Memories bring back memories bring back… you

Maroon 5

It’s crazy how we can close our eyes and so vividly slip into memories. We can bring back people who have passed away… hear their voices. We can create an interaction with them as if it really happened.

We can close our eyes and remember memories with old flames who today live the lives of strangers.

We remember good times with old friends we have lost touch with.

We can slip into the bodies of our younger selves… and relive moments as clearly as the day they happened…

What’s crazier are the emotional responses these memories trigger.

Yesterday I posted about my Aaji (grandmother) and a childhood friend from India commented. Suddenly I was drawn back to the annual trips to India staying at Aaji’s place. Drawn back to always going next door to that friend’s place to play. Climbing into the windows which had bars so we wouldn’t fall. One summer I was introduced to the concept of playing on the gacchi (terrace) with a group of friends. It was the summer of my first kiddy crush – I just didn’t know it. I smile fondly. It was the best India trip ever. I’m still in awe that it’s been 20 years since.

And that window with bars – I remember my frail old grandmother’s silhouette as she waved goodbye to us from it every time it was time to come back to America. Of course, the tears even today make their appearance.

On another note, a dream yesterday triggered a memory of an acquaintance, social media friend at best. I knew her back in my college days… I’d say by association. Friend of an old flame’s we can say but that’s insignificant in this story. I always did like her very much, but never really made much of an effort back then. I remember the first time learning about her because old flame had reacted so funnily to my answer on a question he had asked me about her. I literally woke up feeling regret for not making more of an effort to befriend her. So random considering it’s been a decade and I definitely don’t spend time thinking about her. We talk now and then – just making polite small talk or reacting to stories – so I wondered if it would be super weird to overshare these very random feelings to someone who is almost a stranger today. I guessed it would be, so ultimately I didn’t say anything at all.

Closing my eyes, sometimes I can still remember who I was at 7, who I was at 15…. Who I was at 23… the naive girl I was before I grew up, evolving into the person I am today. I remember the person I was before I had baggage and I wonder if she was better… or if I am better off today.

I’ve been writing about memories lately because I’ve been stuck in them. Moreso because of how vividly they come. Damn and praise these memories simultaneously because…

The memories bring back memories bring back…

All of you

Can’t keep up with the Tech

I now understand why the camera’s flash once startled my grandmother.

About a decade ago, a few years before my dear paternal grandmother passed away, I had asked her to teach me how to drape a traditional nauvari sari from scratch. She was a very old woman who hailed from the times when it was a woman’s daily attire so yes, she draped one daily till her last breath.

She pulled out a navy blue sari to teach me (one she left specifically for me to have after she had passed away). Once I had managed to master the art I wanted someone to take a picture but unfortunately the only person around at that moment was her. I say unfortunately because she was lingering upon 90 years of age and likely had no idea how to use a camera.

Now let me humor you if you’re my age, and be serious for the present and future generations that may or may not read – “Back in those days” (lol) we had digital cameras (and before that we had to drop rolls of film off at Costco but I digress). I handed my grandmother the camera but not before wrapping its string around her wrist. I told her where to look and where to click to take a photo. I posed, and her slightly trembling frail hands positioned themselves to take a picture of me.

She clicked. It flashed. She dropped the camera in fright and stumbled two steps backwards.

Luckily the string was still around her wrist but even otherwise I clearly remember that moment. I remember feeling so much love for the poor old woman in her moment of fright and immediately explained to her what had happened so she wouldn’t be afraid.

Why am I telling you this story? Hah… cause I realized that no matter how “cool” and “in” we are today, there will come a day when technology will go beyond our understanding. For my grandmother it was a digital camera. For me…

It’s tiktok 🤣

(And the more recent social media trends and updates)

In loving memory of my Aaji…

In the Blink of an Eye

It’s really true, your 20s pass by in the blink of an eye. More likely than not, it’s the best decade of a person’s life no matter what their experiences are (I say this despite being someone who had a partially horrible 20s).

This morning I woke up having just dreamt of a UOP SASA (the Indian club during college) reunion. Because it was a private collage, the Indian community was relatively “small” so everyone knew each other regardless of what year they were. Every year we had two major parties – Diwali and an end of the year Banquet. Let me tell you – for a private college and a small community… we knew how to party hard and had a BLAST.

This dream threw me back 10-13 years and nostalgia kicked in. I’m not sure if having good memories is a good thing (because I know I lived those happy moments), or a bad thing (because my heart yearns for them). Anyhow, I promptly went to Facebook and revisited the UOP SASA page (which I hadn’t even thought of in years!). Lo and behold, scrolling back enough, all posts and photos were still there and a smile crept onto my almost tearing face.

College was such a good time, I’m not sure why I had spent so much of it so stressed out about life instead of just enjoying myself (more). I definitely took that time for granted because I didn’t know any better. The only worry I should have had was ensuring I got good grades (which I did… but so why did I bother caring about anything else?)

The rest of my 20s… minus the one big bad blotch that I figure we may as well conveniently forget, were also amazing. My life in San Diego – Natak practices and shows, friends all living a bachelor and pseudo bachelor life… hanging out every single day on a moment’s notice…

THOSE were the days.

Sometimes I squeeze my eyes shut and beg the universe to let me go back to 18 so that I can redo it all over again. But hey, hindsight is 20/20 and the cruel reality is that we can’t actually redo anything.

Is my life good now? Yes frankly it’s amazing… but that youthful and exciting sense of having the world’s choices in front of me doesn’t exist anymore and truthfully sometimes I yearn for it. Now it’s all work, grown up responsibilities, the stress of needing to buy a house we can’t afford in the ridiculously expensive Bay Area, the stress of having to have a baby because the bioclock is ticking even though mentally we still need one last hurrah (thanks/no thanks COVID for pushing that back another 2 years).

I’m still “young” but it’s starting… that feeling that my body is aging. We can’t physically time travel… but I guess the Universe did give us a substitute/alternate pseudo-method…

…our memories