Skip to main content

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Old Woman
The train was crowded. "Eight more stations to go," she muttered to herself. It had been a month since she moved to this new country, much to her reluctance and Bruno's persistence. Everyone and everything appeared different here. She couldn't understand the language well, especially the accent. The road signs were confusing. People looked extremely busy in their lives. They talked fast and walked fast. A customary 'Hello, how are you?' followed by a brief 'I am fine, Thank You,' or a faint smile was all they could muster. She looked through the crowd. All heads were bent down and all eyes were glued to the smartphones. No, not everyone. One white head was looking across the window. A wrinkled face that decided to defy the trends set by the millennials. 

She reminisced about her old neighborhood and old town. There were no smartphones to restrain people from talking to each other. If your navigation skills were poor, you asked a passerby to help you with directions. She fondly recollected the moment she had asked a handsome stranger for directions to her workplace. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Thankfully, GoogleMaps and Tinder were not there to spoil the moment. A walk through the neighborhood meant greeting your neighbors with a warm smile and asking them about their well being. Who needed Facebook updates and reminders when you could personally wish your friends and neighbors on their birthdays and anniversaries? A hearty meal was meant to be gobbled with loud laughs, not with Instagram posts. 

She thought of her beautiful kitchen garden that had the ripest cherry tomatoes. A faint blush lit her old face on remembering how Philip used to compare the tomatoes to her cheeks. They played crossword puzzles every evening till he could no longer remember the alphabets. Her best photograph with Philip had the kitchen garden at the back and little Bruno looking upwards, distracted by sparrows. "So many memories," she sighed. While Alzheimer's took Philip away, smartphones shooed the sparrows away; leaving her empty and alone.

She was jolted back to the present. The train had stopped at a station. 

"The next station," she reminded herself. Next to her, a young couple was taking a selfie. Maria smiled. Bruno always kept begging her to keep a smartphone, ranting about how she could save Philip's photos in it. "No phone could store the memories of a lifetime," she thought. She still loved that sepia toned photograph taken on her wedding day, one of the few photographs she had with Philip. Every time she looked at the photograph, it evoked a never ending chain of memories. Waiting for the next station, she closed her eyes and let her mind wander in her old, familiar neighborhood with Philip's laugh ringing in her ears. 


Popular posts from this blog

Protective Mothers or Rape Deniers?

I came across an interesting article in The New York Times last month about a group of mothers defending their sons who had been accused of sexual assaults at college campuses. In the U.S., the guidelines on campus sexual assaults had been pretty stringent so far. However, these guidelines have been blamed to presume the accused students as guilty, who are usually suspended or expelled from the college campuses for a certain amount of time. Needless to say, most of the accused are men.
These mothers are on a mission to save their sons who, they believe, were “wrongly accused.” As protective mothers, they had compelled the college authorities to relook into their sons’ charges. Some of them consider themselves as feminists and hold opinions that how girls today have misconstrued the definition of sexual assault.
In our own backyard, let us recall the infamous Delhi gang rape in 2012. Malti Devi, the mother of one of the convicts Akshay Thakur, desperately pleaded her son’s innocence in f…

When I Met Harry

Harry came to my life when I was in the eighth standard. A bespectacled young boy with ruffled jet black hair, green eyes, and a scar on his forehead; a boy to fall in love with. Don't blame me as I was a teenager who wanted a spell of magic in her life and to run away to the Hogwarts. I hated being a muggle and aspired to become another Hermione Granger. I imagined myself boarding the Hogwarts Express and reaching Hogsmeade, going to that magical school, and learning to wave my wand. I had once written a secret letter to Harry on Valentine's day and later decided to keep it safe in my diary. When I watched 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' for the first time, I lost my mind (and heart!) over that young and extremely cute Daniel Radcliffe.  I remember keeping newspaper cuttings of anything and everything related to him. I still have them, safely secured in my old trunk. Well, that infatuation lasted for a couple of years till I graduated from college. And…

The Unfamiliarity

Through out my life, I have always been on move; never sticking to a place for long and trying to adjust to new surroundings. So when I needed to move to Irving, Texas in early 2016, I just packed my bags without any thoughts. After all, I had lived across six states in India while surviving through different schools, colleges, and jobs. "It’s no big deal," I said to myself.
I was wrong. The moment I came out of the airport, it took me a while to realize that the cars on the road were driving on the right side. Back in my country, we drive on the left side of the road! Right there, I froze. It was definitely not love at the first sight.
Whenever I start residing at a new place, I try to look out for some elements in my surrounding that were common at the places I lived before. Funny as it might sound but it brought me some comfort on staring at a tall, rusty, dimly lit streetlight standing next to the apartment that I called ‘home’ for the next one year. That streetlight sweet…

The Peace Amidst Chaos

In my mind, there is always a cobweb of thoughts running in a loop: worries about my parents' health, anxiety over the work deadlines, fear about my future; the thoughts go on and on. So, when I decided to take my parents on a short trip to Banaras, I was anxious over charting out the travel plan and executing it to perfection. My parents, on the other hand, were initially reluctant and later very excited to go to the holy city for the umpteenth time. But the bone of contention between us was the travel plan itself. While I was stressing on early reservation and booking for the trains and hotel, they were thrilled over traveling by a bus overnight and staying at a place with bare minimum facilities. No prizes for guessing that they are more adventurous than me. Needless to say, I could manage to book the train tickets only.
Banaras has a charm that never fades away. Though I have visited the city a couple of times, I still look forward to roam across those narrow by-lanes and rev…

Cupid Came & Went Away !

It is that time of the year again! Spring is knocking at the door - the warm sunshine feels great amid the slight chill in the air, a delicate scent of flowers lingers in the early morning breeze, and even my neglected garden tries to look good without any help. And I almost forgot that it is the season of love too; through branded merchandise, and corny posts shared on social media.

Valentine's day has a long history. I particularly enjoyed reading through Devdutt Pattanaik's Return of the Love-Godabout the origins of the day and similar celebrations across different cultures. I also unsuccessfully tried to overlook any news covering vandalism caused by certain groups who, every year, make their presence felt on this day by harassing hapless couples. Well, it is hard to ignore the other side of the coin!
While I absolutely hate the commercialization of emotions (and that does not restrict to Valentine's day only), I genuinely feel sorry for those couples who sneaked out …

Books and Coffee

As ridiculous as it might sound, at the end of a long tiring day, a perfect date for me means a large cup of coffee and an interesting novel to read. Yes, you have the liberty to label me as an anti-social and a nerdy introvert! I find it pretty amusing when someone tells me that reading novels is a wastage of time. Or that someone likes to go through work-related books and not elaborate literary pieces. 
An introvert raised as a single child, I have always found solace in my books. My love for storybooks started with Snow White, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Little Mermaid. My father introduced me early to the monthly kids magazines- Tinkle, Champak, Nandan and Chandamama. I do not know if these magazines still exist. Billu, Pinki and Chacha Chowdhary followed soon. The Famous Five and The Little Women too entered into my life. Being a true Bong, Anandamela was an absolute necessity during Durga Pujo. The lazy afternoons of summer vacations were sometimes spent on Tagore and Sarat Chan…