I know I mentioned in the previous post that I will avoid maudlin posts, but being assaulted by images and memories is inevitable when one goes home. The memories are bittersweet part of being home, the one place where everyone has seen you at your worst and have more or less accepted you!
Yesterday I travelled back in time while helping my dad with some chores. My dad wanted me to go through my old textbooks and figure out which ones he could give away to the local library. Going through those textbooks on Pharmacology, Anatomy and Physiology, brought back the countless hours spent pouring over those books, those hours which couldn’t go slow enough so that I could cram everything possible in my brain. Seeing my notes in pencil in the textbook margins brought back those days when the only important thing in life was to score good grades and the most important decision was to decide how much time should be spent on a particular study topic.
Then I took a journey into a past much further than my undergrad school days- into the childhood days of my older sisters and those of mine. As my dad and I went on clearing out more cabinets, we came across 2 drawers full of old photo albums. Since digital cameras are still fairly recent, most of our older photographs are on glossy photo papers in jumbo albums. I found albums of old trips taken across India, pictures of my older sisters when they were still babies (almost unrecognizable!), our photos with grandparents. The hilarious part of those pictures was our get up- the fashion of bygone eras. And then I found my parents’ wedding album….found those pictures with my parents all dressed up and looking so young! As you grow older you tend to forget that your parents were once young and had a life that did not revolve around you…seeing these older pictures reminds you of those times, when you were NOT in the picture! Needless to say I spent a great afternoon looking at those pictures and reminiscing old times with dad.
Now that is the kind of nostalgia I wouldn’t mind getting lost in. Those old, stuck to plastic cover photographs are not just coloured paper, they are memories; unaccountably precious and forever reminding you of the passing of time. Whenever I am bogged down with irritation due to visa issues or difficulty of dealing with parents, I remind myself that I am here to build precious memories. Whether I am spending the afternoon idling with my parents or out sightseeing with them, these are the small moments which make life.