Tweaking the lyrics of a song by Norah Jones, I have:
“If I were a painter,
I’d paint my memory
If that’s the only way for you to be with me…”
She sings she would paint her reverie, instead of her memory. Well, it means the same, more or less! Of course, memory is more validated and there is an element of truth in them. That’s why, for me, putting “memory” above instead of “reverie” made more sense. Talking of memories, I always boast about my awesome ability to remember and recollect everything in excruciating detail. But sometimes, having such a fantastic memory overburdens my mind. My mum always asked me to discard old stuff, but I could never detach myself from those paper cuttings, greeting cards, red ribbons, pamphlets and flyers I had collected over time. I am not saying preserving such stuff is a bad thing. I am sure not. And I am also sure many of you do it. We all keep our notebooks, diaries, wrappers, stickers, comic books, junkies – stuff we were once close to and now preserve to keep that side of ours alive and intact. We, essentially, try to keep that memory alive within us by not discarding them. And given how constantly things change, it is not such a bad idea either!
But I was thinking about it this afternoon about how much I actually remember; believe me, my memories run like a reel of a film. Sequentially, colourful, sometimes not, and clear faces of the entire crew with all the dialogues in sync! I realised, it is a baggage that I have made a choice to carry with me. For those of you who watch How I Met Your Mother, season 5 episode 23 shows a clever sight gag about our emotional baggage by a physical representation (the scene of random people walking by gave some amusing and bizarre pieces of luggage, one carrying “Elvis is still alive” was particularly funny!).
The other day, I met a colleague while on my way out of office in the evening. She was leaving for the day too, and we got into the same cab. After a while I noticed, she wasn’t carrying any handbag, in fact not even a wallet. She had her cell phone, id card and some money in her pockets and she was sitting next to me, empty handed. Not able to contain my surprise, I asked her how come a girl is seen without a bag! That too now that the big colourful bags with huge buttons, laces and prints are in fashion. She casually shrugged at me and said, “no bag, no baggage”. Ah, I thought, how convenient was that and literally, how free (saying liberated would sound too feminist I guess!) she looked! I got out of the cab before her and looked at my bag as I walked towards my apartment. Half the things in there I carry because I think I might need them… but, this was a reality check right in front of me.
It is these small habits that slowly allow space for all that baggage we begin to carry for the rest of our lives. Carefully avoiding to be preachy here, but how lucky are those who are forgetful! They have more to look forward to than to look back at, from time to time. Again, I am not saying preserving memories is a bad thing – but don’t you agree too much of sweetness spoils the sweets after all? Of course, it is all easier typing than doing. So, I decided to try out my colleague’s technique and observe how difficult would one day be without my big handbag! Will post about my experience soon. Try, if you are curious too!
P.S. I have updated my list of things-to-do when in Mumbai. Thank you all for adding to my list! 🙂