Memory is the vigorous oil massage. Strong mustard oil. In the sun. Thakuma’s* deft hands. When you were three years old. And stark naked. Memory is the scrapbook. History lessons. Mohenjo-Daro and Harappan Civilization. The slam-book too. Filled with illegible handwriting. Cheesy lines. Scribbled in glitter pens. Memory is watching Mahabharata. On Sunday mornings. After father picked up the weekly rations. Memory is Lalita Ji. And Surf detergent ads. Memory is writing letters. On postcards. And sending out Happy New Year cards. Memory is munching on Uncle chips. And washing them down with Gold Spot. Memory is Chitrahaar. And Superhit Muqabla. Memory is playing ‘Name, Place, Animal Thing’. With cousins on sultry afternoons. Memory is smelling erasers. In shapes of boats and bananas. Memory is the stolen glance. And passing chits. Back in the seventh standard. Memory is Ludo. And Chinese Checkers. Memory is clicking pictures on the Kodak KB10 camera. Waiting in anticipation for the developed roll. Arranging them neatly in family albums. Memory is reading ‘Little Women’. The abridged version. Text on the right. Pictures on the left page. Memory is draping a sari for the first time. On Saraswati Puja**. Already feeling like a grown up. Memory is playing gully cricket. With the brothers. Till you actually grew up. And were not good enough. In an all boy’s team. Memory is Durga Puja shopping. In Gariahat***. Pushing through the throng of shoppers. And hawkers. Sweat. Grabbing an oily egg roll after the shopping soiree. Memory is watching masala movies. In single screen theatres. The whistles and the hoots. Memory is going to the neighbourhood cyber café. Accessing the weirdly named email id’s. Sweetypie56. Mainhoondon007. Memory is having conversations. Face to face. Memory is using an unsmart phone.
Memory is the last post on the blog…..
** In Bengal, it is almost customary for young girls (as young as three years old) to drape a sari on Saraswati Puja.
** Gariahat, located in South Kolkata is a popular shopping hub, akin to Sarojini Nagar of Delhi.