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A New Lease Of Life

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It’s a rainy morning …..
And has been like this every day, for the past 10 days or so……
Woke up this morning remembering the Umbrella behind my Mother’s laundry door.
We were 5 of us… Mom, Dad and 3 siblings, we each had an assigned Umbrella-Dad and my Brother had the black, Sister had a small pink one with flowers and my Mother had an orange one that she had brought from the Philippines and I had a non-descript maroon with white frills.
It was medium size and my pride… and then there was .. this pale brown Umbrella .. that just hung
there year after year, no one used it, no one asked about it… It was just there.
Once I had left my Umbrella at my friend’s house and my Mother asked me to use the “Brown
I remember being horrified …and went into a fit of crying… I went around trying to bribe my Brother with pens and stickers and even my Mother by helping her with the house work…. So that they would let me use theirs…But Off course they refused.
It was my Mother’s way of disciplining me so that I wouldn’t be careless in the future… I did not want to be seen carrying a huge Umbrella with a black patch at a centre of it ( it had been repaired) So I took the Umbrella and put it into the attic.. and pretended that it wasn’t there where it should be…
My Mother was surprised and said she had just seen it the other day and searched high and low,
finally deciding that the servant “Gangu Bai” (Name withheld) … may have taken/borrowed it and forgotten to mention.
In Mumbai after God … it is Gangu Bai, the whole and soul of the house who can send even the
strongest and quickest of women into a frenzy of pain and bouts of tears by not turning up without
notice., she was never questioned.
So the Umbrella lay there forgotten till recently when the house was given a spring cleaning… and…. the Brown Umbrella was discovered….after 27 yrs… filled in dust but the look was still the same… It was an instant hit with my Nephew and Niece… they adored the black patch and even fought over its ownership.
My Nephew wanted it to be his castle, to be lined with small pillows, to store his toys (horse,
cars, plastic guns , bow and his rubber arrows ) and my Niece wanted to drape a scarf over it, to be a hut for her dolls and utensils to play house-house with her friends. Each bribed the other, wanting exclusive rights over it.
The Brown Umbrella’s fortune had changed .. It was now in demand and how.
Wonder if the other forgotten things in our existence can be given a new lease of life by TODAY…

By Ahilya

Tune India Radio Sydney Australia