Memories and Old Stuff: The Week Before Diwali

Memories, perhaps the only part which we like about Diwali ki Safai. When our mothers nudge us to clean our cupboards, arrange our bookshelves and tidy our rooms. To dig up old memories in the form of letters, pens, paintings, certificates, school photographs, movie tickets, and so on. For straight 10 days, we ignore her cleanliness demands stating lack of time. Then, we spend 6 hours going through our childhood stuff, not at all cleaning anything, per se. Just Diwali things! And she storms in the room and says, “Oh! Now you have all the time to look at this crap!” “Mom, this 7-year-old friendship bracelet (which is almost worn out) is not junk!” Well, we all know how these conversations go. These pieces of memories always go back to the deepest corners only to be resurfaced next year.

Most Valuable Stuff Is In Those Memories

Few things in our possession have no monetary value but their emotional value is supreme. If we lose this stuff, we cannot replace them ever. Some are gifts, some are souvenirs, some are just there, reminding us of someone. Often I have heard people telling one day you will have to leave all this behind, why not throw it away today. Well, we do not keep them close because of their materialistic value. We keep them close to be reminded of the memories associated with them.

Our minds are wired weirdly. When we are trying to sleep, we remember all the embarrassing things from 10 years ago. But, we are never able to recount all the good memories just so easily. We have our scars to show for our failures, but nothing to show for our achievements. Maybe that’s why we hold on so dearly to the relics because they remind us of the happy, simpler times.

medals and achievements

Feelings As White As Ever  

When I was going through my cupboard yesterday, I found some unsent letters written years ago. They were addressed to people who were once very dear to me. But the forgetful person I am, I wrote the farewell letters but could never give them away. Maybe something more to remember them by or the reluctance to bid goodbye.

I have so many diaries crammed in my cabinet that contain so many thoughts, so many memories. When I opened them up, I found letters to myself as well. To get through difficult times whenever I run out of ideas, perhaps. At that time I did not know why I wrote them down but now I realize their importance. The letters have no adjectives, just plain feelings, raw and real. There are some things we did for no reason back then that are the key to our feats today.

Pile of Diaries that contain memories

Nostalgia hits harder than a cricket ball

Autumn is at its best aroma during Diwali. The sunsets are more beautiful and the ambience as lively as ever. We had the best memories during this holiday. Because we were eager to have as much fun as we could have. (Some of us had half-yearly exams just after this vacation). Even the dry winds today make it worse, they leave a feeling of ‘chutti khatam school shuru’.

All year I forget that I used to go skating, attend calligraphy classes, or coloured for pleasure. It is when I look at my skates and notebooks, I reminisce my interest in these spaces. And the most beautiful part about nostalgia is that everyone feels it differently. Someone gets nostalgic about a certain smell, someone about a certain bookstore, someone about a certain photograph.

School photograph memories

An ode to those fond memories

When setting up meetings was about games,
And the fun was in giving each other cool names.

When everybody’s tiffin got over before recess,
And ‘what to eat now’ was our only stress.

When punishments were in the form of suspensions and not salary cuts,
And we screamed our hearts out during picnics in the school bus.

When crackers were all about anaar, tubdi, and chakri,
And the fun was in bursting them together on the count of one, two, three.

When happiness was in a box of chocolates and spending time with your classmates,
And life did not revolve around gadgets, finances, and professional dates.

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Sameer Waghle
29/10/2021 at 11:42 pm

Aah the good ol days!!!! Thanks for the good read! 👍😃

Bilal Azam
30/10/2021 at 8:00 pm

Beautifully written.

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