Sunday, October 19, 2008

Memories and Play Things

It's good to be home. More so if it's Pujo. And more so if you meet old friends. Endless addas. Taking stock of each others lives. Looking back at those days. You know, those were the best days of my life... oh yeah...


After a long time I read some fiction. First it was the Bengali Pujo-specials.

Then I read Norwegian Wood by Murakami. I had one PDF of this novel in my laptop for a long time. Never felt like opening it.

Till last week. And finished it in one sitting. 12 to 5. A.M. Yes. It was worth.

And there is this small piece which struck me.

True, given time enough, I can remember her face. I start joining images...

It takes time, though, for Naoko's face to appear. And as the years have passed, the time has grown longer. The sad truth is that what I could recall in 5 seconds all too soon needed 10, then 30, then a full minute - like shadows lengthening at dusk. Someday, I suppose, the shadows will be swallowed up in darkness. There is no way around it.


I liked the imagery of lengthening shadows and fading memory. And the inevitable darkness which lies ahead. Well, liked is the wrong word. I was saddened by it. Maybe this is what will happen to our memories.

Memories which are sweet and that's why sad. Someday they won't make you smile and cry like today.

But there are another type of memories. Like small wooden splinters.

We had a small storeroom in our backyard (we still have), filled with many uselful and useless things. There were lots of wood-pieces. Flats. planks, plys. I used to play with them. Short wooden planks. Breaks easily. And small wooden splinters (very small, 5-6 mm) used to get stuck inside the skin of my palm. It was a pretty routine affair.

First it pains a lot. Then it subsidies and a dull ache remains.

Until Mom notices and takes it out with a safety-pin.

Time has gone by. We have grown old, and came far. We play with different things. But still things break. And splinters remain. Big and small. Some come out easily. But some remain. Stuck inside. Somewhere deep.


Safety-pins can't reach there.

At first it pains. Aches. Then it reduces. Slowly. You stop noticing it.

You have got used to it now. It's still there. Under your skin. Stuck in the flesh beneath.

Maybe bones.

Now it pains only when you touch it.

And you like the pain.