Another one for me for prompts from Write Tribe- late but better late then never :
Saturday Prompt: So, you think you know it all
Wednesday Prompt: the smell of old books
I thought that this was all that left of you;the old rusted and creaking iron boxes filled with stuff that none of you other children wanted. Books! And religious ones at that. Who else would be interested in the “Krishna puranas” and lesson from the “Gita” but me?
I remember how they all fought over your jewelry once you had gone – I mean, akka even asked you a few seconds before you left, if you wanted to leave anything for her…your daughter who was always being stepped on by them. I just stood by when she asked you that and watched as you tried to reach out for me, trying to tell me something. But then it was time and you had to leave and your secret left with you.
Few months later, the akkas got the diamond nose studs, the annas got the gold chains and bangles and I got 2 old sarees and 1 stone from that nose stud and the boxes!Everyone argued about that family home in the heart of the city. But nobody knew how to split it. It was in your name and the lawyer said it could not be sold without your permission or a will. How sad, if only anna had known, he would have taken your signature on a blank paper just like he took you signatures on your empty cheques to get the pension amounts once you were gone.
Iron boxes – dusty and moldy at that. I never quite figured out what you wanted to tell me until today. I was mad at them and also a bit at you. What was I supposed to give my daughter when she got married? Life hadn’t been great to me and I hoped your generosity would help..but then the vultures had made sure that they got the Kings share of everything.
However, my frustrations and anger vanished when I opened your boxes. The smell of old books, took me back to my childhood – the days I accompanied you to temples and you telling me stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharatha? You always said that the justice was never partial and those who were true to themselves would always win – just like the Pandavas who won when they fought for what was rightfully theirs. But I was no Pandava and I don’t think I would ever win against them.
And then it happened. I opened the huge “Krishna purana”. It had always been my favorite book thanks to its beautiful cover. Even now, it called out to me in spite of its moth eaten pages. I lovingly flipped through the pages and then suddenly found a page that did not look like any of the other pages in the book. As I tried opening it, I found that it had been loosely bound to the rest of the book. It was page 1 of a deed, where you had left something to someone…….me! You had bequeathed the family home to me. With trembling hands, I opened the other boxes and removed the other parts of the “Krishna purana” and found a page of the deed in each one of the books….you hadn’t forgotten! They had left the boxes as no one found the books worthy so it had been generously given to me. Justice had been served…..
As I sit here in the library with my daughter in our family home, looking at the old boxes stacked in the corner, I can visualize you smirking to yourself from above and saying “So, you think you know it all“…