If I was to think back to the most memorable moments in my life and come up with just 3, I’d like them to be positive ones.
So here’s Memory No. 1:
This is the most recent of the 3 memories. It was my last day at the University where I completed my Masters. I’d just submitted my dissertation a day before, and I was leaving the next morning for my home town, more than 9000 miles away. I was sitting in my room pondering how I would like to spend my last evening on campus, and being a places-person more than a people-person, I came to the conclusion that I’d like to go around the places on campus that I’d visited most, one last time and take pictures, capture memories that would last a life-time. But it was already dark, and I didn’t want to go alone. Just my luck, over dinner one of my flat-mates suggested that we go around campus clicking photographs with his new SLR, making memories since it was my last day there! That’s just what we did! In those moments of laughter and walking around aimlessly, we managed to create an invisible magic. The kind of magic that probably still lingers on those streets like sparkling silver orbs. It keeps pulling the banjaara back to those enchanted places in the middle of the night, and seeps in through the banjaara’s windows in the early morning riding the soft yellow sun-rays. It is the magic of intentionally created memories, facilitated by a dash of luck, and conducive climate (maybe the same stuff that all the world is made of)…
Memory No. 2:
A cool rainy day in monsoon, spent in my grandmother’s bedroom when I was barely 3 or 4, staring out the window, talking to her while she made beautiful symmetric paper-boats from old newspapers. We opened the windows and lowered the paper-boats into a steady stream of water that kept collecting and flowing from our backyard and out on to the street. She taught me how to make paper-boats just like hers on that day. Now every time it rains, no matter where I am, I remember that day along with my grandmother’s stories and anecdotes. This memory also brings with it the appetizing spicy aroma of typically Indian rainy-day snacks – potatoes and onions and green chillies dipped in batter and deep-fried till they turn a beautiful shade of gold, served with a delicious mint chutney. I can see the smiles of my folks in the background, and the persistent pitter-patter of the rain drops makes the memory complete.
Memory no. 3:
2 months before leaving for University, three of my friends from my undergraduate degree course and I went on a short weekend trip to a nearby hill-station, just a few hours away from where we live. We ended up going first to a tacky little hotel that one of my friends had booked and got the shock of our lives when it turned out to be very different from its pictures online. The decrepit place was like a brothel complete with cheap magenta polyester bed-sheets and broken lampshades. We immediately scooted to another hotel where I’d stayed before. It was a little more expensive but well worth the money. And the best thing about it was that we had it entirely to ourselves because it wasn’t peak holiday season. We spent that night drinking like there was no tomorrow, sharing ghost-stories, scaring the living day-lights out of ourselves, singing and dancing like gypsies, and making promises to stay in touch forever. (Spookily, one of the 4 of us was for some reason not present when we were making drunken promises, and she’s the only one that’s not in touch with the rest of us). And for that we thank our lucky stars. But that’s a story for another day…