Memories, funny things these can be. You never know if an incident or just a chance occurrence will be etched in the deep recesses of your mind as a memory forever, or whether it will get discarded as soon as it occurs. Fast forward into the future, you look back and you are in awe. In awe that these moments are truly yours to treasure and in awe that they have a soul-stirring effect on you. Looking back on my life thus far, I definitely have a truckload of memories. Out of these, there are many that have stayed with me unwittingly.
A thought unforgotten…
On a sunny yet pleasant autumn day in Bangalore (it can get picturesque), my friend and I sat rooted in my car, catching up.. We had met up after a while and there was lots to share. After the usual was over, we just sat there in comfortable silence. I may not remember her exact words or what we did really, but I remember her presence. I remember thinking that these are the kind of friendships worth having. Something about the friendship lingered and stayed with me. But, I never really thought that this would stick in my memory forever. Looking back now, there was nothing unusual about that meeting. It was just two friends catching up (I don’t even remember what we talked about!). But yet, it stayed in my mind all these years. So, I guess memories are more than just the fun and laughter. I think the secret to making these memories is that we stop trying to make them. In this instance, we were just being ourselves, and in the moment really. It was not forced, we were not scrambling to capture it in any form, nor was I aware that it will stay with me years later. Those are the best kind of memories if you ask me.
Fun and frolic long forgotten…
There are, of course, memories tucked away in your mind and mostly long forgotten… until something comes along to jog that memory. It could be photo albums, trinkets you find that you may have safely stored, but thought lost, situations that take you back and so on. For me, every time I visit my mother and the house I grew up in, I am reminded of memories locked away in the corners of my mind. My favourite activity is looking through photographs from the albums (yes, I come from that era and yes, holding them feels amazing). Every time I do, I am reminded of some fun time from my childhood that gets me going. I know that in general, childhood for everyone is often the most unforgettable, but, do we really remember very specific instances anymore?
As a memory keepsake my mother gave me my dad’s favourite bureau (those oh-so-famous Godrej ones) when I got married. It is one of my most priced possessions thus far, to the extent that I have retained all of the blemishes collected over the years; well, almost anyway. I recently got a broken handle fixed. Way back when, my sister and I were fond of playing ball in our parents’bedroom (mainly to sass our parents because it was banned). One such time, in all this fun, I threw the ball so hard that my sister jumped out the way and the ball happened to hit this bureau. The door dented in a little and the handle broke. Well, so much more than the handle broke that day, it was all hell too! I played innocent (of course!) and pointed fingers at my sister (between us, I was the bully!). Sadly, that did not stop my parents from going completely ballistic with their punishment for me. I can still hear my mother screaming at me like it was yesterday. I am pretty sure the neighbourhood does too.
So, the day I got this handle fixed, I was both in splits and in tears, all at the same time. It has been at least two decades, if not more and I use this bureau everyday. Yet, it was only when the handle was replaced, that this memory was stirred. Associative memories can often catch you off guard and set you off on a wonderful trip of mixed feelings. What’s not to love?But when such associative memories take you back in time, it would be nice to pause, look back, and relive that experience.
Experiences with Time
For those you who have been keeping up with my blog, you probably know a lot of the important phases of my life- the good times and not-so-good ones. I have come to learn that in the future you will associate these experiences to specific times of your life. Your memories are really what quantify your time here. I have hit rock bottom more times than I care to count, (yes, I am not that old… and yes there is much more to life!) but, I know now that I derive my strength to live my life on my terms from these memories; good and the not-so-good. Moments, hours, days, months and years… just rolling on by.
In the now…
Alone in thought,
By the gentle breeze of the country side,
Filled with the melodies of life,
Of the past so seemingly lost,
Yet found again,
In the trees that wave me past,
Meandering through the light of the night,
An endless rhythm that taps the soul,
A sense of having lived through the days of today ,
In the days gone by,
And in the days yet to come,
A beautiful sway of the heart,
To the hum of an idyllic engine,
Moved again by a gentle breeze that courses through your veins,
While I ponder on,
Alone in thought,
Of glorious days past.