Assorted glasses

This December is unlike any other. We are at home, on a staycation, enjoying lazing around and spending quality time with family. I have also been doing some decluttering around the house.

Today’s agenda is to clear out the crockery cupboard. I carefully take out each item and stack it on the kitchen counter, on the dining table, and on all other available flat surfaces.

Phew! What hoarders we are! The cupboard is like a hidden mystery cave, spewing out a never ending stream of plates and bowls and chafing dishes and glasses. I resolve not to buy crockery ever again (of course at least till I go shopping next!)

And I work mechanically, my mind busy elsewhere. Soon, it is time to put back the crockery into the cupboard. All plates and bowls are shining. They look happy.

And as I put back all the glasses, I realize that there are around fifteen glasses. However, only six of them belong to the same set. The other nine glasses are individual glasses of unique design, being the only ones remaining from their original sets.

Image courtesy –

My immediate thought is, “…need to shop for a new set of water and juice glasses.” But then, I observe these nine unique glasses. Some are long, some are short, some are round, some are plain, but each one of them, along with their sets has been a part of our lives over the last two decades, and have been an integral part of our memories – the glass with lemon slices on it, the glass that looks like a globe, the plain looking glass which can hold so much water, the cut glass tumbler…each so special.

I think about how some of these glasses have survived over the years, while most of their family members did not. Some had cracks or got chipped, while some of them still remain intact.

I liken this to our lives, where we continue to evolve through our various experiences – learning to face challenges in the best way we can, sometimes with a crack here and a chip there, sometimes falling down and getting shattered, only to pick ourselves up while continuing to plod on.

I may buy a new set of glass tumblers soon, but am loath to throw away this beautiful and assorted collection of survivors. I send them back into the cupboard with a silly grin on my face.


Ringtone Persona

I have a new smart phone.  I am excited.  It is as large as my palm, and though this is not my first smart phone, a frisson of excitement runs through me.

I vow – to keep my apps neatly organized, to purge unwanted files regularly, to download only music I want, and not entire folders, to choose cool profile pics for screen lock, chat apps and …you get the drift.

I now look forward to choosing a ringtone, message note, notification tone etc.  I decide to choose a ringtone that depicts my personality.  I want a unique ringtone.  So I check out the available options.

I look for a bubbly, enthusiastic ringtone that will capture who I am, a tone that will cheer me up.

I scroll and play the tones one after the other.  From spring to chimes to ambulances wailing to rock to jazz to rainbow to silence to water to summer to writing adventure to day break to beeps to basic tones to fog to ecliptic to rays of the sun…phew…I play the entire list.

I try them all on for size, is this ringtone ‘me’, I ask?  By now I get clucks and irritated tch tches from my children and husband.

I lower the volume and try again.  I decide that something related to summer will be apt, so I choose a peppy ringtone.  I am happy.

I move to messages now.  I love the bottle-opening tone.  I set it right away.  All other tones can wait.  Have got the main ones sorted out, haven’t I?

I put the phone aside to get back to my chores.  The bottle-opens many times, and each time I am startled by this new sound, I laugh, as my kids ask me what it is?

A few days later, I am at the doctor’s clinic, the bottle-opens with a loud pop.   The doctor laughs. I laugh sheepishly.

At night when I sleep, I set my summery ringtone for my phone alarm also, waiting to be woken up by the strains of summer.  As 6 a.m. comes around, the phone wakes me up with its bubbly, summer ringtone.  I am not used to this new alarm, and I can sense something ringing, is it my husband’s alarm? I snuggle further into my quilt, as the summer ringtone falls on deaf ears.  Consequently, I am running behind schedule.

After a mad morning, I sit down to change the alarm tone.  I am serious about this – it has to be something that will shock me into waking up – I go for harsh – an old car horn, sounds more like an animal braying, but this will have to do, if I don’t have to go crazy in the mornings.

I am slowly settling down to my summery ring tone, though it’s a trifle too long and peppy.  The bottle opener has been replaced by a water-drop falling.  Every message, a drop of water.  I love the theme.

I thought my ringtone was uniquely me.  The taxi driver also has the same ringtone.   20 different people on the MRT have the same tone. Water drops in many phones….., people keep opening messages with their bottle-openers.  Who am I? Can’t I have my own ringtone persona? Each time a water drops, or I hear my ringtone even from somewhere far away, I grope for my phone.

I am not unique. I am a million others!