While cleaning my cupboard, I get the experience of travelling down the memory lanes- lanes that are left unexplored since ages now as they are lost amidst the crossroads of ‘present’.
I can enter these lanes through a piece of paper. This bit of paper is a part of that letter which I wrote but never posted. In fact I had even tried to tear and throw away this letter just like the ‘could be’ receiver of this letter had done to me. But why is this here ? Had I not taken care to get rid of every bit of it ? But this always happens. Someone tried to get rid of me, but still some part of my being went with him and still remains there, never to return. That relationship, of which this letter was a part, got over a long time back, but it still remains in my heart in bits and pieces just like this letter in my cupboard.
I get an old telephone diary that takes me into another lane. This diary has the contact numbers of people I have never heard from or spoken to, since years. Even the numbers are the old ones, most of them not in use now. But don’t I update my records almost every month? Then, what is this? Where are these people now? They were, once, just a call away but now they are wires apart.
I enter these lanes through a pen gifted by one of my friends, at least he ‘was’ a friend then. In this lane I can see all the gifts exchanged between the two of us and all the stories that revolve around those gifts- those desperate savings from my pocket money, those funny excuses to leave the house just to be able to buy those gifts and reach them to the ‘gifted’ one. I remember everything about those gifts except the reason why they stopped travelling from me to them and vice versa ?
I turn into another lane when I come across an old prescription in my name. I suffered from colitis more than ten years back. It all started with a severe stomach ache in school while writing my Biology exam. My teacher called up my mother so that she could get me back home. Then I remember my mother nursing me day and night; those scoldings full of care and concern; those visits of my friends, more awaited by my mother rather than me, since she got to see that long-awaited sìmile on my face when I saw my friends.
Whenever I clean my cupboard and come across the photo albums, I cannot resist myself from growing up again. I grow up through the leaves of the photo-album – from a kid to an adolescent, to a teenager and to an adult. In the first few snaps, I’m a little girl in my parents’ and grandparents’ lap; in the next few snaps, I climb down to stand in front of the others, the front-row privilege shared by few cousins. A little later, I am old enough to have photographs with my friends, on my birthdays, my friends’ birthdays, farewell parties, picnics or just casual photo-sessions. In the last few pictures, the venue and the occasion remains the same; only the group around me decreases from fifteen and more, to eight or so and to three, not more…