Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

Edited by: Vrinda Rastogi

My dining table has seen love. Only love.

When my extended and incredibly beloved family comes over to my 3BHK house in Mumbai the world takes a backseat and stops for a bit. For all of us. That Mumbai house is as compact as it gets, but when we have family over, it seems to expand wondrously to fit them all. And somehow there is always space for more. 

We all abandon our well-furnished, private rooms so we can adorn the marble-floored hall with old, ragged mattresses to sleep together for the nights. We stay up till sunrise talking about how our childhoods were and how the multiple generations present in the room intersect. Sometimes we talk about philosophy and don’t even realise that we end up sharing so much unguarded, surprised by the love and support we didn’t see coming our way when we receive it. 

My decades-old dining table, the blemishes of which are well-hidden by the brand-new white tablecloth mom bought, has seen these bonds forge throughout multiple lifetimes. Over conversations and emotions and giggles and banter. All filled with just one thing- love. 

We sit for breakfast, we pull two more chairs in so everyone can be part of it. 

We sit for lunch, everyone huddles up to laugh. 

There is chai pe charcha and lots of lazy conversation. 

Our dinner is a grand event with the best dishes and everyone at the peak of their energy. There are hugs, and zesty aromas coming together and lighting up the house just like all of us.

The table has heard about how my bua used to pour her milk into papa’s empty glass, about how mumma and her brother played with a doll that was stolen by their neighbours. About how he nicknamed his adoring little sister Nanu, after the doll. About how my grandparents and their siblings put up play excerpts from the Ramayana for their parents to see in the summers they spent in Mathura. About how papa was so irresponsible about school that he forgot he had a board paper the same day when his worried elder sister reminded him about it. About how so did dadu. About how my dadi is a secret mathematical genius, about how Avi, Ayu bhaiya, and I saw Sambhav grow from a baby to a boy so mature and beautiful. About how Rianshi and I played with sarees and brandless make-up we picked up from the street vendors and pushed the swings for each other back in the isolated Kota parks. About how excited we were to hear about Candy, our dog, joining our family. 

That table has seen us talk over samosas and dhoklas, over cutting chai, over my dadi’s famous rice kheer and unending Naturals ice creams. That dining table has seen nostalgic tears, belly-aching laughter, surprise over how shocking the generation gaps can seem but how that simple round table chit-chat can beautifully make it disappear, even if temporarily. That table has made me realise how similar my simple pleasures are to my great grandfather who was as easy to please as with a lattoo which twisted on the ground as a five-year-old Stuti stared at it with disbelief. How my otherwise estranged anxiety has a mirror in my mom, an eight-year-old Shivangi shifting homes every three years. How my bad jokes and my emotional drive come down to me from my dad, a twenty-two-year-old Anubhav who quit his first job because he felt he deserved better. 

My love for baking comes from my dadi, a twenty-five-year-old Anju who ingeniously put all the steadfast love she had into cooking bua and papa’s favourite dishes when they returned from playing in the dust outside in Jaipur. How my catharsis that flows even right now as I type uninhibited and unhinged, comes from my dadu, an evergreen Ramakant who publishes books every two months like it’s the easiest job in the world. How I get my quirky and adventurous side from Reenu Mami who practically brought me up. How I get my soft, caring and warm side from Julie bua. How Rachit bhaiya’s marriage to his sweetheart was almost impossible until she convinced him to do what his heart echoes. How Dolly bua is ever-young at 52 and still dances better than all of us, on command. That table has seen how I am who I am. It has seen how the love of so many people has come together to make me, me. 

If something in my life comes remotely close to helping me appreciate the beauty of form, it has to be my dining table. The most ordinary rustic brown plain wooden table, but with so much meaning and so nourished by such doting history, which is still in the making.

So if you’ve eaten at it, you have noticed how it always has more space. 

If you’ve eaten at it, you should know that it remembers your love. And that it has definitely absorbed it as its very own. If you’ve eaten at it, you have contributed a slice of meaning to the overwhelming affection poured into it for years and years. 

It has seen only love. Perhaps that’s the reason it still stands. 

Stuti Sharma

Ashoka '24

Stuti is a third year Psychology major and Creative Writing minor at Ashoka University. She loves writing and can be found impulse-buying jhumkas, unnecessary outfits and fridge magnets, and consuming the most absurd media ever. She is the token mom of the group surrounded by walking reminders of how short she is. She already loves you.