The Trunk

The Trunk

He screamed, “ de do, jisko lena hai, le jaye!”

That was my  great grand father, Shri Arup Chandra Roy, puffing away his cigar and bellowing!

Decades of wait, anxiety and above all , the suspense came to a fruitless end.


Back in 1857, it seemed to be a do or die situation for the Roys, a curse that would be slapped on their generations,if Swarup Chandra Roy faltered. A promise made is unbreakable, unshakable and the infallible Roy had decided, motherland or no land at all.

The British were always ahead in every move, betrayals came from all quarters, only the Haveli seemed safe for his wife and soon to be born child. But how does one travel with wealth? 

He knew a blacksmith ,”I am sure he won’t forget the good that I had done him”. This timely visit resulted in a big trunk. None guessed and none would , if only he knew the future. Poor man!

The son was born one day prior to the fall of Jhhansi, in 1858.  Little  Kamrup wailed  nonstop as though he had prior knowledge  of what was to be. Friends fell, enemies fell as this child grew and joined  the family business of iron and Independence both quite metaphorically related to one another.

   Arup Chandra Roy,born in 1888, grandson of Swarup hoped to become a doctor. But the grandfather would hear none of it .Years later, the lawyer came in with the Will to declare all property is bequeathed naturally to the heirs except the trunk. That old,black annually painted, 17 kg trunk  was to be gifted to Arup’s great grandchild!

“Lunatic”, is the word that came to the mind of most people.” Who keeps things for the fifth generation ? 

“The senility of the old man”, thought Dharmarup ,sipping  beer on the decks of the ship about to touch the shores of London.He expects my grandchild to feel proud of  a trunk which am,sure doesn’t contain “Swaraj”.

 Vishwarup Chandra Roy, born during the hunger strike in 1933, when his father was in London, brought  the trunk closer to opening. 

His daughter Roopa, the only girl in generations was now watching her ninety two year , old great grandfather enraged like a bull, cursing his ancestor  because it had  turned out to be only a trunk! Small rocks and clay tablets covered with old cloth were its only contents.

“It all came to nothing”,sighed Roopa. Although she did secretly wish that the unlocking of this   trunk would have brought sensational news.

Anyway , all’s well although it didn’t end well. She kept the rocks and cloth intending them as memory.The trunk was given away as a revenge to the kabadiwala .

Life rolled on.

After years, as if on a whim, Roopa opened the bag. She played with one clay tablet,halting to examine it closely. On which was inscribed haphazardly, in miniscule writing – this trunk is gold painted black and it is yours, my dear!
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