They took it away today. Forever. Far, far away from my life. It will never see me again. I will never, too.
It was a faithful servant. It always did what it was told to do. It never refused a command. It never disobeyed us. For the past thirteen years, it reduced my burden to a great extent. Why did they punish it, then? It had never put a toe out of line. Yes, it was old, and its younger counterparts promised a greater degree of efficiency. Not that I was not satisfied with the services of this longtime companion. But it seems, not everyone loved it truly, although it loved everyone. Was THIS its crime? Was growing old a crime it could be punished for?
Since my childhood days, it has been part and parcel of my life. When it entered my life, its majestic grandeur and resplendent stature left me gaping in awe. It towered over my tiny frame. I was too scared to say anything to it. But very soon, I realized that it was a very warm and loving friend.
I loved to run my hand over its sleek surfaces. I enjoyed playing with its numerous knobs and switches. Even a tiny net inside its large cavities and depths was an object of fantasy for me – a 4-year-old kid. It remained my friend through the ages. At 8, a new fancy seized me. I used to mercilessly pound its surface, trying to make-believe it was a drum. I feel bad about that now, I never thought of apologizing.
Through my growing years, it was always there, a quick fix for my work. As a busy teenager, I had no time for one of my earliest and steadiest friends. I now took its presence for granted. But it never complained. It was always there for me.
A few days back, my parents found someone better – someone who was ‘modern’, in keeping with a modern life, I suppose. This ‘someone’ was more efficient too. Faster. And it looked sophisticated. It had all the necessary qualities of an efficient worker. A deal was struck. And that deal was a death warrant for my friend. The final death knell.
Today, our new worker arrived. Ensconced in layers of packaging. It was just as expected – cold and businesslike. My friend was tested for its still unfailing efficiency. Even in its last moments, it had to prove itself. This was a crucial test. Passing the test meant it would end up as a second hand friend for someone else, somewhere in a dirty bylane. Failure would mean its true death – its body would be torn apart into solitary pieces and sold. It passed, with flying colors. And then, it was rudely dragged out, out of my life, my world. At that final second, I realized what it meant to me. 13 years filled with happy memories rushed back in a flood. They say – All good things come to an end sooner or later. This did, too. My friend left me. Forever. Forever. It heard my heart cry out for it, but it was helpless. It left me.
As I write this, my old washing machine will already be on its way to a new home, or, to its final resting place, its grave. Home or grave - this will depend on what others think of it. I can only hope that it becomes a friend for someone else. Like it did for me. Here’s wishing my friend – my faithful washing machine a happy future….wherever it is.