The deep slumber is shaken. I know it’s time and I’m no more forsaken. Multiple coats of black paint tickle my rough edges as the hairy brush glides gracefully. Each corner and groove swathed amicably. These strokes are symbolic of a new voyage, waiting to be undertaken. Time stands still between each sojourn as I and my mates retreat to gratuitous anonymity unbeaten. She steps out in a crisp cotton kurta, freshly shampooed auburn hair bouncing to the rhythm of her stride. I’m in awe and I gaze wide-eyed.
“Aha……” I muse. “How I have enjoyed watching her journey from a coy, newly wed to a domineering yet affable mother hen, always enthused.”
There are no fond memories of my birth. All that springs up is relentless hammering and pain with heavy, cruel tools around my girth. Once birthed, I have been tossed and lamented till I was picked up to become an essential part of the olive green voyages. Yes! I am the black trunk. A carrier of memories, fears, losses and acquisitions not merely baggage. We are a tribe that grows as does the household. Yet each of us retains an unspoken position and an individual stronghold. Goodbyes are tearful nevertheless eventful for ordinary lives to transform into extraordinary. I admire the lady for managing them with aplomb dutifully. There’s an unspoken bond as I often hear her whisper, “You are my first friend into this fraternity! Gosh! How can I forget stuffing all we had into every nook and corner since eternity. You had the obstinate screws that would give away the moment we tried to close the top.” The wry grin is soon replaced by a stream of tears, leaving the face flushed of cheer.
I am witness to carefree laughter and solitary tears. Learning and unlearning with every change of place over the years. Today however is unusual as I see her brave the wrath of fate. Two nimble lives changed forever for she has bid goodbye to the son of the soil, her better half, her forever mate. The olive green that adorned the brave soul lies neatly folded in the arms of a brother officer. She gently lifts it as if it were alive, stutters towards my open embrace and places the remnants of the happy life. “This is a priceless treasure being entrusted in my care” I remind myself as her tears trickle down the fresh paint, with visible strife. The tricolour that wrapped his body follows as my closing top bows in salute to both the motherland and her hero!
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