I’m not a believer in New Year resolutions ; after all, the New Year is nothing but just a continuation of yesterday, a precursor to tomorrow. However, I’ve only recently come to realise the importance of seeing every undertaking through, no matter how trivial, rather than abandoning it midway, which brings me to a resolution that could be called my New Year resolution (of sorts). The resolution to award myself some personal satisfaction by writing at regular intervals, for at least a year. And the first , most intriguing thing that comes to mind is, satirical human relations.
My dad is a fitness freak and always made it a point to drag me to this park close to home for walks every morning, while I’d put up sincere, whole hearted fights to wriggle my way out of it. I’ve finally come to accept the walks as part of life and don’t even try arguing. So during one of my walks last week, I saw a girl, about the same age as me, walk in the opposite direction. She looked at me and had an amused expression, as if trying hard to concentrate on recalling something. I found her face strikingly familiar but couldn’t recognize her. Perhaps the expression on my face at that very moment was the same as hers. The scene lasted hardly ten seconds and then I forgot about her. Perhaps she also did. Next day, she crossed my path again and yet again I made an abbreviated attempt to recall who she was, and yet again for the next two days when the same thing happened, but to no avail. On the fourth day, it happened yet again, but this time another friend of hers yelled out her name and the name unclogged that pipeline of memories in my brain. She was my classmate of seven years, or more, who had moved from the city and left school in eighth grade or so. I couldn’t believe she was the person I used to talk to on an almost daily basis for so many years, and now, we could barely recognise each other. It brought back memories of a entirely different incident.
I used to travel to my junior college by train. A thirty five minute journey that became a wonderful routine, the time I spent talking to absolute strangers. Nothing ever was personal talk, and yet, the topics we had at our disposal always seemed infinite. One of the best people I made friends with here, was a female railway official. She was visually challenged but that never stopped her. She was more normal than I think most of us are. She recognised my voice and I had come to recognise hers, seeing how she was a wonderful singer. Singing, laughing and talking was our thing, age was no barrier. This was one bond I’d have loved to never let go, but I knew it was short lived. However, four years later, when I was headed to my junior college for a reunion, by that exact same train, same time but different coach, I could still hear that most familiar hum from the other side of the partition. It didn’t take me a second to recognise her and I immediately switched coaches at the next station to go to her. She recognised me even before I reminded her, thanks to my loud cackling which she still remembered. We ended up getting down at the station and talking for an entire hour before going our separate ways. It made me realise, this bond had lasted after all.
Which brings me to what intrigues me; how do we decide who stays in our memories and who doesn’t? I could easily recall someone who strolled through my life for a brief period while I could hardly remember someone I shared a few years of life with. Does the mind really have it’s way or is it the importance of that person in your life that decides? Life sometimes throws at you questions that are difficult to answer, perhaps, impossible. Intriguing, to say the least…