(As published in Ashwartha Magazine)
I cannot move but I am not handicapped. I am handpicked.
I deserve much care, but they do not give it to me. Nobody can do without me. I am not just their friend or family. But I am a necessity to mankind .I keep most of their secrets and their belongings. I go where ever my owner goes. I am the most shabbily treated one among their properties, yet I endure the most. I am picked, racked, carried, passed on and many times even thrown.
Much thought goes into choosing me before they buy me. My colour, style, trend, cost, size, type, design, durability, strength, shape and country of my manufacture are considered. I am expected to give comfort and convenience to my owner. You will be amazed to know the kind of vehicles that I have travelled in.
I have been to all places that my owner has visited.
Many times my owner has forgotten to carry me back. And the air carrier has misplaced me. I have been stolen and have been lost .But through all these I loyally endured. Without me most of the plans and preparations will fail. No programmes or function will be on time without me.
I am the most integral part of your living too. I know of all the objects that are dearest to you. I ensure that these things that you intimately carry where ever you go, are protected and secured.
Did you know that you even bargained for the price, at the time of buying me? You may have underestimated my value. Many times you have burdened me with more than my capacity, but I never complained. I stretched and obeyed. When your objects pierced through me as you fastened my mouth, I too relented.
I have added value to your style quotient. I did not protest when they stuck to me many different labels and tagged me before your travels. I did not fear when I was shut into many cabinets, shelves and cars. You always knew I was disposable and replaceable, yet, I chose to serve you unconditionally.
You even lent me to other people. I carried for you objects used by your friends. I carried for you packets meant for your friends or neighbours. But yet most of the time I became a suspect. I am the most frisked and many times feared species among you.
I am the most tied up and my mouth is always fastened.
I am strapped and locked, yet I never was in grief or sorrow. When I became wet I patiently waited to become dry. And when you choked my neck I simply yielded in silence.
I never judged you as old, young, adult, child, woman or professional or personal. I simply served without commerce or economics. In my sturdy version, they sat on me and in my flat version I became a table top.
Have you ever seen something more versatile than me? Certainly not, yet I expect no acknowledgement or recognition.
I may not be intelligent; I may not be empowered to forgive. I am just grateful that I have been of much use to all. Really, I am so silent when put to work that rarely anybody even knows me.
Inside me are many compartments of various sizes. I am valuable to people in my deepest darkness. I am also available as the most clear and transparent, but your mess is hidden by my external appearance. Though I am most flexible, I carry most rigid contents with me.
Your most personal items, sharp objects, perishables, edibles, valuables and your trash, all are revealed to me.
But yet, I understand that I am here only to support you and never to lead you. I have outlived most of your other belongings. Though I am old and used and discarded yet I am never remembered.
Are we related? You have chosen me. I am always carried by you, but never did I claim a contract. I seek no rights, but have all responsibilities. You may even hold me accountable for good service.
Sometimes you have assessed me as shameful. To many places, you have chosen another as your arm candy. You thought I am shabby and not worthy to be seen with you. Yet I shamelessly tagged behind you. And waited till you returned.
I know my limitations; I am also vulnerable to wear and tear. Some people repair me, some replace me, some dispose off me and many even discard me after use. I am also exposed to being recycled. But then again I never asked for rewards or awards.
I am most happy when I am considered to be bought as a gift. But rarely anybody does that. I carry all the gifts that they want to carry. But almost never has anybody assessed me as worthy to be their gift to another person. But then I never sought to etch my personality in your memory. You never hugged me or caressed me. You never introduced me as your friend. But yet I enjoy making your travels lighter for you. I enjoy organising your things so that you can play, dine, sing and dance.
Everybody has one or more of me. Human kind could never live without me. I am just the humble travel bag. If you ever accuse me or blame me of being corrupt, then somebody else has certainly put it there.
As a courtesy to my endeavour, I request something from you. Talk about my good qualities to your children. Educate about my service-orientation to your friends. You can be an educator of the story called “The travel bag values”.
May be human values can follow.