The Chest of Memories
The Chest of Memories
It had been almost 6 weeks of lock-down now. Mr. Srivastav had never felt so lonely in his life. Half the time of this elderly widower was spent by worrying about his children (who were living abroad). And the other half was spent in doing the household chores. It was on such an uninteresting day that he decided to clean the attic.
Armed with the cleaning equipment, he examined the scene.
"Phew! Looks like it has been ignored for decades.", he said, trying to figure out the forgotten, dumped objects beneath the thick layers of dust and cobwebs.
"What's this?" It was past midday by now, and Mr. Srivastav was staring at an old, rusted metallic chest. It looked well-worn. As it was unlocked, he opened it.
He felt as if he had opened a portal into the past. The inside, surprisingly, was shining like new and gave no hint of the passage of time. There were many things packed neatly inside, and with each item came a plethora of nostalgic memories. Mr. Srivastav remembered quite a few articles from his early childhood present.
A paper with his name scribbled on it(the first time he had learned to write!), bits and pieces of his childhood toys, his drawings, and even his first pillow!
Then, right at the bottom, were two photographs. He carefully picked up the yellowed pictures, squinting to recognise the faces.
One was of his late parents; the tall and burly physique of his Pitaji, and a younger, beautiful lady sitting beside--- his Amma.
The surge of emotions that he suddenly felt was reflected through a single drop of tear, which rolled down his cheeks and onto the floor.
But the next moment caught him cracking up.
Four scrawny young boys, completely covered in mud, were in the centre, looking annoyed at the viewer of the photo.
"Oh gods! Where are those idiots now?" Mr. Srivastav exclaimed, remembering the incident when he, along with his 3 best friends, had decided to ride wild bulls grazing near the lake. They had bravely tried, and the bulls had unhesitatingly thrown them in the mud. Unfortunately, they were caught by his elder brother on the way back, who snapped the picture with his brand new camera.
And the memory had been preserved.
But perhaps for too long...
Mr. Srivastav found himself staring at the items long and long; each one was radiating in its own shade of life, and together, made Mr. Srivastav look back on a forgotten aspect of his life.....