It was Harthal today and I had no choice but to stay indoors. Add to it a bad cough and the sluggish feeling after a long journey, I had to find something interesting to do. That is when I thought I should take a trip down the memory lane and take a look at all the old photographs. I knew it was all stacked in one suitcase and pushed under the cot. But so were many other suitcases. With my maid’s help, I dug out the said suitcase which was covered in dust, dusted it out and voila! I found such treasures.
I found my parents wedding album. My dad looked like a lost sailor. And my mom had an (un) – sexy pout. In every pic. She just wouldn’t smile. And it is not because she was sad. She definitely loved and still loves my Dad. And it is not even remotely because she thought it was sexy. Probably she was wearing lipstick for the first time and was self-conscious or scared that it would smudge. Or she was too weighed down by the attention she was getting and could barely smile. There were also black and white pics of my mom and her pretty friends in elegant sarees.
There were pics of the newborn me cuddled on my mom’s and granny’s laps. There was a pic where my then neighbour was trying to hug me. And the one-year-old me was clearly too big for her eight-year-old- arms. And there were loads of pics of mine where I looked pretty and plump in a pink dress. I was barely two, seated on a cane chair and was showing histrinonics. I was a drama queen even back then. One look at those pics and I knew that I was much loved, much adored, well-fed and taken good care of. I was the first grandchild in my mom’s family and back then I was the only one to bestow and lavish everyone’s affections on. I was the joy of their lives.
I saw pics of my Kindergarden days, always fighting for my parents attention after my sis was born. I completely doted on my younger sis though. The Ooty pic in a sleeveless brown and black striped dress where I put my arm around my sis is my mom’s favorite. I’m sulking in a couple of photographs because I din’t get to sit on my mom’s lap or so. And when all kids got their chocolates or horlicks, I was always the last one to get them. I would look expectantly waiting for my turn. And that Ooty pic again where my sis and my cousin each had a balloon in their hands. I so badly wanted one, but I decided to act all matured (fearing that Dad would scold me) and just smiled holding my sister’s hand. My mom looked very pretty in those pics – large eyes, long, black hair, big bindi – typical 80’s look that I so adore.
I saw my kindergarten class photo where I was wearing a frown, seated on the third row. And another girl D was sitting on the floor in the first row. I remember that I hated her. I don’t know why. Maybe because she had shaved her head or she always sucked her thumb. During those days mom and dad dropped us off at my granny’s place often. And our aunt used to tell us stories and make balls out of rice, dip it in curry and feed us. The stories were told to distract us from the curries we didn’t like and focused on the stories instead. The stories were mostly of me, my sis and our cousins driving off to forests and having many interesting adventures there. If my aunt had been a writer, she would have been the next Enid Blyton. And all her stories ended with D getting lost in the forest or being eaten up by a Tiger. Gee!
There was a sixth grade pic of mine with my class. I was the plumpest of the lot, but I think I looked cute in it. If only someone had told me that back then, I wouldn’t have cried buckets when somebody made fun of me. And I saw pics of me, my sis and my cousin as gawky teenagers. I had starved myself and lost loads of weight and looked dark and ugly. This is not to say that dark is ugly, but I looked horrible. Seriously. And then people were quick to point out that I looked so famished when I lost weight and I looked better when I was plump. What an unfair world it is! And there were pics of mine and my sis’ when we just hated each other. When ever a pic was taken, we made sure we stood 3 metres away from each other. And I remember how my aunt always told us to stand closer, put our arms around each other and show some love. How I hated them!
Then there were college pics, mostly of our
Looks like my old memories made me more sad than happy. So then why are they called the Treasures. They are called thus, because I’m a sentimental person and attaches a lot of importance to even the unimportant sentiments. And it is these experiences which really made me who I’m.