"Leathered box of glory,
Made from the finest leather,
Woven with such precision that you can't even make out where the stitches are."
Dad and his love for suitcases is something I am still unable to understand. People have hobbies of collecting watches, or stamps, or pokemon cards. But suitcases? Come on-
As the dusk dawns,
I opened the leathered box of glory, wiping the dust off.
It's been three years but it still feels like something.
He used to be so proud of each and every one of them. Whenever one of them was used he used to say, "Bola tha na? And it's for only 1500 rupees. Abhi khareedne jaoege toh kamse kam 3000 ka milega", blushing happily.
Forcing each of my muscles again, I opened it.
Four years since it was bought,
On the top it still has that warranty card,
tucked in, safely.
Behind it, is an old blotched picture,
Of me, 7 years old.
The suitcase has that saree in which Mom swayed for the first time. The sole picture, and another copy probably framed somewhere, when dad still rocked his dense hair and clean-shaven look. And a few coins, from which I can still hear "Areey dekhna, abhi inki price aur badeghi".
Ironically no matter how tough it seems,
how much it brings back all that I know I can't have right now,
I still turn towards this
For the last of their love, advice and criticism.
As I go through the letters, I spot the sunflower shaped certificate that I got for discipline back in LKG and the fee receipts of my first school. I guess he loved me more than I could know at times.
Closing the box, and the pause which follows.
My tears fell again, at the same spot,
They have for the past three years.
My Everything is now in this leathered box of glory.
Author: Abhinav Bhadri
Editor: Jaenil Parekh