Every inch of my laminated body itches to feel the caress of the breeze, get soaked in the rain, feel the warmth of the human touch.
Getting back to my autobiography. From the press I was herded with many of my clone brothers to the Reserve Bank of India. From there some of my brothers and I were sent to The State Bank of India. I lay there for several days awaiting my fate.
On April 15, 1970 a hand unceremoniously picked me up out of the box and placed me on the counter along with ninety nine of my brothers who were in the bundle with me. I was at the top so I could see. The lady moistured her finger with her spittle and then proceeded with this same finger to count all of us brothers. It was a humiliating experience. Here I was all
Startersshiny and new and this lady had laid her dirty wet finger on me. Before I could apprehend what was happening she finished counting us and she shoved the bundle outside her counter; I now found myself in the hands of a new man.
Once again my brothers and I had to succumb to the spit experience. Once he was sure all hundred of us were in the bundle he put us into a big black bag. We jostled in the bag with brothers from the fifty rupee league.
Eventually we were removed from the bag and the pin that kept us all together was removed, that hurt, and we were all given away. I along with others was given away by my owner Mr. Maniklal who was a money lender to a lady who had come to borrow money from him. The lady Minabhai touched me to her forehead and then went to the market. There she traded me with a vendor for two samosas.
This was the second assault on my senses. The shopkeeper’s oily hands left an imprint on me forever. My right side was now stained forever. There was no time to mourn my violation for the shop-keeper picked me up and offered me as change to my next owner Mr. Ansari.
Mr. Ansari seemed worried that I was stained and laid me inside his novel. Soon the oil from my back was transferred to the pages of the book. I felt a little better. When he reached home Mr. Ansari took a pen and wrote across my chest, “To Varan with love, may you be always rewarded for your work”, put me in an envelope and gifted me to his son my current owner Varan in exchange for having done some errands for him. I was Varan’s first earning. He was so happy he hugged me to his chest and promised never to part with me.
Varan my master has gone onto accumulate many of my brothers but has never parted with me. He has laminated me and placed me here on his table and shows me off with pride. I remind him of a lot of things, his bond with his father, his first earnings and the beginning of his independence.
Varun’s kids sometimes come into the study and look at me with awe. I have earned a place of pride in this family which 1 now consider my own. It makes losing my freedom seems, somewhat worthwhile.