Stuck in a dark corner, this space seems suffocating. I scream, but my voice seems muted into a deep, dark abyss. I can hardly breathe, it’s claustrophobic! I feel lonely and throttled. My family has left me long ago and I am left with no one to keep me company. 

The space I live in is dusty, damp and dingy. How I feel the need to break the shackles and move out to see the light of the day. 

I get reflecting, ‘Do I feel bad now, that my importance is diminishing; I wonder.’

There was once a time in my life when I ruled the hearts of children and adults alike; in fact that of the entire nation. They offered me due recognition and credit for the efforts I rendered. I was flaunted and praised. I was treated like the ‘King of Kings’. I ruled the world as I danced gracefully and made everyone gleefully pirouette to my moves. I was kept well, respected and revered deeply and moreover, safeguarded too.

But now I remain, ignored, battered and insignificant. No one seems to need me anymore. It sometimes makes me ponder if modern day technology and development has anything to do with my gradually diminishing value? I have heard this too often and it echoes over yet again, ‘You are old-school.’

I have tolerated the many abuses of parents and children alike when they have shaved my head in the name of grooming. Sometimes, the shavings were discarded mercilessly or other times, acted as wigs to those models drawn upon paper. In all their doings and actions, I have remained patient; offering them reminiscences of those myriad memories etched upon their pages. 

Though my value has gone down drastically, and I remain heartlessly stuck in this insignificant gloom, my subjects still remember my name. I surely have made a deep impact. An impact that lasted and left a mark.

Earlier, I shared space, my house, with my dozen member family. Living space was limited, but the joys unlimited. Those times were cheerful as they were filled with lighter moments of fun and togetherness. But today, despite the space to move about, I feel stuck.

Despite the mounting competition, I was always someone who was crowned as ‘numero uno’ for the entire nation felt that I was the BEST. I have aided people irrespective of their profession. From students, Artists, engineers, sailors, individuals from all class, caste, creed, race, religion or gender appealed to me for help; and I stood by them through their most trying times. Though there are some who still prefer to call upon me as their scaffolding support, I can sense my diminishing value.

Deeply lost in reverie and sorrow, I am almost ready to give up all my hopes. However, my spirits are perked up when a call over the counter demands to have me.

“One NATRAJ pencil, please.”

 I am rescued.

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Poornima Sivaraman
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