Monday, August 26, 2013

Nostalgia



The truck purred down the lane towards the tiny building at the end of the rocky lane. There I stood at the top of the stairs, waiting for the vehicle to come to a halt. This was the day my life changed, forever. I walked down the stairs, the heavy bags in my hand; and behind me followed my dad. In tow were two more burly men, carrying the television set, and the queue continued. Into the truck went all our belongings, and our stuff; but there was one thing which stayed back, memories- and they were what we couldn’t take with us.

This was an event I had gone through a year ago, when I shifted to a new house. Today, I sit in my room, staring at the walls, reminiscing the past, and trying to piece together the past I left back in the form of memories. But all I get back at the instant are the blurred images, and I hope that I can get those happy images I couldn’t carry back with me.

“Karan, come for dinner! The foods almost ready! Complete your writing work after eating,” my mom shouts from the dining room, breaking the trance I am in.

Reluctantly, I get up from my place in the corner, and walk away with a glance at my puffed-up face in the mirror, holding back a grimace. The kitchen is next to my room, and as the food sizzles on the stove, its fragrance captures me. And it all returns.

There I am, sitting next to the stove, with a book in hand- dangerously close to the flame, yet feeling so cool. The onions simmering in the hot oil in the pan, with their succulent smell enticing me away from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. I turn, in my usual weird kid style, with mom staring with wide eyes, scared to the utmost level, to face the hot oil with its delicious looking onions. I put my hands into the dangerous cavity and start gobbling the onions, as mom looks on, fear along with a tinge of red in her eyes.

As though kicking off a chain reaction, they all return. Those wonderful moments spent gorging the food as it cooked on the hot flame. Alone in the day, and with dad at night, this used to go on whenever the delicacies were prepared- eating the fried potatoes made for ‘Alu Palak’ and the Pavs for ‘Pav Bhaji’; the papdams for the staple ‘Sambhar and Rice’, and the other savories. The moments pass in front of my eyes, and I smile. But there still is a large portion which remains blank. I walk ahead.

As I wash my hands at the washbasin, the pungent smell of hand wash burns through my nasal cavity. My hand travels unknowingly to my elbow, where stands the great scar, a reminder of my fall as a kid. But that is not what simmers in my eyes. With the water lapping up the lather on my hands, I slip back into the past.

My hisses permeate the room and so do father’s sighs. The gash on my hand stings under the influence of the sanitizer. Dad blows air on it to soothe the pain as I hiss with my jaw clenched and hands closed tight. At this moment, I can feel the same pain, the same love and the same care of my dad as my hand rubs on the oddly smooth skin. The image clears.

Mom standing over me, watching me apply the sanitizer on my elbow, again. Shouting about not taking care while playing, and all of the rest which we all hear as kids. She takes the cotton from my hand and dabs deftly at the wound, making me yelp in pain. It had all seemed like torture at that time, but now, the memory presents me with a reminder of the love and the care. And I smile.

The sweet smell of incense burning in the dining room wafts into my nose as I walk into the chamber, a smile decorating my face. Grandma calls out to me to continue our latest discussion about the story of her daily soap opera, her voice drowns into the backdrop and the chants return.

Grandmother, with her long silver hair, praying with a volume so high that God could surely hear her voice in Heaven, and me down next to her. In my blue pajamas and matching shirt, I lay on the floor, playing precariously with the burnt incense powder. Grey soot, yet hot to touch, it burns my skin as I touch it and at my soft whelp, grandmother turns to me.

I don’t know how the conversation turns, but I am made to stand in the witness stand again. A criminal, a culprit- all for the fact that I detest bananas and do not eat them (I still go through these conversations, but it’s lighter now). “You should eat bananas. If you do not like them, then eat them as a medicine, one a day. You stay awake so late into the night, and eating bananas will give you the strength.”

The spark glitters in my mind, and I return to present, I realize the conversation has reached the point it always ends at. With smiles, and a new glow on my face, I make a hasty retreat, now furnished with various memories, old, happy and joyful.

The emptiness in me is replenished as the smells trigger the time machine of my brain and bring back those moments which I could not remember normally. And I am happy, and I smile. It is truly a ‘Smelly to Smiley’ moment for me.


This post is written for the Smelly to Smiley Contest by Ambipur. You can get more information from their Facebook page by clicking here: www.facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia

10 comments:

  1. This ppst is so sweet...filled with lovely childhood memories!! And they way you narrate is so delightful :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you..:)
      Glad you liked it Aditi...
      Keep visiting and commenting..your views are very valuable..:)

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  2. The post is so cute remember my childhood memories.Joomla Web Design

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  3. All the childhood memories well collected!
    nice post! :)

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you...glad you liked it :)
      Keep visiting..!!

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  5. Replies
    1. Glad you felt that way :)
      Keep visiting..!!

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