For as long as I remember I’ve had the hugest crush on candles. This is very hard when you live(ed) in Bombay where most candles were of the Hallmark variety. Then the lovely Good Earth at Kemps Corner came and saved the day. It was a generation before the Fab India takeover and the Good Earth makeover. This was a tiny shop at Kemps Corner that sold tableware and candles often by local artisans at exorbitant prices unapologetically. I remember talking to the then manager of the store who convinced me that most of their profit was shared by these artisans. I now know this is probably not true but then, it was enough.
If you follow me to Bombay one of these days my tableware is still the brown ceramic bowls and plates from the 1999 purchase. Yes of course we’ve lost a few glasses along the way and maybe some salad plates. The candles in my room have long burnt out but I still remember their deep brown and gold dust that glimmered through the humid Bombay monsoon. Ok fine. I don’t really remember that.
What I do remember is our domestic help Hira Bai screaming about wax all over my carpet and room. And being freaked out by the shadows the candle flames produced on my very purple wall if I woke in the middle of the night. I remember gifting a pretty cheesy looking candle to a boy called K. It had a red submerged heart. He told me he carried it around the world with him. I don’t really have anything that reminds me of that first relationship except for a terribly used / broken glass candle shade – a fair exchange I think and it is covering one of my bedside candles as I write.