A Pack of Cards
I am a pack of cards and I am a team of fifty-two members. We work as a team, and-all-the fifty-two together make a complete whole. We consist of fifty-two cards to play and with us we have four jokers who do not participate in the game played with us.
What pleases me and makes my life worth living is that, I am an object of great’ attraction for men of status. I am an object they use for their entertainment. I and my other brethren can be found in homes, in clubs and guest houses.
I am a pack of cards in a club that has just been opened. My life is very interesting in very many ways. I provide entertainment to tired nerves of office going bureaucrats, to businessmen, to senior technocrats and all who come here to the club in the evening to play with each other at my expense. The pleasure of serving big people gives me an unabated thrill. However, it also gives my nerves acute pain. When men shuffle me through and through, every rib of my body, and each card is pained. At times I find bodies of some of my colleague’s even crack with the jolts given during a shuffle. This so called shuffle by the players gives me physical pain but it also give me mental anguish. The moment I think that, my beauty is being spoiled by this rough handling I feel rather hurt. Some people deal with me with very rough hands while some specially ladies have their gentle hands shuffling me. The gentle hands of ladies serve as a balm to the tired and roughly handled nerves. Besides providing entertainment to people I also enjoy their discussions, their squabbles, and their friendly talks. All this gives me an insight into what happens and is happening outside the card room. My general knowledge increases as I hear the players talk.
My routine is as usual, fixed, as it is for anything else. I lie coolly in the cupboard of the club’s caretaker for the whole day. There, in the cupboard, are also many other packs like me. Besides cards packs there are also many other playing items for the people who come to the club to play. In the evening, at 3 p.m. the caretaker of the club opens the cupboard and takes out some of the packs of cards and, invariably, I am always one of them. We are all put together on the cards table and then we all wait for our turn of helping men and women to get their day’s entertainment. It is then that I start feeling excited as, now is the time when my day’s work will start, and I look forward to people entering the cards room. Is it not exciting to note that, when in the evening people finish their daily work, my work time starts.
This makes me feel as though there is something really unusual with me. It is an interesting sight to watch people coming in the room one by one and get settled at the table. At times there are more people than a table can accommodate so, another table is set. Soon I am picked up from the number of packs and the game starts. People continue to shuffle two or three of us packs together, and play a game I think that is called Rummy.
This game continues for two or three hours and soon time comes for the accounting to be done. Some players lose in the game and some win. After their accounting is complete, all of them leave the room, leaving all of us packs in a ruffle. Now, the caretaker comes in, sets us all in order, puts us back in our packets of cardboard, and places us back in the cupboard. This is my routine work, jealous of me isn’t it? My duty hours are so short. While everyone puts in six to eight of working hours, I am on duty just for about three hours a day. Even these at times get missed and I sit relaxed in my cupboard till another day when players will come.
My life is just fine, with great care, very little work, and also giving people great pleasure. However, my life is, at the same time, very short.
As soon as many of my members get cracks in their bodies, I as a pack am thrown away in the dustbin. This I think is just about a few months of a life of gaiety and thrill. As soon as many of my members also develop cracks, I will also be thrown away, never to heard of ever again.