Have you realised that whenever you try to remember your childhood, a myriad of memories in form of pictures flashes through your mind? It’s actually curious how human mind works! After seeing an old childhood picture of my friend, I just remembered the house we used to live in when I was 6 years old. This makes me wonder why do we use the term ‘x years old’? Why can’t it be 6 years new? This makes me feel like I am a manufactured product or an aging wine! See! How curious human brain is!
Anyways coming back to the topic, the house in my memories. We were in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh then. The house was an old British style bungalow made into government quarter (that is how government uses the houses from pre independence years). The exact picture which comes to my mind over and over again is of a big house at the end of the road. A long path leading from the gate to the grilled entrance to the long corridor of the house. Soft sun escaping the thick canopy of trees overhead and the sloping roof with red tiles over the false ceiling. Soft cooing of the ‘Koel’ and the heat of summer. This is a recurring memory. Whenever I happen to see a photo which looks old, but warm and happy I get this picture in my mind. It leaves me bewildered by the fact that I can remember all the details so exquisitely.
I don’t have any favourites, so this house is although very close to my heart but not my favourite place in the world. So, I looked up on the internet about how we relate our memories to pictures. Turns out, it is actually like Piano lessons. You do it again and again and it will eventually get embedded in your memory. This is because the neuron connections which are generally temporary, become permanent, as a result that memory stays throughout the life. The house ofcourse, I saw it daily. But what about the other places I have lived in? Why not them then? Curious! How human brain works.
Going by non scientific explanations, this very house saw the birth of my brother, my first and sweetest pet, , my early school days when I used to pin a hanky to my shirt, my first experience of an earthquake (yes! The aftermath of Bhuj, 2001), the first time I saw a snake inside my house, my first ‘let’s camp in the lawn’ mania, my refusing to eat homemade food stage (which was soon to grow), my moms’ dressing me up stage and a lot more! It is this very house where I tried selling kites inside the compound (it’s another story altogether)! The house, if not a breathtaking moment, it has given me so many small moments of joy, satisfaction, thrill and emotions which make me want to go back. Always.
Well for a scene which is played in your mind again and again, a picture which flashes across your head, there is a lot of meaning hidden. Personally I love to cherish those memories again and again. That’s what they are for right? Keeping all the long gone memories close to you!
Last summer I went to see that house which once belonged to me, the big house at the end of the road. It is abandoned now. Though it’s no longer at the end of the road since road extension took place, it still stands under the canopy of trees, a long path leading to the gate which is heavily grilled. There is one difference in this house and the house in my memory. There is no warm sun and the soft cooing of the ‘koel’.