The Ultimate Blog Challenge Day 1
It was that day in the year which made Oli happy. The gloomy monsoons had finally taken leave and the morning had bathed in the amalgamated beauty of the cobalt sky and the golden sunshine. It was the first weekend of autumn, and each year Ma gets out the old iron trunk on such afternoons to put all its contents out in the sun. To get rid of the monsoon dampness, she says.
The big old iron trunk - it is placed in the storeroom on the terrace. Ma says the trunk belonged to Oli's father's grandmother. She had received it as a wedding present. A now rusty brown box, embossed with floral motifs, it surely was once a beauty.
Ma drags the heavy trunk out to the terrace with Shyamali mashi's help. She flings the lid open and starts taking out the old items one at a time. Oli is glued beside her, not ready to miss any of the things that come out of the treasure chest! A silk blanket, moth-eaten at places, yet nice and soft. Her mother's wedding benarasi. The red had faded at places, but the golden zari border still glistened is the afternoon sun. Then out came Baba's Kashmiri shawl, Dadu's silver paan box, his old books - with silverfish marking the pages. There was a hand-fan, the ones which are made from Taal pata or palm leaves, with colourful motifs painted on it. More of her mother's sarees, Thamma's spectacle box, Dadu's hookah - gradually all of these were kept out in the sun. But what made Oli the happiest, was her first dress that Ma sewed when she was born. A tiny white dress with tiny red roses embroidered all over. Oli pressed it to her cheeks for a long long time and inhaled deep. The naphthalene smell - the smell of a day twenty five years back.
Oli felt a strange pang of nostalgia. So much of memories, all locked up in a box. Probably that's what made the box so heavy. This winter she will be married and flying to the US of A with Amit. Oli realised that this yearly ritual was something that she will miss when she leaves this house. Given a chance, she would love to carry the whole box of memories with her. And on lonely afternoons in the new country, when Amit would be at work, she could just inhale and imbibe the old times.
The rusty old trunk, the inviting smell of naphthalene balls, the silverfish running in and out, the yellowed pages of the hard cover books - sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart - Oli let out a deep sigh.
Ma - Mother
Baba - Father
Mashi - Aunt
Dadu - Grandfather
Thamma - Grandmother