A small house with a big garden, flowers on the front lawn and vegetables in the backyard. A big field, green with grass, right at the front. Looking out of the window, I once saw a young boy running across that field. There was something captivating about his movements that are still etched in my memory. I was barely three then. This was the government quarter at Khowai or my memory of it. My father was posted there soon after my twin sisters were born.
A dog running behind me in the courtyard of our house in Agartala. His name was Bhulu and he died when I was 2. I don’t remember what he looked like; I just have glimpses of a dog playfully running behind me. Guess I was not scared of dogs as a child.
A movie playing on a screen that had been put up in the field, projector whirring. Me sitting between my parents in the front row and watching the images flashing on that screen. My father had organized a film show one evening at Khowai. A white screen was put up and chairs were placed before the screen. The whole neighbourhood had gathered to watch the movie. I don’t remember anything about the film, though that evening is carved in my memory.
Memories. The earliest memory can be made when we are as young as two and a half, according to a scientific journal, and I have certainly made quite a few early ones. I tried to look up the definition of memory but it was too scientific for me to make any sense of it. However, one doesn’t need science to decipher that memories form a big part of our lives, define us in ways that we may not quite understand. Memories that we hold on to, memories that we let go, the process is sometimes voluntary, often beyond our control.
I have formed many memories as I walked along – beautiful, shy, happy, sad, memories of wins and losses and of heartbreaks. But the thing about memories, at least about my memories, is that they usually bring a smile, melancholic maybe at times but a smile nonetheless. No matter how painful the loss may have been or how difficult the heartbreak, the pain is numbed and I am able to recollect the happy times as the moments fade into memories.
When I look back at life it’s like a kaleidoscope of memories, of different colours and shades, colours merging and blending to form new hues. Memories sometimes lend a new meaning to the life I have lived so far and a different perspective to the present and the future. There are regrets for sure and disappointments. There are things that I wished I could have changed at those moments, but having lived and survived them I don’t wish for those anymore.
If a fairy godmother would grant me a wish to change one thing in my past, I would probably not change anything, for my memories make me what I am. I can deal with and smile at the colours that the kaleidoscope splashes before me.