A consequence of being a marshal at organising things and having a profoundly long memory is that you more often than not hit the roads that trip you down the memory lane. While cleaning my bookshelf the other day, I caught hold of this picture in a really old, surprisingly functional pendrive, ironically inside a folder named "new pictures".
For those of you who know me barely, this is me in 11th standard. And the room in the picture is the room that my mom and dad gave to me and my sister in our then, newly-bought flat in Delhi. The time that was. The year 2003.
I really wish we had never sold that flat to buy a bigger one. There were so many good and not-so-good times we shared as a family there. From an innocent child to a haughty teenager, I grew young and conscious of my being in that place. My mom brought home our no-longer-with-us, always-in-our-heart pet named Koffee from PETA in that home - we got the chance to take care of the most gorgeous puppy of his age, chocolate gold colored with blue eyes, super naughty and stubborn, very loving. We would play endlessly with him in the balcony, feed him with his favourite treats in exchange of his love. Come winters, we made a cosy kennel of blankets and cardboards for him in the living room, we toilet trained him in the verandah and did so many adorable things together.
I shared my craziest bedtime secrets with my sister, played video games all night with my brother in that place, fought with both of them, taking for granted, well, the ephemeral togetherness. I remember getting ready for college in that place. I learnt to drive, got my first car, my first job, met my first crush and dated my (almost) first boyfriend, both of whom were different people by the way, in that place.
There is nothing in the picture that I have with me now. Those clothes, the footwear, the desktop, the printer, the computer table, the curtains, the blanket, the bedsheet - nothing. It all got old, worn out and eventually gone forever.
For most obvious reasons, there was a moment of stark pain I felt inside my heart, as I looked at this picture. Even while getting led by a storm of many vivid emotions, I was only glad to be reunited with these deep-seated memories.
And I thank this picture for storing safely that moment in time which can never be reproduced again, using mightiest will or any amount of riches and privileges in the world. As I write this, I reflect on a heartwarming scene from the movie Coco, where Hector says and the plot eventually reveals, why our "memories have to be passed down".
The glories of the yesteryear and beyond, the experiences lived, the lessons learnt- are all what make us who we are. They are a part of our identity, our being. They make us rich, in all arenas of consciousness.
I dread imagining a life where I let go of these memories. The memories that beat inside me like a second heart.
It was more than a week after my roka. About one and a half years ago, but I clearly remember that day. A bit reluctant to go home, I stayed back till late evening in the IIT Delhi campus. As I stood in the corridor of the old building, opposite the physics department I think, looking at the endless dull sky, I started pondering over how life seemed to be changing in unpredictable, dramatic ways. Something inside me questioned my happiness and my decision. I wasn't sure if this was really all that I wanted. I looked around for an answer, there wasn't anybody there. For a moment, to be honest, I took a trembling deep breath and thought, "What if I am not prepared for this?". You see, I didn't want be the first runaway bride in my family.
But just that moment, my phone buzzed and I got like the sweetest text of my life. I didn't open the app right away, you know, just to appear cool and easy, but I did stupidly blush and smile way long from ear to ear. This was the most beautiful and loved I had felt in a long time. I had my answer with me. I had to give love a chance. A well deserved chance, to let it enter my life and change it. As heavenly as it sounds, it started raining at that time. And it was not just water that was pouring.
flashy, flamboyant Miss India speech delivery and an even weirder, unstable
ramp walking session in front of an impressive, big mirror a few days before (I
am sorry if you imagined me doing that), I saw the first strand of gray hair on
my head (Oh Ducking No!).
this is THAT time of my life, huh?”, I thought, pulling breaks on that useless
speech in between for the entire humanity’s good. Uninspiringly enough, I have
always felt a little older than my actual age. You see that’s why I have rarely
whole-heartedly celebrated birthdays and anniversaries ever, mine and anyone
problem this time was much more severe and gruesome. I was unusually convinced
I was old. That time had slipped by and no damages to the skin texture, body,
hair, etc. could be repaired. I have lived my life, chasing dramatic reality
checks even on dull, ordinary days. Too bad, there was almost no scope of living
in denial now, since I caught hold of such noticeable, concrete evidence with
weeping and smudging my kohl for some good ten-fifteen minutes, I decided to do
what good old people do. I decided to accept my agedness. Because the sooner
you accept the easier, right? Plus, what did I get fighting with my age and
believing in my youth in all these years, anyway? I got more aged. I ducking
got gray hair also.
So, as the
day passed, I tried to cough naturally and loudly at regular intervals, then walked
a little slower than usual, taking support of whatever laid in my vicinity. I
felt very tired and sleepy throughout, ate karela and khichdi for
lunch, came back home early that day and watched a Sanskaari bhakti channel
in the evening. While a few people looked at me with offhand disbelief, I was
only dwelling deeper into some next level peace stations and eternal happiness.
As I poured
some cream on my wrinkled hands and sat on a recliner chair, I started thinking
about the amazingly colorful life I had lived. I also took time to ponder over karma
and life after death theories. That one day felt like a year, which technically
(and unsatisfactorily) meant I was a year older already in a few hours. My
conjectures had substance, you see. The time was very limited, perhaps more
than I had presumed. Also, there arose a strong, niggling desire to do more
than I had planned by now.
I was about
to get settled in that zone forever, but just before that right moment, my
husband came back home and saw me dressed up like a granny. “What happened to
you?”, he asked, sounding a bit concerned”.
me. Do you not see any change?”, I defended myself. And, well, as always, when
he innocuously insisted he couldn’t see anything at all, I finally, with unsurmountable
courage in my heart, pointed a finger towards the (hair) root of all problems.
He got even
more concerned now. With tears in his swollen eyes, he told me he had realized his
mistake. He kissed my forehead and told me he will be by myside in this tough
time. He hugged me, then carefully looked at my hair, softly touched that one particular
string, grabbed it towards the end and PLUCKED it! Ouchieeeeee Ouch Ouch!
way, now that thing was nowhere to be found.
drama is rather old and will continue to create havoc in my life. The thing is,
you see, like most of the other problems of my life, I carefully learnt, this one
too, actually was, just in my head (or on it! what’s in a preposition really?).
If you know what I mean!
The duckings were intentionally ducked by the penner because her post aims
at reaching a wider, older audience.