After a leisurely start, Saranya’s friend Sudha came over for a little while. She was very keen to learn some origami, so we made some sonobe units and linked them up in various combinations until we made a 12-piece ball. We also looked at other kusudamas online, and the traditional flower one was quickly established as a firm favourite. Sudha promised to come back the next day, bringing paper to make it.
We all headed into town on a special mission for one of my friends, who after having seen the movie Lunchbox put in a special request for a stainless steel stack of boxes. These boxes are brilliant, and I saw them in action at Sellappan’s office. They come in stacks of up to five, and in any size you need. They are secured together with a clip on each side, and you can stack and unstack them easily.
The destination was the Shevapet area, which specialises in metalwork. I went to the shop with Saranya, Sudha and Sellappan’s mam, who held the entire place under control with terrifying product knowledge, eye for quality and price sense. In this store you can walk right to the back room, which is ten feet high and absolutely jammed with every stainless-steel kitchen item you can imagine. Almost every single piece of kitchenware and tableware I have seen is made of stainless steel, from pans to plates. This means that there are shops upon shops that gleam blindingly in the sunlight. The effect of all that silverware in one place is like a giant fairground mirror, and reflects all the hustle and bustle of the street.
Mission accomplished, we came back home. I made some origami lotus flowers, and soon it was time for Saranya’s tutees to arrive. The little ones zoomed past me, because I’m very scary. In time some of the older students stopped being so shy. I kept making my origami, until one girl came to teach me some Tamil. She listed lots of nouns, including parts of the body. In exchange I taught her Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. The staple of any language classroom. We sang it in Tamil and in English.
Slowly a few more of the girls came and we made some origami together. They went home with some lotus flowers of their own. The boys stayed very much hidden until one came and showed me a paper plane. Naturally I made one in response and he examined my version with a critical eye before deeming it good enough to keep.
Sellappan’s mam was interested in learning the lotus flower, so we made some more of those together. There is now a small origami display in the living room with our creations in it. Dinner was chapatti and gravy. The day went very quickly, and I certainly got through a lot of origami paper!