Wednesday, September 09, 2009
One day I will just pop some sleeping pills and erase all memories. What do you do with them, anyway? Some you just share with your friends every time whisky and cigarettes are being passed around. They know it well by now. It’s like a journey to a place where you have been a thousand times. You know every turn, every bend, every pothole. The same is with the memories I share with my friends. They know it all by heart by now. They know where I will pause; they know every expression on my face, and where it will change and to what.
But they keep silent. Probably they realise that these mean a lot to me. So they hear it again. “… And then she came with her arms open and hugged me in front of everyone. I still remember she was wearing an electric blue sari….” “We danced all night – she and I – holding each other tight.” “And then I put my coat over her shoulders. She just looked at me and smiled. Oh God, I can’t forget that look in her eyes.”
Even after I am gone, these memories will remain. Over whisky and cigarettes, perhaps, my friends will recall those moments when I told them these stories. Then a time will come when these memories will not belong to me. They will become a part of my friends’ life.
And then they might require those sleeping pills.
Of course, some memories one doesn’t share. They become a part of your bone and flesh. They just lie there, within you, breathing when you breathe. They form patterns when you are not thinking of them, and when you do, they appear, revealing a new aspect every time. Say, for instance, there is a memory of a beautiful foot. Years later, when you think of it, new details emerge. Like a toe ring you had never remembered so far. Or that droplet of sweat on the instep. Or the artistry of the spot where the foot merged with the ankle.
You keep these memories to yourself. They form roots within you. After you have popped those pills, they don’t remain alive among your friends. They become stars.
And then, one day, the heat recedes. They fall on the ground. Ashes. Some day a mad man smears them on his body. He falls. He gets up. He sings. He remembers that foot.
Memories, they don’t go away. They just change form. They always come back.