by Navneet K Maun
My Mother’s cupboard was a treasure house,
evoking happy childhood memories.
The fragrance of the mahogany, nostalgic
with promises of a utopian world
waiting to be unlocked.
For a little girl of ten, it was magical
like Aladdin’s cavernous cave,
filled with all kinds of goodies.
Once in a while, when mother opened the cupboard,
she would let me look and look to my heart’s content.
Nothing pleased me more,
than jangling the coins in the tin box,
feasting my eyes on the trinket box,
with an assortment of pendants, rings, brooches, bangles.
Happy in the knowledge they would belong to me some day.
A square plastic box with a few lipsticks, kajal*, perfume was pushed at the back, hidden.
She used them sparingly.
Sandalwood soaps were her only weakness,
making the cupboard fragrant.
Her clothes were as soft and sweet smelling as her,
personifying her gentle, caring nature
in conjunction with her determination to give her children the best of education.
More than fifty years have gone by.
The cupboard is no longer there.
But, I still have my mother’s shawls and dupattas*.
They are still as soft and sweet smelling,
and ever so assuring.
*kajal — kohl
*dupattas — stoles
Mrs. Navneet K Maun was born in West Bengal. Did her initial schooling from Oak Grove School, Jharipani, Mussoorie. She furthered her education from Regional College of Education, Bhubaneshwar. She did her Graduation and BEd from there. She did her Masters in English Literature from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. She has vast experience in teaching and has retired as a Senior Teacher from a Public School in Delhi. Her hobbies include reading, travelling, writing and cooking.”
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