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Just a useless coin

Just a useless coin
Ahon Ganguly

Soumya charged into battle, leaving me lying on the dusty floor. I was trampled over by dozens of horses with soldiers on top, shouting their battlecry. How could he be so heartless, so cruel? I was his lucky charm, with him for all his battles, given by his kind and loving family. I had been there since he pledged loyalty to India, to finally defeat the British Empire after their reign of terror! But no… he just left me lying on the battlefield.

I was minted on the 12th of November 1943 in Calcutta, India. The shiny, new half–rupee coin! King George VI’s emblem stood proud on the face of me. A Royal Bengal tiger snarled fiercely on my back.

I waited for days before my first owner, and she was a lovely woman! She took great care of me before giving it to a young man who always carried me around in his pocket before setting off one day to fight many battles. I was always by his side, and every now and then, he would take me out of his pocket and just look at me, remembering the woman who gave me to him. Now I realise she was probably his mother.

And then, he abandoned me.

I just lay there, rusting away.

My misery ended when suddenly the light came back into the world, but my ecstasy was short-lived. A man picked me up roughly and inspected me. He then left me on the table, and I watched him pass by for weeks, but he just ignored me. Why?

I soon came to know that the year was 1984. I was officially useless. Nobody needed me for buying things, not for being a lucky charm. Britain no longer ruled India, so King George VI’s emblem was not noticed anymore. Was I even worth anything? Would I ever be special again?

I longed to be in the man’s wallet – I saw many modern coins there. They mocked me and talked behind my back about my old features and rusty, dirt face. Soon, darkness engulfed me once more as I was put in a shirt pocket and thrown away.

I had gone from being loved to being forgotten… Would anyone want me?

For 40 years more, I lay lifeless once again, recalling my past, dreaming that I was newly minted once more, young and new. I longed to be remembered…

Light shone on me again, but what was this? All I could see was a blur and white foam on top of me. Some sort of object was rubbing firmly, side to side, perpetually. What was happening?

A few hours later, a child held me and stared at me in awe. My face shone in the vivid sunlight. I looked brand new! At that moment, I was flooded with happiness – I was remembered!

The year is 2024, and I am 81 years old. Everybody is trying to grab me now, but my new owner won’t let me go.