What I really love about my kitchen is the bright and colourful ceramic and porcelain crockery against the backdrop of my white walls.
The red tray between the stoves to rest my cooking spoons and spatulas, the dark purple bowl to keep the chopped vegetables in, the green sieve to wash them, the yellow lime squeezer, the orange salad bowls, the gorgeous red salt shaker; these pots and pans, plates and dishes lend an air of polychromatic splendour to their practicality in my kitchen.
I also love to collect crockery, thus wherever I go, be it at the back alley of New Market or Chatu Chak in Thailand, these collectibles are always on my list. Needlessly to say, there is a second list of the actual things that I need, but it is always this first list that never changes and gets all my attention.
There was a time when I ran out of cash and could not buy anything from the second list full of priority items. In my defence, all I can say is 'they were cute.'
I actually find my whimsical treasure hunts therapeutic; footpath ware vendors in New Market or that lone ceramic vendor in front of Hawker's Market, or the shops in the DIT-2 Gulshan Market; these haunts are the troves to browse for these porcelain items. But most recently, I found three vans chockfull of such exquisiteness in Uttara.
Salmon pink soup cups, turquoise green mugs, dark green full plates, white dessert dishes, grey platters, red bowls; the vans were full of wonderful surprises. However, just like the garments found in Doza markets, these ceramic crockeries do come with slight defects; you just have to have the patience and eye to nit-pick and find the 'best' of them. Kitchens are the hearts of all homes; while some kitchens are not too busy, others are buzzing 24/7. And my kitchen is a happening one, even at 3 AM, either my hubby is brewing his famous ginger tea during a movie break, or my son making his late-night sandwich while watching Liverpool score goals.
The place just does not sleep and every morning, to my utter surprise, his blue mug and my son's yellow plate brighten up my mornings, before I take out my pink mug and brew my tea. It means the heart of my home is beating and keeping us all warm and fuzzy. I must add a mandatory postscript here, if the maid is not in by 7:30 AM, then the untidy mess of these colourful plates and mugs on the kitchen counter is anything but fun.
My kitchen is not any state-of-the-art fancy place, just something I built over the years; adding a cabinet here, placing a hook there, turning an old jar as spoon holder, or making an oil jar out of an old wine bottle.
I turned my grandfather's law book cabinet into an almirah for my dishes and plates. My mother-in-law's chest of drawers as my spice storage drawers. And I love this place, it has my stamp all over it; my flea market style of décor. And the colourful crockeries add that fun factor to the bohemian vibe.
My suggestion to you all would be to pay attention to every van vending crockery, you just might end up with a bargain deal for Ikea wares. And bring out your red mugs and green platters to celebrate any occasion is cheerful colours.
Photo: LS Archive/ Sazzad Ibne Sayed