Friday, April 3, 2015

Fading Memories

Birthday post (? not really). A spontaneous one of course. As I am traveling home, the dramatic that I am, the music I'm listening to engendered several emotions. To be specific, particularly caused me to miss those with whom I have spent my birthdays (or not); who don’t live anymore. Today, this post, I’ll dedicate to some of those I've lost, reflecting on fond memories I have of them. 

Keeping them anonymous...

Person 1:

I’ve spent so many of my birthdays with her, and many without her. When she was here among us, perhaps we could never have imagined that just some years down the line, we won’t be together anymore. We won’t be there to celebrate each other’s big/special days. But as I have learnt with time, such is life. I still remember how she used to call me (i.e. my name), I remember the sound of her voice, but sadly if I try to put her voice to form a sentence, I get deluded. I can tell her memory is fading away, the thought of which breaks my heart. Some year down the line, she’d perhaps seem more vague. What's even worse (?) I cannot help it, I cannot help letting go the memories of a person, whose death brought sorrows I thought I could never let go off. I wish I could remember everything as was, but unfortunately I cannot. Let me pen down one of my most memorable moments with her:

Watching a very special movie at her house for the first time. We cried so much watching the movie. Ironically the movie’s protagonist passes away in the end, just like she did 2 years down the line. I remember I cried so much I needed some fresh air, so we went to their terrace. The wind was refreshing. I remember her standing next to me, but I cannot remember what we talked about. As silly as it may sound, just thinking that she was by my side during the time means a lot. May be because I know if she was here today, she’d stand by me the same way and help me face more critical challenges of life. I miss her. I miss the special bond we shared. I wish I could hold back all the memories of her just the way they were, but I am only human, and yes the beautiful memories are fading away.

Which brings me to...

Person 2:

It has not been long since she passed away. So I remember her voice clearly, her laughs, the way I could tell, when I used to call her, that she says my name with a smile on her face to confirm it was me. On my birthdays, when I was with her, it was a ritual, if not first then second, going to see her and letting her know it was my birthday. She’d bless me from heart, and yes give some money too. At that point, perhaps, it was the money that got me excited, but now I know it has been more than that. After I moved to USA, I’d call her on my birthday, and she'd genuinely me bless just like before. I remember the exact words she'd say and her blessings always felt so assuring, like it’s just her prayers themselves, that would keep me off trouble, sadness, and hardships for the coming year. Today she’s not here. My first birthday without her. I know her blessings are always with me, I just wish I could call her, and she’d reassure it. A memorable moment with her:

When I was little, one day I cut her bed sheet by accident (okay it was not really an accident). I was so scared the soon I realized what I did, I ran away. Somehow she figured it was me, and was chasing me around the house. I hid under the bed in one of the rooms in our house full of rooms. She couldn’t find me. I don’t remember what happened afterwards, if she actually did scream at me or not, reported to my mom or not.  Perhaps nothing really happened, what I know for sure is, that bed sheet still exists. If there’s one thing that makes me feel good about myself, it’d be, knowing that I didn’t grow up to be the brat she was chasing. I can say this, because I’ve been told by numerous of my relatives that she spoke very highly of me, always. I might not deserve the praise or appreciation, but just knowing I gave her some happiness to think highly of me, gives me immense satisfaction. I wish she was here. I wish I could see her one last time. I wish I could talk to her one last time, and hear her say my name, knowing there’s a smile on her face.

Person 3:

There are certain people who are always in my prayers. This person is one of them. My biggest regret till now is, I was not there to see him when he passed away. Though I know how much my presence would have meant. I cannot place his voice at all, I remember his facial appearance. I remember how, when he used to walk to our house, first place he'd be was our apartment to see me. I remember him walking with his stick. I was too small to say anything to him, to say how much he meant to me, or to say how much his presence used to brighten up my day and made me feel special. My fondest memory:

I remember he used to take me to school sometimes. While in the rickshaw, he would sing Urdu songs (being Bihari, his Bengali was weak). Those songs were meant for his wife. I remember, I used to shy away when he categorized the songs, one song for when she's angry, another for something else. Here was this man, with grey hair, grey beard, who walks with a stick, singing songs for his wife. I thought that was the sweetest anyone can ever be. He'd forever be special to me, someone whose name'd forever remain pinned down in my heart. Yes, I wish I could see him one last time. I was told he longed to see me too.

Person 4:

Just two years back I was devastated after I heard he was no more. It was unexpected in every way. I never thought I'd lose another close friend so soon. Also, perhaps because it was not that long ago, to some extant I can still relate to the pain. I didn't know him for too long, but the few months I knew him, were enough to know what a wonderful person he was. He never told me about his sickness, never told be his life was unstable. Never told me he was admitted in the hospital, aware, that it'd shatter me. 

I remember his last message to me was that I deserved all the happiness in the world, and that I should stay away from petty worries. I'd never have known he passed away if it wasn't for his friend. He'd rather have me believe that he chose to not keep in touch with me, than to inform me he was in the hospital fighting for his life, a fight which he lost. Yes, he passed away convinced I'd never know the truth. I doubt I'd ever know anyone as selfless as him, and I don't even need to, because I knew him.

It was not just the music that brought me to writing this post today. I've lost another family member just two days back. I don't have much memory of him to share, but I wish I did. Because I could not think of a moment I actually shared with him, I started thinking of times I spent with other loved ones who passed away. Only to realize, how much I am starting to forget. So today, I took out some time, remembering those who reserves the right to be remembered, whose memories are entitled to live with me so long as I exist. I may not think about them each day, but there'd always definitely be days when their thoughts would cloud my consciousness. Just like today.  

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