The Treasure

TreasureThere was so much clutter in the room, the broken roof was a relief. It allowed air and light inside the musty over crowded room, which was full of old furniture and newspapers. “Why doesn’t he get the room cleaned ever?” Amravati thought to herself. The dust now irritating her nose, she rubbed her nose hard, but wasn’t able to escape the loud series of sneezes that followed.  “Oh God! I will die sneezing”, Amravati thought to herself. But this was the only good place to hide, no one will come looking for her here, she knew. She just wanted to be away from her family, wanted to be alone.This was an old attic room, which no one had used, and since her mother’s death, so she was told, it was used as a dumping ground for old stuff. She cleared the dust with her duppatta and sat on a broken chair. She looked around and saw an old hand crafted table with a yellow flower motif and a bright red color tin box. This couldn’t have been my dad’s choice, Amravati surmised. According to Amravati her father lacked taste and nothing colorful or beautiful could be his choice, in fact the old colorless aluminium trunk was definitely once used by her father, she concluded, as she stared at the trunk distastefully. Her eyes roamed from one pice to another, as she judged, which one was her fathers. Something at the centre of the room caught her attention, as if it had just appeared. How could she have not seen a bright parrot green wooden box with beautifully carved butterflies on it? Amravati couldn’t close her mouth, she gasped at the intricately carved butterflies, how could this box find place in her house? she wondered. Whom could it belong to? She was curious. She quickly moved to hold the box and gently blew the dust from it, her lips making a fine ‘O’.  She wiped her lips with the back of her hand, just in case she had some dust sitting on her. The lock was rusty and came off with a light tug. The hinges were rusty and cracked as the box opened.

A dried flat rose and a jasmine gajra greeted Amravati to the inner realms of the box, which contained a different world within itself. A small card size painting of a woman clad in a orange and light green checked sari with thin gold border, smiled at her coyly. Amravati was struck by the soft eyes that looked at her adoringly, the gaze made Amravati’s eyes misty with tears. She knew this had to be ‘mother’. She caught her tears on her lips with her tongue. Salt, she thought, but this is so sweet, this moment of just looking at her mother gazing at her lovingly, unconditionally. Amravati’s tears couldn’t stop, it was as if a river, which had been blocked or dried up had resurfaced and was flowing.

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