The first Table For Two has been set, and the first theme is all about celebrating the festival of lights – Diwali. But wait, is that all this is about? Flowers, lights and pretty cutlery? Not quite. Read on to know how this is indeed a year long celebration of so much more!
Our emotional terrain can never be a flatland of feelings. There are peaks and valleys, surges and ebbs, and unyielding, rocky patches that stir our senses, luring them into forbidden places, stunning them into momentary numbness, and throwing them into spirals of ecstasy and despair. It’s a wonder-laden journey with bursting rivulets of love, treacherous sinkholes of sorrow, deep sea beds of passion, and cliffs of misery. And therein lies the brilliance of our senses, our windows to the world. We experience the world through sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. We process it into a thousand feelings, as we climb, swim, gallop, twirl and run through this adventure called Life.
One of the most fascinating parts of being human is our ability to capture this whimsical landscape into stories. We have the ability to strain the essence of our emotions, entrap them into small and big words, string them together, and share them with those who matter. Our world is not unlike a massive community table, where everyone brings their own soul-food. We dig into the flavoursome morsels brought forth by others, and offer some of our own.
A Table Full Of Stories
What are festivals if not a collective celebrations of our emotional surges? We celebrate a good harvest, the advent of spring, the yielding of evil to good, the changing of seasons, the benevolence and blessings of Gods, the birth of a new year, and the revival of traditions. And food is invariably the thread that holds the rituals, elevates them into something beyond a hard-cast string of actions. It gets the families to come together at tables, giving the elders a chance to share the stories and experiences that form the very glue that keeps communities and societies together. So, feeling, stories, food, tables. Warp and weft. Life and breath. Love and longing. They go together.
Storytellers especially have a strong, metaphorical connect with tables. They are like soothsayers, setting up the table with a fine fabric, soft to touch, and a crystal globe that speaks to them in a secret language perched right on top. They gaze into it, creating drama and intrigue, as the future and past seem to reveal themselves, but only to the storyteller. The listener hangs on to every word, consciously seeking patterns and feeding on the story, reveling in the strangeness and familiarity of it.
Setting Up A table For Two
This bond with the seekers of stories is what Table For Two intends to achieve. To create a setup, full of colours, myriad shapes, fanciful objects, some known, some a surprise, but all coming together to create a narrative one can drown a few moments in. Sights, real and implied, that feed your eyes and spirit.
And as you and I begin this year long journey, I have set up the table to celebrate a festival that sparkles and lights up the darkest corners of our realm of being. It takes inspiration from a creature that lives in lore and legends, becoming the symbol of good and evil, death and resurrection, vibrance and vanity. Known in Greco-Roman mythology as the bearer of Argus’s hundred eyes, worn on its feathers, the regal peacock, in Hinduism becomes the symbol of prosperity and good fortunes. The table is adorned in jewel tones, drawn primarily from the feathers of the auspicious bird. On the table, you will find the iridescent blue of its neck, the green and yellow of its train, but also a bit of red that draws from its passionate dance to the cosmic song of the skies.
The Storytellers Become A Story
Peacock feathers, jewel toned votives, flameless candles, beaded spoons, jewel toned tea-infusers, vintage serving plates, pink goblets, and a candle mounted on a stand made of foraged leaves and stems. A lush, runner with peacocks embossed in velvet. Brocade napkins with fuchsia lace trimming. The entire table framed by a sunlit cityscape. As night falls, it will come alive with buildings draped in strings of lights, and earthen lamps in the windows. I will share the table with another storyteller – my man. We will recall childhood fantasies, gleeful mistakes, loves lost, and the many adventures and accidents of life before we met. We will eat, and laugh, and maybe go silent for a few moments as we soak in the fact that two completely different worlds collided when we met, and an all new story was conjured in the crystal ball of our life.
The storytellers have become a story.
And a table has been set to share it.