We all have that one special thing at home which our parents are fiercely protective of. These are usually very old, almost antique and that is probably their USP.
I was seven when my grandfather gifted a refrigerator to my parents. The old Godrej beauty with a capacity of two-hundred something litre, shining in pristine white. Those were the times when having a refrigerator at home was a big deal, specially in a cold, hill town. So, it was deemed to be treated with much love and affection. They were also the times when you treated your neighbours to every single piece of information about yourself. Or, at least, we did!
My sister was the first one to “leak” the information to a friend. I wonder what kind of credibility my sibling enjoyed among her friends because we had the very first visitor that evening, who came to check on the refrigerator. No, it wasn’t a congratulatory visit. She was just there to find out if the facts passed on to her were facts enough!
The refrigerator soon earned its position of pride in the family. It proved to be a loyal companion for good ten years, after which, as usually happens with all electronic items, we suggested a replacement. And that is where the story took another turn.
My father refused to part ways with the prized possession. All defence in favour of a new one failed.
‘What do you mean it’s old? If your father will turn old tomorrow, will you go and leave him somewhere!’
This…yes, this put an end to all discussion.
The refrigerator stood tall and joyful. It enjoyed special care and attention. It was manually defrosted each time there was an ice build-up. Those twenty-four hours were exclusively spent in looking after it. And so, I turned from seven to seventeen to twenty-seven, but the refrigerator stayed where it was.
Once again, it was time to broach the subject. And once again I met with the standard response. However, we struck a deal this time. It was decided that a new refrigerator will be bought BUT there will be no replacement.
We now had two refrigerators in the house. But, as they say, the first-born is always special. I grieved the step-fatherly treatment meted out to the new addition but couldn’t do much.
From twenty-seven to thirty-seven. It was now time to change the “new-old” member of the family. My father had no qualms about it. But dare you propose giving away the thirty-year-old beauty, and he was ready with his favourite piece of argument.
Therefore, I too decided to make my peace with it. After all, for the love and care that my father had showered on it, the refrigerator had proved its loyalty and had never given him reason to complain. And ever since there was no talk of abandoning it.
They now live happily- my parents and the refrigerator, their faithful companion. My son has already laid claim over it and on the oven, which is even older. He says he might just consider owning an antiques’ shop sometime in life!
As for my father, well, his stance is still very clear.
But then, as I later learnt in life, we do not fall in love with “refrigerators”. We fall in love with the emotions attached to them and with the memories they hold. That is what is hard to part with.
This post is a part of Blogchatter’s AtoZ Challenge 2019. The other posts in the series may be read here.