Most Beautiful Thing



Courtesy - http://www.aerialnoise.com/


What on earth do I classify as ‘most beautiful’ in my life? A person? A possession? A relationship? The sky, the earth, the mountain, the rivers? The answer came as I sat gossiping with my sister last evening. The most beautiful ‘thing’ in my life is memory; rather memories. Beautiful, happy, bitter, tender, tragic, romantic memories. Memories of experiences that shape one’s character, one’s attitude, one’s approach to life. Memories from which one draws strength, resolve, contentment, happiness. What would I be without these memories? Where would I be without these memories? Indeed if there is a choice to live devoid of memories, I would choose to end the existence. Without my memories, I am just a discarded shell.

Memories of Amma waiting near the school gate to pick up The Sister and self. Seeing her near the gate was always a comfort – everything was okay with the world. Sometimes, we would stop by at Malleswaram market and Amma would buy flavoured Nandini milk in those small bottles; it was The Sister’s favourite. I loved elneeru.

Memories of that tattered, dog-eared single-ruled notebook where the monthly budget was laid out – I am sure every family had this! Rs. 60 would be marked against ‘Auto’ – on most days (before I got my cycle), we took an auto to school in the morning. The Sister and I always thought if we could save the sixty rupees... then imagine the new clothes and books we could buy EVERY MONTH. And all those five rupee and ten rupee notes rolled carefully, secretly and kept in the rice dabba or daal dabba – Amma’s own emergency ATM. Apparently this was standard operating procedure adopted by all sensible Mums.

Memories of that childhood facial disfigurement that so shamed me.

Memories of a battered doll that was MOST ADORED by The Sister. It was not some special doll – certainly not the one which could blink eyes and do other clever things. It was an ordinary one with the usual blond hair and rosy cheeks. The Sister designed clothes for the doll and it was The Most Important Thing in her life. Years went by and the doll showed wear and tear – mostly tear! Half its hair had fallen off and one of the eyes was almost erased. Yet, The Sister spoke to the doll, chided the doll, dressed the doll, and tucked it in every night.

Memories of Amma despairing that we did not have many toys...and so she set about stitching the most cuddly, chubby teddy bear. The cotton-filled teddy was born out of an old pillow. He was maroon in colour with black paws and black plastic buttons for eyes...and The Sister and I loved him so very much.

Memories of Appa taking all of us out for a movie in Blue Moon or Blue Diamond on M.G.Road. Memories of hushed discussions with a friend about how the girls looked ‘different’ on M.G. Road – they looked so beautiful and all seemed to wear 'faarin' clothes and what a riot of perfumes!

Memories of Appa bringing in our first television set – and The Sister’s and my hysterically happy reaction – it was a colour T.V. 

Memories of Appa buying beautiful clothes and a titan wristwatch when I joined college – even though things were so, so tight.

Memories of that first job – so scary, so excited, so over the top drama queen.

Memories of that unrequited crush.

Memories of that moment of realization, moment of unsurpassed surprise - that I’ve caught someone’s fancy.

Memory of seeing Amma away.

What an eternal spring Memory is! In all the moments of solitude, Memory is my lover, my seducer, my guardian angel. Memory is my beacon in life, my compass, my anchor, my instant connection with Amma.

And I wish all of you a life full of enriching memories.

© Sumana Khan - 2012

Comments

  1. What beautiful memories. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Memories so beautifully etched. Made wonderful reading :)

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  3. Nice one. Interestingly my last post is on the same topic for a contest organized by blogadda.
    http://luciferhouseinc.blogspot.in/2012/04/museum-of-memories.html

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  4. Fiona, Shail, Writerzblock - thank you!

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  5. @TF - will check out your blog:)

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  6. Nostalgia is something I really can't handle. Every time I read a piece like this, or every time I write something like this, remembering something from the past, an unusual sadness comes over and makes my heart heavy. Maybe everyone feels the same way, but it takes a lot of time for me to move past it.

    Either ways, it's a beautiful post. :)

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  7. I write about memories all the time, and I smiled along with the memories you shared of your life here. Thank you so much for sharing them! I feel like I can experience a part of your world through those memories. :) I hope you don't mind but I am sharing this on my blog: http://alotus-poetry.livejournal.com

    Blessings,
    Kathy (A~Lotus)

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  8. Thank you so much for stopping by Kathy. I am glad you enjoyed my world :)And thanks for sharing it on your blog!

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  9. Nice to read.
    I too am sometimes overcome by memories.
    This happens when I sometimes retrieve the old family photo album and my eyes linger over the old black and white pictures I took over 30 years ago.
    Regards
    GV

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    Replies
    1. GVjee...it is nice to dwell on the past sometimes..isn't it? I love looking at old photos too...better than watching rubbish on T.V.!

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  10. Yes, so very true. Brings to mind Simon and Garfunkel's - "Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you". I oftentimes wonder what people with Alzheimer's must be going through. Hardly remembering anything. As if all their experiences (of joy, sorrow and everything inbetween) are wiped out with one clean swipe. We are made up of memories. Not even a single day passes by without a reference to something in the past or something committed to the memory.

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    1. yes...memory raises the deepest philosophical questions. What is 'I' without memory?

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  11. What would our lives be like without all the memories we have? I believe it would be pretty boring. Isn't it wonderful that we have been blessed with such a great way of remembering things that have happened in our life? Great post! Thank you for sharing :)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Mary. Yes...cannot imagine a life without memories. I guess that's why we are asked to 'make memories'.

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  12. You have put up a beautiful and colourful collage of memories and loved each one of them and remembered some of mine too. Loved the amma's ATM. My mom too did the same.

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    1. :) The way banks operate these days - I feel dabbas are best ATMs :) Thanks for stopping by Kalpana.

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  13. Wow, your words took me back to my memories, not so different from your penned down ones. Really...wow...nicely put.

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