The Tin Trunks

“Ma, today my school bag is very heavy.” cried Gayatri.

“Why do you carry all your books every day, look at your elder brother, how meticulously he packs his books according to the timetable,” explained Gayatri’s mom.

“Oh! Ma, she is just lazy to pack her books every day, so she just carries them all,” Said Rakesh, Gayatri’s elder brother.

“Stop it Rakesh, you always wait for a chance to tease her. In fact you should teach her to pack her bag according to the time table… after all she is way, younger to you.” scolded Ma.

“Come on Ma, she is not as young as you think she is… you know na, how she fights with me like a cat.” teased Rakesh pulling Gayatri’s hair.

“Ouch! It hurts,” yelled Gayatri.

Gayatri remembered this incident distinctly, when she found the two tin trunks in her ancestral home attic. 

Seeing the tin trunks Gayatri’s thoughts spooled back into her childhood. How she was excited to see her new school bag. More like a small treasure trunk. It was then a novel thing. They had little wants and humble living. 

They lived in a small village town, Someshwar within Raigad district of Maharashtra. Her mother was the only earning person. The only one running the family, and three mouths to feed. They had lost their father in an accident. Trying to meet two ends, her mother worked in the accounts department of a public sector bank. The salary was meagre, but the happiness and bonding among the three was plentiful. 

“Gayatri, where are you?” called out her brother Rakesh.

They had come to their ancestral home to perform their mother’s last rites.

“Look what I have found, Rakesh,” shouted Gayatri.

Running down the attic with the two tin trunks in hand, she asked “Do you remember our school bags.”

She showed the tin trunks to Rakesh.

Looking at them, suddenly he felt speechless. Tears of guilt started brimming in his eyes.  He remembered the incident when these tin bags were brought by their mother. He had actually made a mockery of those, when they were purchased, but that was all his mother could afford during that time. Ma, had promised him that she would purchase a new stylish bag as soon as she gets a bonus.

The tin trunks brought back to surface their childhood memories and various difficulties they faced. Within two months mother had again brought them newly styled school bags. The tin school trunks were then transformed into medical box and storage box. 

“You have raked up old forgotten memories with these tin trunks Gayatri. How foolish I was to cry over such silly matter and trouble Ma, but look how she had still taken care of these, until now.” moaned Rakesh.

“Ah! Those were the days, brother, remember how we would carry all our books, in this tin school bags unlike these zipped fancy bags which we now get in the market, and a whole lot of styles.” said Gayatri.

“Hmm, really times and things have changed a lot.” sighed Rakesh.

“Also, the way you troubled me over packing of our timetables.  I doubt if Abhinav and Sushma, your daughter will find it glamourous enough to carry them,” she said jokingly.

Both laughed heartily at this thought.

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