‘Creating’ memories


The days are flying, and there are days when time seems to have vanished between sunrise and sunset. I try to recall what I did or what I ate, but I am simply not able to remember. Where did the day go?

However, I can easily identify every single classmate of mine from old school photos. I can remember the lyrics to most of the songs we heard as children.

But now, when someone asks me to sing any new song, I can only remember the tune, and I make up my own lyrics on the fly, much to the embarrassment of my children.

Earlier this week, I was a participant in an event, where our group performed a medley of songs.

We had lots of fun preparing for the event. However, all of us had a problem with our memories and the lyrics. For the first few days we used papers and our phones.

But as with everything else, confidence comes only if we are word perfect. So we tried our best to do away with the papers and our phones.

But this presented another problem – this effort required absolute concentration, where we could not allow even a stray thought to intrude into our minds.

One stray thought and the lyrics just flew away, leaving us opening and closing our mouths like fish, trying desperately to get the lyrics back into our heads.

Courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

What happened to those memory chain games where a group of us sat and reeled off names of animals or fruits and added a new animal or fruit to the already long list?

These days, if I don’t remember to write things down, there is a 100% chance that they will be washed away from my memory, making sure to come back and haunt me in the future.

Once I make my lists, I need alarms on my phone as back up. What if I don’t remember to see the list?

And this is how it is now, my life, trying to ‘create’ memories of simple, everyday things.

Candy fight


Last weekend, my husband and I had gone out to lunch at an Indian restaurant in our neighbourhood. In most Indian restaurants, sugar-coated fennel seeds, cumin seeds and sugar candy are usually served after lunch, as mouth fresheners.  As I chewed on the cumin seeds, my thoughts flew back to my childhood.

While we were growing up, there were some yummy candies and sweets, which we usually bought on the weekend.

There was Egg Candy, named so because it looked like an egg. The candy was so big that once you popped one into your mouth, you couldn’t talk for a while. The other was what we called ‘Kamarkat’, made of jaggery and peanuts.

However, one of the more popular ones was the ‘Jeeraga Mittai’ or Cumin Candy, which was cumin seeds individually dipped in coloured sugar, to make millions of colourful, tasty beads.

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        Courtesy – http://www.thehindu.com

These candies were usually sold in packets of 100 gms or 50 gms.

When I was in class 2, one evening, as my sister and I walked home from school, my sister showed me a gift given to her by her teacher for having aced her spelling test.  The gift was a colourful fish-shaped box that was packed to the brim with colourful bits of Cumin Candy.

My eyes grew big as I saw the fish box. It was made of coloured plastic that looked like stained glass. It was so beautiful!

I asked my sister if she would share it with me. But she quickly tucked it away. I tried my best to get it from her. We ‘struggled’ our way back home; my sister defending her treasure, and I, focussed on snatching it away.

She was taller than I, and kept waving it out of reach. Finally, when I could take it no more, I struck her hard. She complained to my parents, and I was ticked off.

My heart pined, not for the candy but for the box. I wished fervently that my teacher would give out such gifts. The candy box consumed my thoughts that whole week. Later, my sister relented and gave me some candy, but I wanted only the box.

After about a week, when my Dad came back from his Sunday vegetable shopping, he called out to me.  He had bought a candy box for me. It was the most beautiful butterfly ever.

I treasured it for a long time.