Burning the candle called “Nostalgia”

US

My first memory as a living being is a very very faint one, in fact, it’s more like a feeling than a memory – I think I vaguely remember holding my younger sister for the first time. I was a little over 1.5 years old and I have this feeling that when I held her for the first time, I was immensely happy and even more curious, waiting for the sleeping bundle to open her eyes.

For each phase of my growing up, in my mind, I have created these huge memory chests and whenever I’m homesick or low, I open these chests one by one and ensconce myself in this blanket of memories that I’ve woven with love and fun.

One of the biggest and my most favorite chest is the early childhood one. Growing up with a sister who is in the same age group as me was always full of fun games and petty fights. We two were always in a world of our own, always fighting but still inseparable. In school also, though we were one class apart, we did everything together, all my friends were her friends and her friends were mine. All our teachers also knew that we were sisters. In short, we two were a package deal.

I don’t think there’s a single corner in our house where we wouldn’t have played. We’d dance around in the puja room or there was telephone there so the fake telephone call game. Then at times, we’d jump around in the kitchen or squish in the tiny window seat there and just talk nonsense or go to the attic and make up some games. Most evenings we’d just run around on the terrace chasing each other or playing thikri-dav or riding our tricycle (riding was more like me bullying my sister – I was taller than her, so if she wanted to ride, I’d just lift up the tricycle and never let her ride).

Just like all kids, despite our numerous toys and games, we’d want to play with the stuff growns up use. So our mom use to deliberately leave her talcum powder on the dressing table (everything else was under lock and key). We’d use her old duppattas and put powder and play fashion-show, fashion-show. Or we’d create our own houses from those duppattas and play neighbor-neighbor.

On rainy days we’d simply sit at the window making up hero-heroine chase stories with raindrops or sing the rainy day song “aav re varsad” at the top of our voices till mumma came in and shushed us J

There is a lot more in this treasure trove of memories and every time that I’ve taken this trip down memory lane, I’ve come back to present day desperately missing those simpler times.

That being said, nostalgia is like a candle that we should burn only when there’s darkness. If we keep re-living those days in the hope of capturing them again then we are just setting ourselves up for a huge disappointment. It’s a candle’s fate to burn out some day and when that day comes, you will find yourself lost in darkness where you won’t have enough family or friends to help pull you out because while you were busy living in yesterday, everyone present today was busy going ahead.

And that’s why, while I still try to capture the past when I meet my sister, I have learnt to have fun on my own too. When I’m by myself in the house, I dance like crazy on some random songs (sometimes even without any music). Or when I’m at the gym, I think of silly silly things that I can do with my sister or my husband (most of the women in my gym think I’m crazy because most of the time I’m starring in the mirror and smiling at myself). Most weekends, my husband and I, we play silly games and laugh like children over small small things. Sometimes, I call over all the kids in my neighborhood and we play cards or color/color or all sorts of kiddie games.

Among the many vows I’ve taken in life and all new-year resolutions I’ve taken so far, I can proudly say that I’ve stuck to one of them – playing all kinds of games and laughing over silly things. I’d like to play more often but being a grown up (by my birth date I am one but one can debate its accuracy till kingdom come:)), I can’t just act like a kid all the time.

Riding the happy wave

Riding the happy waVE

I’ve read very often and been told as well that when you get married, you change over time. The initial newness and excitement carries you over the first few years in one happy wave but things change, people around you change and of course you also change. This change happens even faster in a love marriage because the process of discovering your partner, who he is and what he likes is already halfway done since you knew each other before marriage. I’ve known my husband for 9 years now – first friends, then in a relationship and then married. And of course, we have changed a little over time, with responsibilities and other pressures but one thing that hasn’t changed is the happy wave we’re in. Don’t get me wrong, like any normal graph, there are crests and troughs in ours too but the trend line is going upwards only. The reason, which I discovered unintentionally and innocuously, for this is very simple.

We had gone to see fast and furious 7. The theater wasn’t full but the rows around us were. As usual, I got all emotional and weepy when the last scene came and the movie was paying homage to Paul Walker. It was the scene at the beach when everyone’s serious and Vin Diesel is saying: “We don’t say good bye to family”. I am about to drop a few big fat tears when my husband quietly whispers in my ear, “We don’t say goodbye to family, we say AAVJO.”  I just burst out laughing and the whole crowd around me is irritated and appalled at this (apparently!) grown woman giggling like a child in the middle of a dead-serious moment. We both were still laughing about this as we walked out of the theater and the mall.

I’ll never forget that moment not just because of the epic dialogue from my husband but mainly because it made me realize that no matter what we go through or what we become in future, one thing will remain a constant, seeing me sad (whether its because of a movie or our fight or whatever) he will leave everything else and try and make me smile. And seeing him sad, I will do anything to bring a smile to his face (agreed, I don’t have a sense of humor like his, but will try, even if its just a cliched thing like showing him a funny video).

Our happy wave continues because, instead of remembering our differences everyday, we try to bring a smile to each other’s face. I hope this continues in future as well, no matter how we change or what we go through.