Mom and son find treasure and pleasure in the attic.
It was on the tenth day of his grandfather’s demise that the last of the relatives who had come to attend the funeral left Raj and his mother Kala alone in their small abode. It was difficult for them to get used to the fact that the old man was not prying upon them anymore. Since Raj lost his father 9 years ago, his grandfather kept a hawk’s eye on them and now it was difficult for them to digest the fact that he was no more.
Having lived under his nose for 9 years it came as a big relief that at last they were not under his scanner. On one hand he felt free and on the other he was troubled as he had to take care of his mother. Though he was 19 years it was a huge responsibility on him to look after his mother with what little resources he had in hand. Having a strong feeling that he could manage, he felt relieved.
As evening dawned, his mother Kala looking at the stairs leading to the attic said. ‘Why don’t we go up and have a look.’
‘Yes Mom,’ he replied as he was keen to climb the stairs which he had not dared even to look at in the past 9 years. It was only his grandfather who used to climb up once in a while.
The anxiety grew as we started climbing and the moment he reached the top a heap of old furniture and wooden boxes greeted his vision. On closer scrutiny he found many such boxes scattered here and there. Pointing to one such box ‘it belonged to your father,’ said his Mom.
On opening it he found some books, some old newspapers and some documents which at that moment did not catch his eyes. Kala becoming emotional asked him to fetch a broom and as he brought it she went on cleaning the Attic. While she was dusting he opened a few boxes and made a scrutiny of all the items. Apart from a few pieces of bronze he could not find anything of any value.
Later when he saw his mother struggling to lift some furniture he helped her. Together as they set a few things in that cramped space he got closer to her. At that moment he could not understand what it was but the sensations on being close to his mother felt different. He went out of his way to help her and after straining for an hour ‘let’s continue it tomorrow,’ said his mother.
The next day he kept hinting on the pending work but as they had guests coming and going, they could hardly find time till evening. Finally when they went up the attic he took the initiative and helped Mom tidying up most of the things. He was so excited to work alongside her in the cramped space that when his Mom called it a day, he felt bad. Then again looking at the pending work it brought cheer to his face.
Next morning, as there were less visitors they spent the whole afternoon in the attic and during this period whenever he got close to his mother he felt the warmth of her body and this gave birth to new sensations. It became difficult for him to fathom that he could have such sensations from being close to his mother. He could have understood if it were another woman, but to have such sensations on being close to his mother was unimaginable. The more he tried to shake it out of his mind the more he got obsessed to it.
It took them three days to set things in order and on the fourth evening they sat together to make an inventory. Opening one of the boxes belonging to his grandfather his eyes fell upon a cover and on opening it he was surprised to see some stamped documents. On closer scrutiny he found them to be some property papers. When he asked Mom whether GF had any property her brain was totally blank. She could not recall either her husband or her father-in-law talk about the property. She even had a doubt as to whether her husband knew about it. Her husband was totally under GF’s spell and was not man enough to stand up and speak to him. So he could not have known about any property.
“Do you think he has spoken to anyone regarding this property?” Raj asked his Mom.
‘No I don’t think he would have let anyone know about it.’
‘Is there anyone in our family who can give us some information?” he asked.