Switching channels constantly and not stopping at one, is probably the most widely popular pastime for bored people. I am no stranger to that. As I was switching channels today, I came across a song picturized on a huge star of yesteryears, from his last movie before he passed away recently, I have never been a fan of him or his brand of movies, but just the sight of him made me watch the entire song, a horrible tune and lyrics full of cliché, yet my eyes were glued to a visibly old and immobile star in his last movie. It is funny how the mind associated him to this era of my past, when he was a star, when his movies were hugely popular, when he was young and famous. It was not him I was seeing on screen, but the idea of me from that era, people who were around, things which interested me back then, life I had, Bangalore that was, my world in which I lived, ah what a bliss of nostalgia the song gave me. My eyes were glued to this star on screen, feasting on moving talking memorabilia from my past.
“Hello’ was all he said, as he answered my phone. Growing up is not easy, when you are an only child. Only another single child can understand the feeling of missing out on the camaraderie which comes naturally to siblings. Fortunately I had loads and loads of cousins, who were around during holidays and vacations, family gatherings and functions. I can remember so many occasions spent with a level of happiness which no amount of money, fame, travel or any other delight from today can bring back. We were a close pack for a long period of time, even when elders in that group got married and moved on, or found jobs and became busy, still we kept meeting each other, having fun at each other’s homes. I never realized when it all slowed down, when it became so few and far, and we all got lost in our own lives. All of us now have kids of our own, again many of us have a single child at home who is going through the very same pain as we did as kids. Hearing my cousin today made me hear all the words and stories from those days when our house buzzed with us cousins, our songs, our plays, our fights. Memorabilia of sounds that I cherish.
Blame it on global warming, or just time, weather has changed. We got untimely rain today. Rain in February was never heard of, and yet it happened yesterday and today. As I woke up after a customary weekend nap in the afternoon, my nose immediately got the whiff of the rain. My nose took me to our balcony to a smell of wet mud, a familiar smell of wet mud from my childhood. Bangalore in early 90s was nothing similar to current Bangalore. I remember a year when it rained 3 days straight, and so heavily that we were literally struck at home, with no power and supplies. It has been a few years, since it has rained for more than an hour. In 90s Bangalore, June to August saw rains every day, it used to be my favourite season. Our school year began in June, and so did the rainy season. As I walked back from school, I used to be was greeted with heavy clouds almost every single day, the smell of rain on the plants, trees and grass gave a fertile odour, a smell that I love till date. If nature were to be a perfume, it would be this. I woke up to these familiar smell from my past, and right into my school days. What would I pay to capture this memorabilia into a spray bottle.
Recently I chanced upon a shop selling a fudge of sorts, something which used to be very popular in late 80s and early 90s. The shop even had the same packaging as it used to be sold in those days. A fudge[halkova] wrapped in butter paper, cuboid shaped, sold in all small shops around schools. ah those days of spending .25Rs to get two full fudges. I could not resist but buy a whole box of fudge from that shop. It has been more than 25 years since I last ate those fudge, as I unwrapped the butter paper and put the delicate piece in my mouth, the taste transformed me into so many memories from my past. There is something about elementary school, the years before the high school which we tend to remember more. The childish curiosity in the world, in people, in friendships, learning/seeing so many firsts. Tasty memorabilia is all I needed to liven up my palette.
My oldest memories about my father is how he had a big hole in one of his earlobes, something which was due to an infection from an ear piercing. As a kid it fascinated me, how could a person have a hole in his skin. and that I could see through. Whenever he carried me, I would keep touching his earlobes, ask him many questions about it, keep asking him if it pains, and if it is possible for me to get such a hole when I grow up to be his age. It just became a habit for the 5/6 year old me to keep touching his earlobe. Many many years later, the memory of how I used to hold his ears has stayed with me. My son was goofing around with me today, and jokingly he held onto my earlobes. The touch, though brief brought back so many memories from my early childhood. A single touch is all it took.
We collect tangible souvenirs, and material memorabilia. Our senses preserve many more.