My life was a dream, with no worries and no cares, then one day my entire perspective changed. It changed so much that even I couldn’t understand the thoughts that cropped up in my mind. Was it really what I had heard or was it just a ruse? I couldn’t think. My mind drew a blank and it was not until a few months back that I became used to the idea of what my family was like just before I was born.
To those of you who are wondering I come from India, where I have had to live with my extended family since I was born. All my childhood I thought that we always were as rich as we were and that everything was the way it was since eternity but all that changed one day when I was seventeen.
I think it will be appropriate to mention now that in India the ‘adults’ don’t give out information very easily or sometimes even at all and it is preferable to keep the so called children out of the loop till it is not absolutely necessary to make them aware of that particular set of information.
Everything would have remained the same until the day we went to our farmhouse on the outskirts of the city for a family picnic. All through my childhood I had heard about a secret passageway that led to another room behind my great grandfather’s library and I had finally got the chance to explore it. Curious as I was I sneaked into the study without anyone suspecting. Once there I felt the adrenaline pumping and I couldn’t help but lift the 1930 Montblanc Meisterstruck form its holder, which would in turn open the passage behind the desk.
Finding my way into another room I could hardly contain my excitement. I looked around and couldn’t believe that I was standing right in the center with a room full of antique trunks. Some trunks were bolted with heavy locks while some of the smaller ones were left open. I fought my way through the cobwebs and the layers of dust accumulated over the decades and managed to open a small trunk about the size of a jewelry box. To my disappointment when I opened the case there was only a single piece of yellowing paper.
Disappointed I drew out the paper and began to read. As I read on my interest grew. It was addressed to my grandfather and was signed ‘comrade’. It was a queer signature and I took the piece of paper with me to my grandfather who was enjoying his pipe by the gazebo on the lake. As I approached him he exclaimed that I had found the letter he knew I would find one day.
He sat me down and explained to me everything in detail about my family lineage. I learnt that my great grandfather was more than just the businessman he became in the end but was a freedom fighter in the days on the British Rule in India.
From that day on my respect for my ancestors and family heritage grew by leaps and bounds and I promised my grandfather that I would uphold the family name to the best of my ability. He said he knew and gifted me a gold pocket watch, which had once belonged to my great grandfather as a token to always remind me of who I was in this world.