Monday, April 21, 2014

'R' is to Remember.

Yeah, yeah, there are memories and there are memories. Most of the ones are happy ones, ones we like to savour now and then , ones which never fade over time. We tell stories based on these memories, we share them with our children.
But those are not the only memories, are they?

Some memories are ugly and they hurt us. So we push them away far into the back of our minds and pretend they do not exist. I know, all the teachers tell us to let go. Surely, we train ourselves to let go but do we really forget? Do we want to forget? Should we forget?

I remember that time I put raw tincture iodine by mistake on a cut my mother had on her hand. She had faith in my first aid skills. How it must have burnt. The cut did not heal and it became a mess. My mom never complained or blamed me but I cringe each time I think how much it must have hurt.
I remember my father's eyes when he was in pain as he suffered from the cancer that had ensured that half his jaw and vocal chords had been removed. I remember him struggling to speak and his eyes flaring up when we could not understand something he was trying to say.
I remember the first time I visited a morgue. The bodies piled up and that stench that still has not left me.
I remember too the first train accident victim I saw. We were returning from Lucknow by train and our train was delayed for hours. I was in my teens, I was travelling with my grand-parents, curiosity got the better of me and I slipped through the crowds to see. My punishment for disobeying my grand-parents was right there.
I remember clearly the face of the dacoit that attacked us on a road trip. We escaped, but I can still shut my eyes and see his face, covered in vermilion paste, black and vile with rage.
I remember guilt. For hurting people I love. And it has made me remember to try not to hurt.
I remember the flames as they rose to devour my father's body the day I cremated him.

And I dare not forget. 


  1. I notice that since my stroke the not-so-good memories come out and attack, especially at bedtime. Generally memories of times when I've made an ass of myself. I think it's pretty common, actually.

    Stopping in from the A to Z Challenge.

    John Holton