When we were kids, there were certain things and areas in our home that were out of bounds to us – our Dad’s bookshelf, his stationery cupboard and his files; our mom’s wardrobe and steel almirah, and our aunt’s knitting basket!
My Dad could sense if his files and papers had moved even an inch, and I don’t need to even talk about my mom’s antennae.
On rare occasions, we were given the privilege of peeking into my mom’s wardrobe or seeing my dad’s important papers and stationery.
These treats usually happened on long weekends or holidays, when my Dad would decide to clean his cupboard, or when my mom decided to clean hers.
We were allowed to watch and help as long as we were careful and didn’t behave irresponsibly.
We could barely contain our excitement, when we saw the creamy white paper or pens and lovely paper clips that our father had. My hands wanted to possess one of those notepads – to write (not sure what??).
If our Dad was happy with us, we would usually get something from his treasure trove. He would sometimes read out quotations from his notebook, or show us pencil sketches from his college days.
The things we collected thus were so precious, if only because our father had kept them so beautifully. We felt honoured to receive an old notepad or empty diary or a fountain pen.
When our mom opened her almirah, we would gaze in wonder at her beautiful silk sarees, neatly hanging in a line. There was the beautiful fragrance of sandalwood that gushed out of the wardrobe from the fragrance pouches she used.
Image courtesy – Dreamstime.com
Shiny sarees, the occasional sequinned saree, ornate jewelry boxes – we got glimpses of these as mom took out stuff, cleaned her cupboards and put them back in.
There was also a small, square, metal piggy bank that our mom had. It had the picture of a happy family on one side, and for the longest time I thought that it was ‘our family picture’. The piggy bank had a complicated locking mechanism, and we watched our mom pick out the key from a bunch of other important-looking keys to unlock the piggy bank.
When the cleaning was done, we usually went back to play or to study; knowing that those areas were out of bounds to us again….till the next time.