My Grandma’s Water Bottle


My mom’s generation was lucky enough to have grown up without knowing too much about plastics.

While my grandmom’s generation mostly used brass and bronze vessels and utensils, my mom’s generation used stainless steel.

Today plastics are in. Colourful trendy water bottles of different shapes and sizes, milk cans, lock and lock boxes, and so many more.

Last year my mom distributed all the bronze utensils she had received from my paternal grandmother.  She had earmarked a few pieces for my siblings and me.

I got the cutest looking 100 year old bronze water bottle – we call it a ‘Kooja’. My grandma used to carry milk or water in this Kooja, when she travelled. Most people of the time had Kooja water bottles.

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I so love this beautiful water bottle. It is made of bronze. It is also quite heavy. It brings back memories of my grandma. I can imagine my grandma in her saree, carrying this Kooja.

My Kooja sits on one of my corner tables, constantly reminding me of our lovely traditions and history.

I love my Kooja.

Do you have any such thing from your grandparents? Would love to know.

Love engraved


I was doing the dishes earlier today, when my fingers moved over what appeared to be some sort of small stain. I scrubbed hard, but it seemed to remain. On closer inspection, I realized that it was an inscription in the steel.

I smiled. Why? Read on…

We Indians, especially down South, love stainless steel. Most of our kitchens are filled with stainless steel cookware – spoons, ladles, forks, knives, glasses (steel ones, we call them tumblers😆), plates, pots, pans, cookers – every single item in steel.

When a girl gets married, her mom typically gives her a basic set of kitchen utensils and cutlery to take with her to her new home.

Back in the 70s and 80s, most Indians lived in joint families, and if a home had many daughters-in-law, each with her own kitchenware, how did they tell all the utensils apart?  So, the moms of these girls usually got the girls’ initials engraved on their utensils. No confusion. All one had to do was look closely for the initials, to know which was yours.

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Though people moved away from their homes, and families became nuclear, this practice of monogramming kitchenware was in vogue even when I got married.

I still remember the days before my wedding, when my Dad and Mom, had the utensils engraved with my new initials NN. I remember how they came home, and told me, happily, that the job was done.

The days before the wedding were filled with fun and nostalgia, for all that I would leave behind and for all the things I would embrace in my new home.

I come back to the now and look at the engraving NN ….parents’ love captured forever. Miss you Dad and Mom. Thank you for everything