“Many things that seemed to be the crux of our existence at one point in time slowly fade away into memories and then into archives of insignificance in the larger chapters of our lives. We can’t even mourn or be happy about them because we don’t remember them in the first place.”- Manuscrypts
It’s strange, what memory keeps and ruefully discards.For example, I don’t remember the time the top of my head didn’t even reach the desk, or the time when I was on my toes craning to reach the top end of the fridge where the chocolates were kept and falling short. And a lot of childhood memories that I do have, are derived from snapshots taken back then. Moments frozen beautifully in an innocent time, when if I fell down I could cry and scream, without looking around to see if anyone noticed. When chocolate could sinfully drip down my chin and people would say “How cute!” instead of “What a slob!” When “Oh god please tell me” was the way to go and the solution for some of the biggest problems we faced!
My episodic memory, is primarily made up of photographs, or certain startling moments, be it happy or sad, of certain words spoken, looks and tones. However, entire years have been blocked out of memory, almost as if they never happened. I remember a birthday party my mother hosted for me when I was 5 because I see photographs of it now and then. I remember going cycling with a few friends when I was in 6th Standard and had a ladybird as MY VEHICLE because I still have its basket in my store room. I remember putting the fishes of
my my brother’s aquarium into the water tank because my family still makes fun of me.
I have memories of my childhood, bits and pieces and sometimes it disturbs me. Aren’t we supposed to remember every minute detail of our lives or are we just supposed to forget so that we get space in our minds to create new memories? I remember some things but seem to have forgotten most of it. Coming back to where I started, I remember having a fascination towards barbie dolls when I was a young girl and hated sharing it with anybody except Gou(who used to be my playmate when I was about 10 yrs old). It was the centre of my universe once upon a time and just the other day when I gave it all away to my niece, I didnt feel anything at all! It was only when I thought why I had kept it for so long that I realised that it used to be the essence of my life once upon a time. Trivial I know, but I realised right then that there were so many other things that were important to me and tht time erased all memories of.
I wrote this today because I met a person on the road the other day. I was sure I knew the person from somewhere but just couldnt remember the name! This person walked up to me and called out my name and hugged me as I stood there, flabbergasted. This person went on to ask how I was doing and gave me updates about life and talk about the stuff we used to do. We talked for a full 15 minutes in a very animated fashion. This person finally said bye after saying how weird it was that we were best friends in school for about 5 years n still never kept in touch after school! It took me about ten minutes after this person went, to actually recollect this person’s name! I felt disgusted by all of it. Sad actually. At the tricks time plays on all of us.
As I write this I remember things, places, people and experiences that I used to cherish once upon a time. All these that used to be the crux of my existence at one point in time in my life which have become nothing but shards of a forgotten past. None of it makes any impact on my life now and I dont think it will be the centre of my universe ever again. Slowly I began to accept that a moment can mean a thousand different things. Indelible impressions can be left on people and places. And I suddenly understood the innate depth of a memory. I know I can’t stop time. I can’t capture light. But I know I would love to delve deeper into my treasure chest of memories. In search of answers, however profound or silly. Yes, I am staring at an abyss. Now will the abyss please stare back at me?Maybe someday that which we lost to time, will come back to us and remind us of a forgotten past and gift us a smile or a tear maybe.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened