Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Truck full of Returns

Saw a truck parked near the kerb.
Outside the Family Court the other day.

Two sets of stern looking lawyers in their blacks and whites.
Serious legal juniors taking notes.

Taking notes?
I looked closer.
Two sets of families taking notes as well.

The men unloading the contents of the truck had half amused, half irritated looks.
They carelessly dumped things onto the pavement.

I saw a two seater sofa set, bereft of upholstery.
A rolled up mosquito net.
Kitchen utensils, work with use.
A cane stool.
Wooden chairs with faded varnish.

Apparently  these were belongings being returned to parties post a legal case.
A broken marriage.

The two sides ticked the lists furiously.
Engaged in debates.
Consulted the lawyers again.

I moved off.
At first I wondered, what good are these exchanges when what one has lost is time.
Precious time, precious years... that can never be returned.
Why do we hold on to material things so much?

Then I realised.
Material things stand for what we have lost.
They symbolise the memories.
They stand for what we have earned. Owned. Grown.
Such exchanges and victories give us the confidence to move on.

Its like the idols in our prayer room.
Lifeless. Yet so full of power and Life so far as we are concerned.

Belongings give us hope.
And once in the hands of their rightful owner,  even a faded wooden chair stands for a victorious end.
And a new beginning.

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