The pots and vases stand bare and nude, having just emerged from the potter's wheel.
Each one is different from the other.
Each is unique.
But you can choose only one each year.
If you choose a pot that doesn't like you, you will have to give it up and wait an entire year before you can choose another.
Curved and moulded and shaped by the potter's hands, they stand tall and firm, and wait to be coloured and painted upon.
Some are painted in the colour of sunsets, the reds and yellows and oranges merging and fusing in a jovial dance.
Some are painted in the colour of peacock feathers, blues and purples and greens twirl and converge and diverge in little rivulets of colours.
A few are painted in monochrome, several others in motifs and designs painstakingly repeated with near-precision all over the surface.
Some are painted into invisibility.
Several others are painted into life, and they have minds of their own. They walk into houses they like and out of places they don't.
Every year people flock to the potter's to select their pots. Some opt for the large ones, others are content with smaller pieces that are just as exquisite. Some are drawn to the bright-coloured ones, some others rub the rims of the pots to see if any have magical wish-granting traits.
But no one thinks to look inside.
None of the pots are painted on the inside.
Each bears a gift within.
Some carry the gift of happiness, some carry the gift of life.
A few (I can't quite remember exactly how many) bear youth, and only one holds immortality.
But you can pick only one pot each year.
They say immortality resides in the prettiest abodes, but I can't quite be certain of that.