That evening small silvery drizzles of rain drops drifted downwards shining bright under the setting sun. The backdrop of the orange skies and the pack of birds flying home were too good to be missed. The sun and the clouds appeared and disappeared looking like a pair of shenanigans amusing their scattered viewers. Like never before, the sky had me hooked and I almost believed god used his precious magic talisman for me.
Sitting by the window sill that evening, I dug out the oldest of my albums and the books I saved from school and college. From the corner of my eye, I could see my mother’s silent yet highly exasperated sigh. She was used to these sudden bouts of love for my souvenirs. I beamed at all the last page drawings and those little paper notes I passed to my friends. I smiled at all the scribbling and the spelling mistakes and I must say I was amazed at the neatness of my books. I was proudly appreciating my legible handwriting.
I was living two worlds. As a part of the world outside the window and another that was entirely in my control, the one I could momentarily pause and resume according to my whims and fancies. I was gushing at my simultaneous yet dual presence. With a lot of time to kill and perfect setting for a sugary turnover, I used my age old technique of closing my eyes and uttering the word “Remember” thrice. To the ones that haven’t tried this out, do it and tell me if you aren’t drowned by a flood of memories and instances and everything that your mind will throw your way. Tell me if you don’t recollect the things you didn’t know you remembered and tell me if this doesn’t excite you. Sitting and scouring through everything I thought was important at an entirely different phase in my life, I was thrilled and ecstatic. Seeing stuff from my past was almost like seeing a growth graph of myself. I was my own doppelganger. An entirely different person with different interests and way too different priorities. I remember taking oaths and making promises on the last day of my school, promise to keep in touch with all 150 students of my batch and promises to pursue anything that excites even the slightest of my entrails and promises to always stand for what I believe in. Somewhere along the line, I sadly lost track of it all. One by one I let go of everything that I once decided to keep close. Not that I am disappointed with myself right now, but I think it is safe to say that the person I was, blindly charged into the unknown and the person I was knew me inside out.
Having completed my under graduation is like the end of yet another phase, more precisely the end of an era, an era that helped me discover so much about the world and as well as myself. Only I remember the initial anxieties three years ago and only I remember the parting anxieties three months ago. Almost involuntarily my hands moved towards the carton labelled “Mary’s” and I couldn’t help smiling at the first thing I picked up: Our group picture from one of our excursions. Almost instantly, I felt a rush of panic within me. A panic that realisation struck. I did not know if I was too scared to accept the big incoming change or was I just profoundly stuck to the past just because it made me feel safe and comfortable.
Who else feels the same? Is there anybody else that just dwells in the past way too much or is it just me? Do those souvenirs hold importance to you all too? That evening, I began thinking. Thinking on all lines and through all contexts. Wondering If I was foolish for not being able to see the beauty within the present. And today, as I sat down to write everything that has been pounding on the walls of my brain, I realise I am once again writing about the past, an instance that made me happy, that made me calm and that made me nostalgic. Now I have just given up entirely on wondering along these lines. And I have to mention, that this person I am becoming is a consequence of all those broken promises, of all those carefully thought out decisions instead of blindly going forward and this person is most importantly a consequence of the sudden bout of recollections, because I know what keeps me going and I don’t think I am giving it up any time soon.
Tell me what keeps you up and about?