(Watched A Dangerous Method in the evening and was once again tempted to believe in the power of the methods of Psychoanalysis. The film in a way inspired this post.)
How I despise the pace at which this moment keeps passing by. It was rich with possibilities and forever in my memory will it remain. From the hinterlands of memory another that comes to mind at once is here in words.
It is an ultra sunny day in July or August in early 80s. The class at the primary school in the village is on. Seated on a mat in line with some five to six other girls and boys I shout with them “Six twos are twelve, six threes are eighteen…” and keep pinging my head up and down in sync with the rest. Ameen is on my right. The color cubes and the paint brush he has in his bag vie for my attention. Ameen draws and sketches very well. The cut quarter of a lemon or that of an apple made to lie neatly beside the whole fruit. Or even a bunch of grapes. The lovely curly motions of his pencil that would bring those berries to life on paper. In the wavelets of the pond overflowing nearby, rays of the sun twinkle like candles. Four naughty ones are swimming across the pond and calling each other names. They did not come to school today. The head boy pronouncing of those judgments on the relations between digits is asked to stop and go to his seat. The bell rings and all of us shout “Chhuttiiiii”. We collect our things, pick up our bags and run out of the verandah of the school. My eyes search for Ameen. Will he get his color box tomorrow? Don’t walk with him beyond a point. He takes a separate route back home. Mine passes through the field where peas are grown every winter. White clouds run amok on the canvas of the blue sky. Panting, running and panting again, I reach home. My elder brother has come home for a few days. It’s his break time at the engineering college. He gives me his glasses, and I try them out. The world around me goes as dark as a night. I remove the glasses and look around. Get disappointed to see that nothing actually had changed. Put the glasses on and it gets dark once more. Believe me, I have searched for those glasses at so many opticians till date and yet none of them have ever shown me one that makes it appear so cloudy and rainy as those first glasses of my life did. My brother is tall, has so many friends. Everyone seems to love him. To talk to the men who till those pea fields, he sits on the cot with one of his legs spread out and the other hinged around the knee forming a triangle of a bridge. A pillow in his lap may be. He laughs, pats me somewhere on the cheek and asks everyone if I was doing well. He has these lovely shirts. Stripes of blue and red and white- I have never seen any of those in any of the shops I have gone to myself. It is raining today and he throws away his plate in anger. Steel bowls make noise and Pooris dance. His motorcycle bathes unabated in the rain. I am busy with a Hindi children’s magazine. Engrossed in finding out the missing resemblances in a set of two photographs in the puzzle section of the same. I have to find out fifteen differences in all and so far have only marked out three. A game of Ludo is about to begin. The four colored houses in the game are receiving their occupants. Four heads will soon lean over them and the ‘tik tik’ of the dice in the small box will decide futures.
39 thoughts on “The Earliest Memories”
Wonderfully well written Amit 🙂 You took us into your world with your writing..
Thanks Vandhana. Appreciate it!
I totally got transported. My imagination got triggered. Very well written
I am glad it had that effect. Thanks.
My friend, you have an incredibly detailed memory of that time… and I enjoyed the way it flowed in an almost Joyceian stream of consciousness….even if the font is kinda small for these old eyes…. Well done…. 🙂
thanks gigoid. some images never leave our minds!
Creative writing. Nice work.
i have that movie laying around, i watched a few minutes and took it out….NOW i absolutely have to watch all the way through! awesome post! 🙂
oh do watch it. amazing performances. n if possible please post a review. would like to know what you think abt it. thanks for the comment!
The narrative of the mysteriuos incident totally suceeds in mustifying the mystery.
What a picturesque presentation!
Thanks Ashok Ji for the kind words! Extremely encouraging.
Amit.,l hope every thing is well with you ,wishing success in all your endeavors .Thank you for revisiting my blog.Jalal
yeah…all is well ;)…Thanks a lot!
So many li’l things so vividly put 🙂
You dragged us to your world with that lovely writing….Kudos
thanks Jayashree 🙂
Was forced to take break from WP,and after reading this post I realize just what I have been missing!excellent!
“He gives me his glasses, and I try them out. The world around me goes as dark as a night. I remove the glasses and look around. Get disappointed to see that nothing actually had changed.”
long time no visit, finally has time
if that’s a bunny…its lovely! and most welcome!
अतीत को पुनः वर्तमान बना लेना संभव नहीं, संभव यही है कि स्मृतियों के माध्यम से हम अतीत को जी लें। सुंदर प्रस्तुति।
ये लिखते वक्त आप की लिखी कविता “स्मृति क्या है” मेरे ज़हन में ज़रूर गूंजी थी एक बार. आप को अच्छा लगा, सो मुझे जानकार बहुत खुशी हो रही है!
Brilliant Amit…you capture nostalgia well! Felt like you were talking of my childhood, down to the hero worship of an older sibling 🙂 Well done.
so glad you liked it Madhu! thanks for the comment!
A glimpse of another time, richly described; fascinating and well written!
if you write an autobiography. I would like to read it.
the comment makes me think about it.thanks!
ludo was one of my addictions too! 🙂
life flies by so quickly, doesnot it?
kabhi kabhi man karta hai dum pakadke rok lene ko
aur wo hota nahin!
plz take us there again, i m touched nd i want to go there with u,,,,,,,,,plz
I will post more abt the childhood days! Stay tuned. thanks for the comment!
Immensely readable. I can so relate to this, having grown up in a small town myself. The joys and wonders of childhood…the fears and fantasies too:-)