Remembrance, Reminiscence, Recollection or simply memory- a thing or feeling that stays even after it is long gone. Sometimes such retrospective moments are so strong and vivid that one has no choice but to leave the present in order to delve into these cherished flashbacks-these seldom visible permanent residents of our mind.
I have been ill for the past few days now and my ailment warrants a lot of massaging of my limbs, a task that inevitably falls on mom. She has such a pleasant bedside manner. To take my mind off the pain she keeps talking of more pleasant things and that’s how we got talking of my childhood today. Since our childhood, my father’s mantra for us has been- family first. And I live by it. But, in the course of our lives we chance upon many people and relationships that become inalienable parts of us. My write up today, talks about some of these select few.
Today mom so fondly recalled my mischievous streak as a child, that I was transported back to those happier times when things were so easy, so uncomplicated. We lived on the first floor of a double story rented house. The ground floor was occupied by an extremely affectionate punjabi family. I was reminded of the lady of that house today. A small, dainty, loving woman whom my sisters and I called Mumma. She had three children of her own, all grown up and disciplined but the kind of love she reserved for us was exceptional. I remember running down the stairs to hide behind her everytime I did something that ordained a scolding or punishment from mom. When quite young, I used to avoid oral medication of any sort. When given capsules or tablets to swallow, I used to throw them down the drain. One day, mom found out. I was given the whacking of my life, I bawled like a street urchin and it was Mumma who came running to save me from further lacing. It was her, I used to run to when the compounder came home to give me a flu shot or something like that. She was our favorite hiding place.
She passed on, a few years back but her memories that enriched our childhood will always remain fresh in my heart.
While on nostalgia mode, I got thinking about the great times I had with my friends. The ‘garam chais’ and bread maska we went out for, while teaching at Mody School. The long days and equally grueling evenings spent working at my desk but with so much fun. I remember friends, some of whom still are in touch, others who have moved on geographically and emotionally. The unsuppressed, unaffected laughter, the mindless chatter, sincerely discussing things as mundane as they were irrelevant. Yes, friends are important. There are just a few, but all of them find a special warm corner in my heart.
While on special relationships, I also thought of two people so close to my heart that I can barely breathe for the love and care I carry for them. My heart is overwhelmed with tenderness at the mere thought or mention of any one of them. Those two are the children I never had. Though I haven’t had the privilege of knowing them since their births and the time spent with them has been limited, at most but the bond is permanent, irreplaceable, irreversible and irrevocable. Fond memories of times spent with her and the long chats with him will always stay in my heart wherever they choose to go or even when life takes them away from me on a journey of their own, which will ineluctably happen.
I had all the time in the world lying in bed for a couple of days and thoughts of days gone by kept intruding- some funny, some hurtful, others happy or sad. But that is life!! It wouldn’t be completely fulfilling if there was only the hue of happiness to color our canvases with.
I am so deeply entrenched in memories today, thinking of people and events, places and friends, children & their choices, that I just wish I could go back in time to my happy carefree days or hold on to the ones I can still have.
Beyond my wishes, the only tangible things I have are these Memories.