There are some moments in life which remain with you forever. I am not merely referring to those bigger defining landmark occasions of your life. I am also referring to those defining smaller occasions which may seem like inconsequential moments of your day at the time but when you look back on it, the memory of that moment will always stay embedded in your mind for various reasons. Events that open and introduce your mind to a new facet/ new thoughts.
Some of mine have been –
First day at the junior school. As a young girl who had just moved from the little leagues to the bigger campus of a larger school, I got lost on the very first day within the huge school premises. I somehow recollect perfectly the feeling of utter terror not knowing which way to go and standing there in the school yard (ours was a very large open campus) looking for some guidance. Which rest assured came soon in the form of a teacher. But those few seconds remain etched.
My high school results. This is a huge landmark in any student’s life in India. The entire final year at high school is riddled with worry and stress for not just the student but the parents too! A lot rides upon the grades secured in this final year. I had a particularly tough time with ill health and months of missed classes etc back then. With the support of my Mother I managed to survive the year somehow. That moment when my results were announced the feeling of sheer relief to know that I had made it through, remains unforgettable to me!
One cold evening my Dad thought it would be nice if he would pull back the covers and warm up my bed for me, so that I could have the luxury of slipping into a warm toasty bed, he had set it up perfectly. I walked in and shamefully uttered “what did you do…why did you mess my bed so”? He quietly set it all back neatly for me. I hated myself for that.
The day one of my ex colleagues was rushing home early stating “it’s my brother’s birthday today”. I resented her for leaving early especially when we had so much to do that day. Until she casually mentioned “we cut a cake and light a candle for him every year on his birthday. He’s been missing since he was seven”.
Olfactory memory but the smell of pipe tobacco still brings back lovely evenings at home where my Dad smoked his pipe and the four of us listened to music or played scrabble. We weren’t exactly the Waltons but we had our finer moments too.
This one is particularly indelible in my memory bank. One morning the local tabloids were filled with gory details of a brutal attack on a young couple who were killed in the name of religion by deluded members of one of their own extended family leaving behind their infant orphaned. I read the papers aghast and then went about my day. I had a meeting that morning, turned out the person I was meeting was the sister of one of the slain couple featured in the papers that morning. She was naturally innocent of any of the violence or brutality. But all the same I was aghast that she actually turned up for work despite the circumstances at home that were undoubtedly ongoing that day. But then she responded to my shameless queries about the infant stating “what about the baby …it’s not ours”. Misguided religious ideals and pride can blind one so much I realised only then.
The birth of my niece. The first born into the family I had never known anything could look as cute or as blindingly adorable as her.
The first time I met my husband….corny as it may sound. It wasn’t love at first sight, but undoubtedly there was something when we first met that possibly subconsciously opened the doors for further emotions.
The birth of my child……that moment when she finally arrived, I was close to passing out, but yet I remember the sensation of feeling the weight of the baby being placed upon my chest and with my eyes closed I felt and ran my hands over her little toes and fingers (don’t ask me why I did that I just did) before I finally heaved a sigh of relief.
Leaving a job that I had cherished for many years. Moving on is never easy especially when the future was left unplanned.
Receiving the death certificate as part of the documentation for an insurance claim from next of kin of a woman who had recently travelled abroad on holiday. She was only 38. Life can be so cruelly unpredictable, live today I thought to myself!
Do you have similar indelible moments in your memory bank? Do share…..would love to hear about them.