The Pencil-Box


We were barely few days into the wedlock and were invited to a dinner. So, I began the meal by gulping down these two big sized “gulab jamuns” (Indian Sweet). While I was still relishing the last drops of their sweetness lingering in the deep corners of my mouth, I could make out the discomfort from the facial expressions of my husband. Social norms deterred us from discussing the matter further, and so I moved on to the main course. While on our way back home, he casually explored the reason behind my strange behavior and asked why I had eaten my dessert first? I gazed out of the car window reflectively.  I had never thought deeply about this earlier, but his question opened a door in my mind and I landed straight into my childhood.

It was my fifth birthday and I guess that I must have been very excited then. The problem with memories is that they fade and I couldn’t recollect anything beyond, except for what happened after the party. It was a medium sized gift lying on the pile, wrapped in a golden paper. I was in a hurry to tear open the packing, only to find out that it contained a double-decker pencil box of yellow colour. Back then, even a pencil-box was enough to raise the spirits of a little child and I eyed it longingly, until it was taken back by my father, who said that it wasn’t for my age. He kept it securely at the top shelf of the cup-board and said that, I could use it when I would be grown-up.

Years passed by, and it became a frequent exercise for me to climb up the cup-board, in order to check it, every once in a while. I still have vivid memories of the child-like pleasure I used to derive by opening and closing it. I could also remember that how with a heavy heart I used to keep it back every time, with a hope that one day it will be mine.

With the passage of some more years, the rigours of daily life increased, and I completely forgot about my beloved possession. One day, while hurriedly going through the contents of the cup-board, I found it lurking from the corner and I grabbed it, only to find out that it was gone. It had succumbed to years of wear and tear and I had to bid it adieu with a heavy heart. It was no longer of any use.

Though it was gone, but it imparted a valuable life lesson to me. It taught me the lesson early on in life that nothing is permanent in this world and things are bound to change with time. Then why to hoard things for future, when future has no certainty? Life happens only in present. We can learn from the past and a little bit of planning for future is still understandable. So why save the dessert for the last, when you can eat it now 🙂

The cool breeze of outside brought me back to the present and I averted my eyes from the window. I scrolled through my phone and quietly played the song “ Zindagi ek safar hai suhaana, yahaan kal kya ho kisne jaana” (Life is a beautiful journey and nobody knows what will happen tomorrow).



2 thoughts on “The Pencil-Box

  1. I always loved the way you write, the way you express or explore. Now all I can say is “loved this one too”, in fact yoi have ignited the spark in me to take up my pen again. Thank you my dear friend.


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