A Cup Cracks

By Vimla Sriram

August 22, 2022

A Cup Cracks

I can’t remember if the teacup was under the cutting board or above it but obscured by the mountain of plates, glasses, and steel pots on the dishrack. All I remember is the crack of porcelain on the wooden floor and two pieces instead of one. Why I was a dam breached I couldn’t understand. I sobbed as if someone close had suddenly died, prompting my son to fix the cup like only a 12-year-old could, with a tape fastened over the crack like a sash around a broken beauty queen.

The cup was a gift from my mother. An impulsive stopover at a ceramic studio on a mother-daughter getaway to Mt. Rainier. By the artist’s initials engraved at the bottom, I knew it was expensive but it isn’t often that I can encircle my hands around a cup, my fingertips touching.

The arc between the thumb and the forefinger doesn’t have a name, but if it did, I’d call it the cove, a nook for cradling cups.

The cup fit me much like the job in Hyderabad that I had to quit five years ago when I moved to Seattle for my husband’s job.

You think you have been rational. You think what is good for the family is good for you, that their happiness will leach onto you. Until a cup breaks in two.


Vimla Sriram often wakes up to a cup of tea and peanut butter toast by her bedside. She is a Kolkata-born Seattle-based essayist. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in 100 Word Story, Wanderlust, Watershed Review, Little Patuxent Review and Stonecrop Review.


Image courtesy of the author

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