The stamp on my right hand side was peeling off. I would wake up everyday and feel the glue drying up on my skin, (the humans call it skin, but is my paper my skin or my whole being?) Sigh! I am such an existential postcard. I arrived from Amsterdam, Europe to New Delhi, India, 6 months back. For the first few days I was the pride of honour in this home. You see I have a Christmas tree printed on my front and the people who selected and mailed me were in Europe for the winters. When I arrived, I was received with squeals of joy by the 8-year-old boy for whom it was meant. His mother instantly displayed me right on top of the TV in the lounge room and there I stayed till the calendar date turned to 31st, the new years night. After that life has been pretty much down hill.
For a long time, since I was sent by people dearly loved by this boy, I still occupied pride of joy right next to the boy’s (by the way his name is Zion) coin box in his tidy room. I thought it was the coin box and I was amazed to see so many coins lying one on top of the other and new ones being sent through this tiny hole right at the top. I could hear wild screams of joy of the new coins as they went zooming down the hole, and the cries of help of the older ones. One day I struck up a conversation with this coin lying on the same table as the box and I and other hundred little things but it was the only thing collecting dust in the otherwise neat room.
“What do you think happens in that box”, I ventured.
“Oh, nothing it is the boy’s savings”, he answered.
“Savings?” I exclaimed. What a novel idea.
So the coin (by the way it was an old 1 Re coin, as he told me) explained, how Zion would collect coins all the year round. Coins found on roads, in forgotten jacket pockets, on the tables and sometimes when he was gifted some money, and then he would put them all in this box. On the 31st of every year he would open the tiny lock, which I had seen hanging outside, with a tiny key and then count them out. The rare ones or ones from another country (like I was) would be saved in another box in the cupboard, while the rest were collected and exchanged for gifts or toffees or money (notes he said) from his parents.
“Wow” I was amazed. What an enterprise.
“So, how come you are still out?” I asked.
“Well,” he answered with a deep sigh.
“I used to be a traveller”, he said in a faraway voice. “My life from one pocket to another was simply amazing. I have seen so much in my minted life. Then one day I came to this boy and was boxed in. Last year on 31st when he was counting his money out, I managed to roll into this corner to escape the boxed life. I was so thrilled. But instead of freedom, I have been collecting dust in this corner. Sometimes I feel, maybe I would have been better off travelling with others or in the box. Did I do the right thing? I will never know.”
As I heard him out, I couldn’t help but relate to him. After all my fate seemed no different from his. Having travelled miles now here I was about to gather dust like him. Suddenly I felt angry at the whole human race. Wasn’t it their responsibility to make sure that once they created something they took care of it for all eternity, not allowing anything to gather dust, or become yellow or like the coin go out of fashion? We should all be eternal. After fuming for sometime, I calmed down. And like the coin, resigned to my fate, settled in to gather dust.