Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Blast from the past

It's strange, the way one is sometimes brought face to face with one's past when one least expects it. I don't mean it in an ominous, cimematic sense, like a situation where a person enters a restaurant and suddenly sees the son of a man he murdered 20 years ago. (Naturally, the son looks exactly like the father did. The mentally challenged audience wouldn't catch the drift of the movie if this wasn't so.) Said son then proceeds to take revenge either (a) killing the villian, or (b) ensuring he is apprehended and sentenced to death, while fighting 20 people simultaneously, dancing with buxom beauties and giving sentimental speeches about family and love along the way. But I digress.

Context: Earlier today, I was cleaning up some of my junk, as my mother puts it. Or, as I prefer to put it, I was mining my treasure trove of stuff collected over the last ten years I've lived in India. I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a hoarder. I tend to keep little scraps of paper, worthless pictures, broken stationery and hundreds of odds and ends for sentimental value. It was one such pile of objects and papers that I was clearing yesterday... and out tumbled a host of things that brought back memories of the younger, happier, simpler days.

The bus pass I used in school, complete with a photo of a very young and awkwardly-smiling me in my school uniform (I'm still smiling awkwardly in my current passport photograph - I find it very unsettling and uncomfortable to pose for a snap. My father actually dances behind the photographer's back to elicit a genuine smile from me!) Hall tickets from exams long forgotten, class notes with poems scribbled in the margins, friendship bands. Playing cards, hundreds of games of noughts and crosses. A naughty love letter with no name on it. A small teddy bear with a heart that says "I love you" (And before you ask, no, I don't know who gave it to me.)

Notes that were passed to me in school. Caricatures of teachers, scraps of stilted poetry, arguments about cricket, snide comments about classmates.

Birthday cards. Lots of them. From friends who cared about me, and whom I cared about. Friends whom I am now no more it touch with, friends who are consigned to the photo album and video archive of a part of my memory marked 'nostalgia'. Friends whom I want to contact, want to make a part of my life once more but don't know how.

Declarations of undying friendship, comradeship, passionate promises to stick together through thick and thin, to go through life together laughing, drinking, enjoying life to the fullest, together, always. From people whose faces I don't remember, whose names I can't place.

Acceptance letters and Proceedings of conferences where I presented my papers, the culmination of months of slogging. Recommendation letters (written by me, given the once over and signed by the accomodating profs in my department), acceptance letters from US universities that I gave up on to pursue an MBA.

A miniature BMW car. From a friend who asked me what I wanted most in life. At that point in time, cool dude that I was (OK, I'm stretching things a bit, but what the heck, it's my blog! I'm allowed to pump my image, given no one else will.), I responded I'd like a sleek shiny BMW. And whaddya know, that's exactly what she got me for my birthday.

And a small, beautiful earring left behind by a girl my classmates and I saw years ago under a waterfall in Coorg. A keepsake from a time of crazy, inexplicable adolescent rushes.

All making me wish I could go back in time, to ten years ago. When life was so much more fun. When everything was so much less complicated. When I knew less and therefore worried less. When I was less cynical and depressed about the world, about society and my place in it. And when I felt more secure and more at peace than, probably, any time since.

10 comments:

RPK said...

A senti post after a long time(Leaving to ahmeadabad)...Anyways the past never comes since the life doesnt work with the rewind button ...you have to accept it and make your future more happy (which is now more in your hands than with your parents or with friends)...Oh i am advising AC ...the most matured ex-IIMIAN sorry dude i forgot!!!!!!!

AC said...

Ah... like a good wine, I'm still in the process of maturing... someday I'm hoping to get someone very drunk!

It's hard to leave the past and concentrate on the present or the future; sometimes it just hits you out of the blue...

NIRMAL said...

hey AC,

Hall tickets - i got reminded of this.

Do u remember yr luck charm (as you used to say)the maroon shirt full sleeves shirt you used to wear on the day they distribute HALL Tickets in SVCE ?

AC said...

yeah, I remember that shirt :) I still have it, but my mother won't let me wear it because of its disreputable condition!

Divya Das said...

Sniff.. Sniff... very senti post!

h said...

Said son then proceeds to take revenge either (a) killing the villian, or (b) ensuring he is apprehended and sentenced to death, while fighting 20 people simultaneously, dancing with buxom beauties and giving sentimental speeches about family and love along the way.

You forgot, (c) falling in love with murderer's daughter!:-P

Friends whom I want to contact, want to make a part of my life once more but don't know how.

Ever heard of orkut?:)

Nice post!:-)

Arjun/Srikrishnan Ganesan said...

orkut vendame!

AC said...

@ DD: Yeah... so many memories...

@ h/GB:
Nah... I've sworn off orkut and such networking sites... I find it attracts far more unwanted traffic and contacts!

And when I said I don't know how I meant it more in an emotional sense, not an operational one :)

Anonymous said...

A plastic cup kept on the shelf,
A pair of earrings left by mistake,
A note on the board,
Some poems, some scribblings,
So many memories I never want to erase

AC said...

Hey, I know who this is :)