I took the copper embossed coffer from the attorney. Dadu’s demise was sudden and sad. But the box was his last endearing gift for me.
Everyone was smiling. The share of inherited property would suffice lifelong.
Dadu named petty bank balance for the grandchildren. But his coffer was a continual persuasion. Mom said Granny had lots of diamonds and rubies. A few emeralds and pearls to accompany. She was sure; I received those encased in the box.
I just wanted to see their lusty hues and sparkles. Only a glimpse. What would a boy of eleven do with gems, anyway?
Dadu piqued and provoked me frequently talking about those gems. But he wanted me to own them only when he was gone. Gone forever.
The box always lured me. I once tried to steal a look inside his almirah when Dadu was napping. Before I could peek, he first threw sinister eyes then embraced me with enormous arms, saying, “Young man, this will be yours once I am gone, but until then it belongs to me.”
I opened it with eager hands and curious eyes.
Everyone’s mouth fell wide open after seeing a bunch of old letters inside it.
I read all of them in haste. The poems were written by Granny to Dadu when he was in faraway lands for the job, some of those I heard earlier in the lullaby.
The letters were scribbled in rainbow colors. Those were his gems of precious memories.