A Reminiscence

I have often wondered why do memories hold so much strength? Be it happy or sad, they always tend to move you. Even if there is something sad happening before your eyes, the effect of the memory will always be more than what has happened. We, as humans, always tend to remember the deceased with a sense of kindness and optimism. The degradation of a human being before the time of his death is not seen after he dies. It is forgotten, only the deeds of his are remembered.

They are remembered in a good manner, the deeds are upheld in the light for the society to learn and reminisce about them. Many times people don’t need to be in our life to be remembered in that light. The stories we hear are the only link to them. There are people I only know of from what I have heard in the family. Similar is the case of a family friend that mom usually talks about, Uncle Joy. Even though he has been never a part of my memories, a kinship has formed with him. A bond that exists in my mind, an emotional attachment that has made me realise the importance of the behaviour of a person. My mom describes him as a happy camper. A face always beaming with joy, he had a way of talking that made other people feel wanted and a way that made other people answer to his questions with same enthusiasm with which he had asked the question. My mom describes the last time he came as a final goodbye to all. She remembers the day very distinctly as it was the only day he came to our house. Even though he visited the city often, he never came to our house. It was as if he knew that it was the last time he was seeing us. It is superstitious I know, but in the end when confronted with death, coincidences seem abnormal even though life moves on the same way. That time he had said he wouldn’t be able to come but as the afternoon approached, there stood a stranger at our door. A stranger not to us, but to the house. He came in and mom had nothing to offer as each morsel had been devoured by us. A little bit of rice and curry along-with two rotis was made by my mother quickly. He looked at my mother, who embarrassed by having nothing to offer, laughed and said,” It is like this only when you are staying alone, isn’t it?” Then he quietly ate everything. My mom describes the way he played with me all afternoon, rolling in the bed with me, jumping with me. A happy figure. When he was leaving, one of our neighbors passed by our house. Uncle Joy just looked at her and asked with a contented smile,” Ate well?” and the aunty who spoke rather less replied very courteously, ” Sure. Why not?!” He had never talked to her before that, but the warm reply he got was something only a truly happy person can spread. Ten days after that, the earth shook and his visit became a final goodbye to us. Etched in mind, the laugh and the playfulness. The whole building in which he lived collapsed. He along with his family died in that incident. Even at last when everybody’s body was found, his was not identified. Now I have no memory whatsoever of that person, but the description Mom gave has found a way into my heart. I can see him playing with me on bed, rolling. I can hear his laughter echoing through the walls of my home, a last time. The final good bye. The one that left the deepest impact on my mother inclining me also to its after shocks. The image of a happy man, reflecting on water even though the ripples had turned turbulent. It is a memory that has been inculcated in my mind, it was never borne there.

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On the other hand, a friend of mine dies. The time she lived, the time spent together, all come gushing in. The dam finally breaks, the water flows rapidly. I remember things. The first time she said a shayari and I listened to it. The song that we sang at the top of our voices. The dialogues in between a song, perfectly enacted by each of us. The gathering of friends and dancing at random songs. The mere energy filled by her gave each and every one of us a spark, to live a little more. The way she could just break into a random shayari and also have relevance to the situation, made life amusing. She would just sometimes get so excited that only a whisper will come out of her and one has to lend a careful ear. She would argue with her Mom everyday but would later make up with her with just one sentence,”I didn’t eat anything today because of this.” and she knew that as soon as her mother heard that she would forget everything else. She came to my house and talked with my neighbor as if she knew them for years and now they just met. These are the things I remember her by. The day she died, no final good byes came. It was just a swift moment. Just a second passed, but turned to eternity. But these are memories made in my mind, they took birth in my mind. The camera that captures life. How is that I feel sad in both the memories?! I have never come to know the former person but still compare it to the latter one. I feel pathos for both of them. Isn’t mind a very tricky being? It demands just a small thing to open the gates to vast array of emotions. Mind, just pulls the heartstrings whenever it can. Bonds are mended and created, but to feel them, to know that these bonds exist, the mind plays a song on the strings. The hearts listens to it and beats to that rhythm. The music that flows, fills your mind, a sad yet satisfying orchestra. A conclusion I cannot give to this, because never can the heart cease to beat or mind to think and reminisce.

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