For my first installment of People, Place, Thing, I want to share with you something very special that has brought my Ajayboo a lot of joy in the recent past. It’s a tiny baby rattle/whistle with quite the history! Handmade from silver, it is something my Grandma Bhanu gave to my mom when she had my sister over 40 years ago! This means that my sister has slobbered on it, I have slobbered on it, my nephews (now 16 and 12) have slobbered on it, so have Asha, Arjun, and now my 6-month old Ajay is adding to the patina. Nothing like 40 years of slobber to make something so incredibly beautiful even more so!
The rattle is small enough to fit perfectly in Ajay’s chubby hands. He loves to chew on it to sooth his gums and then waves it around to make some music! Just yesterday he even (quite accidentally) blew the whistle and surprised himself!
I asked my mom to tell me more about it. According to her this was a very common baby gift at the time in India. Beautifully made by a silversmith, it was not only practical as a toy for the newborn, but it was also meant to be a keepsake that quite literally also became a family heirloom! I tried to ask Grandma Bhanu if she recalls anything more about where she found it, but unfortunately for me, it’s something she no longer remembers.
My mom passed it on to my sister when she had her first born (much like how my Grandma Bhanu had done it years before), and my sister passed it on to me when Asha was born! Every time I see it, it not only makes me happy but also adds this incredible sense of love that transcends generations. It makes my wonder of all that this rattle has seen and endured! Of all the stories it might tell me if it could.
The rattle still looks so new. And is definitely sturdy enough for generations more of slobber and babies! For all the backward time travel I wish I could do, I also dream about when I will hand this to Asha when she becomes a mother! And eventually hope that all my grandkids play with it in time! I think of these things and my heart swells and my eyes water and I feel like I will live on forever!