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Voicing Silence 7

Friday, January 23, 2009

A quick tale 223

Heirloom

She knew from the minute she opened her eyes that morning that today would be the day. Something about the way the sunlight distilled its way through the curtain and met her on her bed, told her that it had to be done then. Not later but now. She raised herself cautiously from bed as if the weight of the day's events were already pressing her down. As she readied herself, she rehearsed her lines. Would she reveal its entire history? However sparse her own knowledge of it was? Or would she simply let her daughter into the secret circle that she had been part of ever since she was a young woman? And let her daughter find out more about it if she wished to?

Her own experience had been all too brief. Shortly after her thirteenth birthday, her mother had called her to her room one day. The look on her mother's face told her that it was something important. Her mother simply handed it to her with no further explanation. She held it in her hands knowing better than to ask questions. She remembers the wrinkly surface and how she smiled when it crinkled in her hands. No, her mother had admonished her as she grabbed it away, someone might hear it. And that will be end of our secret.

Over the years she rarely brought it out. Allowing herself only the occasional glimpse. The only time she ever touched it was the day her mother died. And now it was time to pass it on. Her daughter had none of her reverence. She was curious about it. And wanted to know where it came from. And how long they had had it. She winced as her daughter carelessly waved it about. Be careful, she warned her daughter, it is rather delicate. It belonged to my great-great grandmother. Back in those days they used to hand it to shoppers free of charge for them to put their shopping in. Until the government made it illegal. My great-great grandmother however sneaked a few of them and when she died they found a small pile under her bed. Today barely a few hundred of these survive. Gently, it's quite old, you know. But her daughter was barely listening. She was tossing the plastic bag up in air and watching it cascade down gently.

7 comments:

PRG said...

brilliant..........

Rajesh said...

Was it really a plastic bag or did u change it at the last moment ...............

Shweta said...

Well done!

Pesto Sauce said...

Been here first time

You surey have an interesting compilation....really found them engrossing

Anonymous said...

quite clever!

Aarathi Sankaran said...

simple idea, beautifully written!

Goda Ramkumar said...

I wonder how you can describe even a small thing with so much grasp! Kudos....