Rainy Day

Rainy Day

I am a spirited twelve-year-old. I live in a two-storied bungalow in a posh locality with my businessman father and a post-graduate mother, who takes care of us and manages the household finances and servants. We lack nothing.

My father had an unusual routine every Saturday morning. Locking himself up in one of the upstairs rooms, he would emerge after an hour with a self-satisfied smile on his face. No one was, under any circumstances, allowed inside.

One Saturday, unable to hold my curiosity any longer, I followed him and looked through the keyhole, after he had locked himself up. Luckily, he stayed within my field of vision.  Dragging a step ladder, he climbed up and pulled a handle on the wooden false roof. A door dropped down. He groped around and carefully retrieved a mid-sized, green steel trunk and brought it down with him.  Placing it on a table, he reverently opened it. He removed several objects one by one, staring at each one for a few minutes, caressing them lovingly and putting them back. They all looked old and uninteresting. 

Tired of my spying and yawning, I went back down and attended to my own hobbies, philately being my choicest.

As time passed, my father’s business started collapsing. The cars and bungalow were gone. We moved to a modest 3-BHK flat.  Father though, kept up his Saturday morning ritual. The trunk and its contents remained as precious.

One Saturday morning, he opened the secret room and invited both me and my mother in. I felt a thrill but he said in a breaking voice, “Kamala, our business is gone. We have to move to a 1-BHK apartment. There will be no room for this trunk. You know how I treasure this. It has mementos from my father and his ancestors. I have picked a few things I love most. Each of you can take a few things and then I shall dispose of this trunk.”

My mother selected some pieces of antique jewelry.  My attention however, was drawn to an old notebook wrapped in brown paper. I gingerly picked it up and opened. Dust flew into my eyes. I rubbed my eyes and opened the note book. I let out a huge scream of joy. It was a collection of old stamps.  

I grabbed it and ran to my desk and pored over it, page by page. I found a very old stamp with red frame and blue head of the then King. I looked into my philatelist’s handbook to confirm that it was none other than the “inverted head 4 annas stamp of the 1870s”!

I screamed out to my father, “Papa, we seem to have a very rare and expensive stamp, worth 30-40 lakhs of rupees!”.

Father looked it over and muttered in an emotion-choked voice, “My father, when he handed over this trunk, said to me it will come of use one rainy day…”

Author’s note:
 More about inverted head 4 annas in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_Head_4_Annas 
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One thought on “Rainy Day

  1. Wow! It’s such a feel good story with a great message. I loved the simplicity yet the fitting words used in the story.

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