I was born in a shack near a mosquito-infested canal. The first friends I made were mosquitoes. They are my bosom buddies and at a very young age I learnt how to spend my nights in their company. Their incessant drone sounds like music. It is the only form of music to which I have access.
There is plenty of water around me. Unlike the other water deprived slums, there is no dearth of it in my place. However it not the elixir of life. It was the very agent that poses a threat to my life. It is the breeding ground of different colourful insects, insects that gradually make their way into my intestines and make it their permanent abode. Needless to say, I am a very warm-hearted person. My doors are open to both man and insects alike.
The first lesson that life taught me was not to harbour any dreams. None. Never. It is easier. Less painful. One does not have to bear the agony of watching dreams being shred into little pieces which is later fed to the overlords of the world to satisfy their insatiable greed. Even if I commit the blunder of visualizing a better future, the anguish of those around prompts me to kill my dreams before it is too late; before they ripenen and become sweet enough to covet. Mine is an area where people defecate and urinate their dreams and it is the stench of these decaying dreams that fills up the entire atmosphere.
I still live here with my bosom buddies, surrounded by filth and squalor. I still breathe the air that carries with it the stink of murdered dreams. However, somewhere in my heart there is a tiny light that makes me hope that one day these dreams will be resurrected.
The more one tries to deconstruct the psyche of mankind, the more one is likely to get confused. Our brain is like a maze with myriad streets, lanes and by-lanes. We try to analyse it, decode it, try to present it in a form that is best suited to us. But in reality all we end up doing is exposing ourselves to a lot more questions than we can actually handle. It like a fabric where our thoughts have been intricately woven, too minute for us to see, to complex for us to understand. Ever since man has set foot on this planet, he has been trying to unravel the mysteries; trying to get to the core of the onion by peeling its layers one by one. Scientists and astronauts have left no stones unturned to convert the entire universe into a question and answer guide wherein each phenomenon occurring from the conception of a child to his death should be explained. Precisely. Lucidly. Unambiguously. However when it comes to the human brain, the very object that is instrumental in helping us find answers to all our questions, I am afraid to say that our scientists have failed miserably. It is a lot more easier to sit in a spacecraft and go on an alien hunt in the outer space than to delve into the human mind, swim in a sea of thoughts, look for the hidden treasure and then emerge victorious.
If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t. ~ Emerson M. Pugh
I am no psychiatrist but these questions visit me from time to time, like guests, and force me to think. Of late I have been thinking a lot about memories. What are they? Why do we have them? Why do some memories follow us everywhere like our shadow while others slip away from our mind like sand grains from a clenched fist? How does the same mind conceive the darkest and the most pleasurable thoughts, both at the same time? I guess these are questions that can’t be answered.
My memories and I have a very special relationship. We nurture each other. In each other’s company we revive, rejoice. They are like precious gemstones that are embedded in my mind; like messengers from the past who ensure that important things are not forgotten. They are my companions during boring meetings and sleepless nights.
Every man’s memory is his private literature. ~Aldous Huxle
There are certain things about memories I cannot explain. Why are there certain memories that are imprinted in my mind in indelible ink. They cannot be erased. I know that for sure. And these are not always important things. Tiny, insignificant fragments of my life – the image of my mother preparing breakfast for me, the moment when my father castigated me for breaking my brother’s toys, the day when I bit my cousin. These are not very special occurrences. My mother prepares breakfast for me every day and I have broken my brother’s toys on several occasions. However only a few of these occasions have been allotted a place in my mind. The rest have been conveniently discarded.
Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things. ~Pierce Harris, Atlanta Journal
We have always taken our memories for granted. They have always been there with us be it rain or sunshine. It is money, power, property that we worry about. What will happen if I lose my job? What will happen if I don’t earn enough money to lead a good life? How often do we think of a scenario when our memories just fly away. Like birds that have been freed from their cage. What would follow after that? Null? Void? Our inevitable end? Just think about it.
Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door. ~Saul Bellow
Needless to say that our mind is a powerful instrument and we often make the mistake of underestimating its potential. It can take us to places where we have not been before. It can make us ecstatic and also drive us insane. It can inflict pain and also act as a healer. It can make us life and also force us to die. Each and every action that we take has its roots in our mind. Each and every breath that we breathe to live originates from here, each and every dream that we dream resides over here. Someone has rightly said “It’s all in the mind” And is our memory that ensures that our life is lived; that dreams are realized.