I had lots of ideas for today’s prompt, but for each of it I would have had to go to my parent’s place.
Did you ask why?
Well, that’s because that is where I have spent my childhood and some of the things of that period are still available there.
But unfortunately I was down with high fever all through the weekend and couldn’t manage to go there to find one of those prized possession that I would have loved to share. But then my book of memories has enough and more saved for such lovely prompts.
As some of you from the 70s and 80s will agree, as children our generation was probably the most sandwiched generation for two reasons. One, we didn’t get to enjoy the freedom and spacious exteriors of the villages that we belonged to. Two, inflation as a word was probably known to many during this period only. Home loans, vehicle loans and personal loans were not so easily available and affordable. I still remember that Dad’s DCHFC loan interest rate was about 18% in those days when salaries were rarely in 5 figures. With those kinds of income and the responsibilities, our parents couldn’t afford to buy us toys, let alone expensive ones. Neither were our family friends so rich to get us one on our birthdays unlike today. So all we (sis and I) had were a Boeing 747 miniature version (the story of how I got this aircraft is available here in The Room), two dolls and a stool.
Yes. You read it correctly.
A STOOL it was.
This stool was actually one of our ‘bestest’ friends too. We would tilt it by a side, get into it and play ‘teacher-teacher’, ‘chor-police’ waala police station, doctor-doctor and so on. So before my sis comes hunting me down, let me confess that most of the times it was I who would be the teacher, the police inspector or the doctor, while she would have no option but to be the student, ‘chor’ or the patient. But trust me when I say that the stool had seen and witnessed every single episode of our childhood that our father missed because of him being employed elsewhere. It has seen us laugh non-stop, it has seen us fight like demons, it has seen us cry like babies (Of course, we were babies then. A little older though.) and it has seen our emotional roller-coaster too. In one episode which is mentioned here in Letters Unsent by Write Tribe, the stool witnessed our anger, our sibling rivalry and what not. It is this stool with the help of which I used to climb up the Window Sill and would get out into the balcony through the window grill. It is with the help of this stool that I used to climb up the railing of the balcony and scare Mom to death while she saw us sitting up there even when she had locked us up inside the house. It is using this stool that we used to pin up the neighbour’s cable wire to our antenna wire and managed to watch late night movies like ‘Shiva‘, ‘Indira‘, ‘Aaj ki Aurat‘, ‘Ganga Jamuna Saraswati‘, Titanic, and Evil Dead on our ultra-grainy Weston TV. Such crappy movies we have watched. By God, when I remember them now it makes me feel ashamed. But it definitely was a thrilling experience to leave a sleeping Mom in the bedroom and do all these crazy things. I’m sure my sister will be laughing out loudly upon reading this. It is a real mystery how circumstances like these make the biggest of enemies the best of friends. The ones that wait for every chance to complain about the other or blame it upon the other were now well trained to keep mum and enjoy while the sun shines, err the cable connection is caught. It also helped us climb up record heights to find out things not meant to be found by us, ransacking kitchen cupboards, reach up to the clothesline that is responsible for whatever little height we have gained. It also served as our study table, dining table, book rack and what not. The best was getting hold of Dad’s letters to Mom which she used to hide from us very very carefully. But Mom forgot, we are her own offspring.
All these memories make the stool unforgettable, but the one that makes it alive again and again are Letters from a Father to his Daughter. Yes. It is this stool on which I used to sit and write those endless letters to my Dad.
Actually, I must thank WordPress for today’s prompt, which helped me write this tribute to ‘The Stool’.
Like everything it had a life too. Worn and torn with the flow of time. And like every other thing on earth, it died too. But it did leave behind some really fond memories.
What was that one thing of your childhood that you were attached to?
This post is part of the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompts that they have provided. Today’s prompt is, “Prized possession – Describe an item you were incredibly attached to as a child. What became of it?”
This is one of the contributions to Project 365 – A Post A Day.
*All pictures in this post are ones of the stool I now have. It doesn’t replicate the stool described in the post, but does give an idea of how we used it.