As part of the Pashmina contest organised by Mums and Stories with HarperCollins here are three submissions, a poem by Archana and two stories.
We had mentioned that the short story and poem can be funny, interesting or anything that can incite a good or emotional memory.
Two winners will also win the book Pashmina, by the author -Nidhi Chanani.
You can buy the book here- https://amzn.to/2IDkQ32
Read this interesting poem by Archana Mulgund Chappar, who is a mum to a five year old and resides in Karnataka. She is also a lecturer teaching at graduate and post graduate levels. She says, “I have been writing since my school days. Writing, travelling, oratory, learning about new cultures interests me.”
My Pashmina Stole
P for Pashmina and S for Stole,
Pashmina Stole, you are perfect for every role.
My solace in the sun, and shelter in the rain,
Fetching you from mart, I never felt vain.
Donning you, is a matter of pride,
You are the best accessory I have, today I confide.
You witnessed me becoming a bride,
And this I say, with utmost stride.
You have wiped my tears, of joy and sorrow,
In my life, your rainbow colours I borrow.
You are the testimony of weaver’s imaginary art,
Your soft silk distinguishes you apart,
No matter what, PASHMINA STOLE is my ultimate sweetheart.
Here’s a very interesting story shared by Devi, a mum residing in Chennai. A former IT employee and current home maker along with mom to beautiful Aditi, says this story she has shared is something from her personal life experience.
My Pashmina Shawl by Devi
This happened few years ago and it does have a philosophical tangent ,if you look deeper.
My mother in law had just returned from Dubai after staying a while with my SIL ,who had send lots of goodies for the one hundred and forty seven members in the family, extended family and our social circle.
I was thrusted with a shimmery red pashmina shawl. Now, I am a person of subtle colors and the bright red pashmina scared me, and I silently kept it away in my cupboard.
A few months later ,it was Christmas time. That part of the year where suddenly people try to be over amicable because of the new culture of playing “Christ ma and Christ child”. It’s a game where each person playing will be assigned the name of another person (your Chris child ) to whom you should send secret gifts and reveal your identity on the final day of the game. This game was so catching up and I got tangled in three groups, one such group being our family WhatsApp group.
As the Universe called it, my SIL (Sister-in-law) in Dubai was made my Chris Child. And as the Universe decided to spice things up, I completely forgot to send a gift to Dubai, only reminded by my very disappointed MIL (Mother-in-law).
Note that my MIL was the admin of the game and she summoned a gift be sent immediately.
I was struck the whole day at office with a production issue and had to delegate this vital task to my husband. My dutiful husband assured everything will be taken care of and a pretty gift will be DHL ed to Dubai and that I had nothing to worry. I was relieved and continued with my debugging.
Couple of days later, as I was rummaging through my cupboard I found the red, scary pashmina gone missing. That was when my husband proudly announced that his sisters favourite colour was red. He was brilliant enough to pack the pashmina off to Dubai as my gift to her.
All hell broke loose as I was contemplating whether to laugh or cry,
Just then my mobile rang “MIL Calling ….”
Here’s another interesting story by Nithiya K, a voracious reader, travel lover, a IT Project Manager living in Denmark. Nithiya too says her story is from her personal life experience.
It was actually 20 years ago in 1998 that this Pashmina came to my life. And today, it is incredible for me as well to write about it.
It was during a school trip in Ooty (Tamil Nadu, India) 20 years ago when I spotted this pashmina.
After lots of convincing by my friends, my parents finally agreed to send me on a 3 day trip to Ooty which was organized by my school.
I was on my 11th grade by then. I was so excited as it was the first time that I was away from my home to be with my friends. I was so happy and all excited.
But once when I was on the school bus and when the bus conductor was blowing the whistle to signal the driver to start off, I had a sudden feeling of home sickness passing through my veins…and blocking my heart.
It was some sort of loneliness which struck me when my Dad waved his hand to say me a bye.
But my friends gave me warmth and tried hard to cheer me up. They were and are a blessing to me till now. They brought me back from the very thought of being in a lonely planet away from home and I was back to fun as there was lot of excitement happening in the bus – singing, dancing, sharing snacks, chit chatting and sightseeing.
The trip was wonderful and I had a great time with my friends.
Ooty being a hilly tourist spot was famous for its wonderful scenic mountain landscape touching the clouds. People who visit Ooty are always back with tea packs and eucalyptus oil for which Ooty was famous too.
But I came back with a pashmina.
I too did lots of shopping though – tea packs, eucalyptus oil and some – petty but pretty gifts – mini wallets, nail polish, fancy ear-rings and toys for my siblings and friends back at my home town.
But one thing which caught my eye was a pashmina shawl. It was during the last day of our trip almost at the very end of our stay at Ooty.
I didn’t have much money left with me as I have already exhausted my wallet in the first two days of shopping. Borrowed some money from my besties and got the pashmina shawl for my mom.
I remember from my earlier days in my home town (Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India), it was a practice followed by many women to draw a Rangoli on the floor in the front of the house.
Especially, big and bright colored ones during the auspicious tamil month – Margazhi which spans from mid December to mid January.
My mom was an expert in this art and her rangolis were absolutely fantabulous to an extent where my mom’s Rangoli was identified as the best in the area wise Rangoli competition conducted in my home town by a local newspaper during the tamil month of margazhi every year.
To combat the cold, my mom usually wears a sweater while drawing Rangolis. Sometimes, she also wears a pashmina. But my sister (who helps her in coloring the rangolis ) used to grab the pashmina from my mom as my sister was so comfortable having the pashmina on her shoulders rather than a sweater. Usually moms are so generous. No doubt about it. My mom was not an exception here and my sister got the pashmina without any gimmicks and much effort.
Coming back to my shopping in Ooty –Without any further second thought, I bought the pashmina for my mom from the Handloom & Handicrafts store in Ooty. The Pashmina was handwoven and I was happy that I could support the declining handloom business for which I also received a thank you card attached to the receipt.
In the next consecutive years, my mom used to wear this pashmina not only when she was drawing Rangoli … but also for her travels during winters.
She maintained it so very well, that it still looks very much new even today.
This pashmina shawl is so special to me as it also carried a smaller design which closely resembled a Rangoli.
But now this pashmina is sitting on my wardrobe very much idle missing the shoulders who was wearing it with pride.
Yes my mom is no more!
But while I travel (as my current job requires a lot of travel within Nordics), this pashmina is always in my travel bag.
For an outsider, it may sound ridiculous for me to carry a pashmina in my hand carry luggage when I don’t actually use it.
But to me, this pashmina is so special- When I touch this pashmina, I could feel the warmth of my mom and all the special memories of her including her lovely rangolis.
I see it as a part of my mom.
I will cherish and treasure it with me always till the very end.