Memories. Heavens above! How smashing!

ImageWhizzing past the outskirts of the of village, we had to cross ASHA NILAYA the home of the abandoned. A shelter where the people with no hope found a home, some moved on, some lived there to make it home for others who are in need of solace and support.

There was shanta the head of the local school with some of her assistants they were obviously picking stuff for the school. It was Shanta who caught my attention it was the coffee grinder in her hands.

I told my husband to stop, and we would take a run round the sale before we went further, I made a beeline for the coffee grinder. The vendor was dispensing coffee by it, and it was if I was back to being a 5yr. Old at Madras watching my grandmother grind the roasted coffee beans in this machine, my brother used to enjoy turning the machine handle he would hold his breath and turn the handle until his ears turned red, or my grandmother reminded him to breathe. To think I didn’t even know this memory was stashed somewhere deep within me.

Isn’t it  strange how songs and smells will bring you back to a moment in time more than anything else. It’s amazing how much can be conjured with few notes of a song of a solitary whiff of a room, a song you didn’t even pay attention to at the time, a place that you didn’t even know had a particular smell. Maybe I imagined the smell too.

Its sad, that unhappy memories are persistent.  May be because they are specific and the details that refuse to leave us alone. Though a happy memory may stay with us just along as the one that made us miserable, it kind of soften over time. We just remember being happy not the detailing of the moment that brought us joy.

The painful memories seem to do just the opposite. It retains, the original shape, the bony fingers and pointy elbows intact. every time it returns you get a poke in the ye or jab in the stomach. The memory of being unhappy has the power to hurt us long after the fact. Each time we remember it the injury becomes newer and deeper.

Memories, are bullets. Some whiz by and only spook us, some only spook, but there are some that tears us open and leave us in pieces, some warm us right from inside.


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