Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Memory Keeper

12 years ago, on a balmy evening, Krithika (my sister) and I went to one of the bag shops in Mandaveli (Chennai). She had promised to buy me a bag if I scored 100 in Mathematics in my Class 10 board exams. My sister, unlike me, always keeps her word. And she always works out the budget first. "500 rupees for you!" she declared. I agreed.

We walked a couple of kilometers, from Mylapore to Mandaveli. There were a lot of shops in Luz Corner too. But for some reason, the shop in Mandaveli appeared fancy. I spent five minutes browsing all the shelves and settled with this blue bag.

The price tag read Rs 750. I began to sulk. However, she didn't pay heed. She snatched the bag from me and went to the billing counter.

An hour later, I emptied my old rectangular bag that had The Flintstones' pictures, and arranged my books in my newly-bought bag. In many ways, I reckoned then that my sister's gift made me feel like a big, mature girl. No cartoon characters on the bag. I stopped using lunch koodai. Instead, I packed my steel-boxes in a plastic cover and carried it in my bag. I shoved my water-bottle in the small holder in the side. While a lot of girls still used old-fashioned bags, I flaunted my sister's gift, which I thought was uber-cool.

After all, she bought it with her hard-earned money. She was a tuition teacher then. I also knew that she saved for about five months to afford this bag for me. Despite appreciating her gesture and realising how special the gift was, I never thanked her effusively.

Today, a delivery boy from one of the online shopping portals, knocked on the door, with a gift box in his hands. I hurriedly unwrapped the gift box and was delighted to see this bag.

And this beautiful note:

I've always told my friends that I'm a sucker for tiny warm moments. Tiny, tiny things keep me going. Like receiving a note from friends, a smile from a stranger, reading quotes from my favourite books, buying new books, using a newly-learnt word, and solving a crossword puzzle. It sounds cliched, doesn't it? But, these are the things that define me and many a time, help me find a purpose in life.

Above all, I also glorify memories; memories of all kinds. Every once in a while, when emptiness envelopes me, when I begin to forget all the nice things that happened to me, I remind myself that there are a very few people, who know everything about my bumpy rides and sunny days; the people, who keep the memories that we made together. I go to them when I struggle to recall some of the beautiful times that would restore faith in life. They never fail to pull me out of my abyss. While it's superfluous to say that my sister is one of them, today, I am overwhelmed and so, I am stating the obvious.

It's a luxury to have a sister, who is a keeper of memories that can help one rise above the darkness.

1 comment:

  1. These things can't usually be expressed in words. But you've articulated it quite well. They never fail to pull me out my "abyss". Well said. "my" abyss being the operative word.