure that we had all the buttons intact as we were subject to inspections by the class teacher.
I was living with my Uncle and Aunt for that one year and every time one button came off, it was a chore reattaching it and often one had to find a new one which would be slightly of a different colour than the other buttons. My Aunt would patiently teach me to sew the button on and would closely supervise the effort.
Then came plastic buttons and the game changed for ever. Much easier to sew on and also longer lasting.
I spent almost a quarter century in the Tailor Trimmer trade and during all those years, never came across these buttons anywhere but, a quarter century later, I come across these. Simply mind blowing what?
Yesterday was a day of surprises. Yes, plural, not just one. Let me list them for you.
1. I received a phone call in the morning from a young friend who after the initial surprise was over asked me for directions to reach my home as he was coming after many years and the neighbourhood had changed a lot. I told him that I would rather not see him considering the Covid situation and he said that it would be okay as he just had to deliver some parcels to me. I guided him to my verandah from where I was unable to receive the parcels as they were simply too big. So, he had to come into the house after going through the security rigmarole of our society where visitors have to go through a sanitisation process.
2. The parcels turned out to be one gift, a very thoughtful one, from a mutual friend in Mumbai who my visitor had met last week. Along with the gift the visitor had also brought two Gujarathi dishes that were my favourite with a long lost story behind one of them. My Mumbai friend had heard my story about how I used to enjoy the dish during my stay in Ahmedabad over half a century ago. Since both my Mumbai friend and the visitor are Gujarathis, the latter was requested to prepare the dish as a surprise and deliver to me with a cryptic message reminding me about my Ahmedabad days.
The dish is called Handvo and I thoroughly enjoyed it for lunch.
3. Another friend, this time from Chennai telephoned me to inform me that he is sending me a gift parcel and he was calling to caution me to accept the parcel when the courier comes to deliver it. Quite what the gift is a mystery but, knowing my friend as I do, it is likely to be something that I will cherish and use regularly.
4. A TV serial that I had stopped watching after the imposition of the lockdown as only old episodes were being shown due to the producers not being able to produce episodes due to the lockdown, started showing new episodes from last evening and this 45 minutes every evening will now revert to my old pre-lockdown discipline. This is the only TV programme that I used to watch and I had missed it.
All in all a very pleasant day.