Two days ago people came to take away my son’s study table. My son is grown up now and works in an office, so technically speaking he didn’t need a study table anymore and it had to go. But as I was clearing up the table for it to be taken, tears blinded my eyes. I sat back on the swivel chair looking at the table letting my mind drift back in time, to ruffle through the carefully packed stockpile of memories.
The table had niches on one side where my son put away his prized possessions from school and college. Like a shiny stone he found on his school ground, the school and college ID cards/Bus passes, the RSS cap and whistle, the lab coat, his chargers, geometry boxes, changes, train ticket stubs, colourful pucks, chocolate wrappers and a zillion pens. He even had that cardboard box in it, in which I remember he brought a bull frog home once, much to my horror. I touched the spiral springs of the hundreds of projects we had done and the fun times we had doing it. I moved on to the reams and reams of paper and the million books that this humble table used to contain that’s helped him become who he has. Under the table was his guitar amplifier, a Ukulele, still safe in its cover, holding inside it the many many days of sweet music he made with his tiny hands. I grinned when I came to the spot where he had stuck chewing gum on one side hurriedly and it refused to come out for days!
This table was like a Pandora’s Box that brought out so many memories. Most of them made me smile through the tears. This is the table on which my son sat and studied for his exams and passed with flying colours. This was the table that stood by him supporting him even when the world gave up on him. It was always there to come back home to, to dump his bag on. The table was there to support his elbows as he contemplated on his life or when his body shook with all the crying because of all the bullying in school. When he doubted himself the table was there right in front of him, as if telling him wordlessly, to get on with it.
I looked at the framed picture of my son and his classmates from school, the small shield he got for excellence in guitar and his Swatch watch which was his 18th birthday gift, all there on top of the table. I smiled and got up to clear it all. Life had to go on. The old indeed has to make way for the new. But the old has a way of clinging on, like the fragrance of a flower that elicits millions of sweet memories. I guess we have to feel happy we knew it all and that there were many precious lessons learnt and beautiful moments which ushered in the much needed growth.
How could one put a price on something that had given you so much? This piece was priceless. I gave it away for free knowing it’d go on to being what it has been for us to somebody else. With a sigh and a smile, I stepped aside to allow the movers to take it away.