21 June 2018
She gazed at the intricate details of the carvings on it. She wondered how anyone could carve such ornate figures at such a miniature level. She also wondered what they had thought about when carving the details. Did they think at all while performing such a delicate task ? Surely one had to be fully focused on the actual task at hand and could not let one’s mind wander off into other areas of interest.
She turned it over and caressed the small carvings of names (or of initials depending upon how long the name was) that attested whom it had belonged to. At the bottom she could read and feel the carving of a R and a B. Soon she would add her initials to those names. Whenever she caressed the initials she felt as if she were in touch again with her dead grandmother and beyond her with all her female ancestry. There were so many more beautiful things that she could have taken from her mother’s treasured collection but for some reason this had been the only thing with which she had felt a connection.
She remembered how her grandmother would dote over it and spell out to her the names for which only the initials had been carved on it. She delicately opened the pin making sure she did not prick herself on the edge of it and fastened it to her shirt. It was supposed to act as a lucky talisman. She was going for an interview and needed all the luck she could get she thought. She looked at herself in the mirror and the beautiful carved brooch caught her eye. Lucky talisman or not, she felt this alone would make her stand out in the crowd of candidates.
She smoothed the areas of the shirt around the brooch, combed her hair with her fingers, took her bag and walked out of the door her head full of hopes and the brooch sitting squarely upon her chest. When she slid into the back seat of the cab, the driver’s attention to her brooch put a smile to her lips. If a man so blasé as cab drivers were could be interested in the brooch, so would be her interviewers or at least the female ones.
She touched the brooch softly caressing its intricate details. She was carrying with her the whole female tribe she belonged to. They would not let her down. This was not just any heirloom she thought, this was the combined strength of a lineage of unusually strong women. She smiled again to herself. All would be well soon.
Ya Sahra – Light in Babylon