One of the most difficult questions that I’ve asked in the recent past was “Why am I not making new memories? ”
I do not suffer from a medical condition where the mind refuses to make new memories. It’s not the case of the brain’s inability to register events and record- recall them at will. I did endure a suffering though. Of the emotional kind. That , in my opinion, is a condition far worse than living with a medical one!
I woke up this morning, hit the gym and returned home tired and refreshed. For no apparent reason, I decided to clean my cupboard. A cupboard which has never seen anything rearranged or removed in the last twenty years. One could call it a ‘Hotel California of sorts’. Things could check in any time of the night, but they’d never leave!
From USB thumb drives with a storage capacity in MBs, to hard disks with a whopping storage space of 250 GB, that cupboard is a testament to my life. The cleaning took an unexpected turn. I came face to face with a lot memories that I had spent years in tears and turmoil to forget. From soft toys to hand made greeting cards. From sweet innocent love letters to photo frame that had smiles from a happy time captured. From guitar cables running like twisted snakes in heat to adapters and thingy-ma-jigs that I once so preciously cherished from my time as a guitarist. The cupboard did have a story to tell. It had patiently and quietly recorded the story of my life.
“I so hate you Karthik, You should try sitting and making 26 bloody greeting cards. You are so old”, the lady protested and a moment later planted a soft gentle kiss to wish me a wonderful birthday. An event so tiny, so insignificant yet had reduced me to my knees a few years ago each time I thought about it. I never could muster the courage or the strength to go through the letters of love which spoke about simple tales of the day. We never wrote mushy romantic ones which promised the moon and smiles ever after in a land of rainbows and unicorns.
Dad! I called out today. Can you please hand me the big black bag?
It was finally time to make space in the cupboard.
Memories are but moments in time that were filled with magic and made us feel alive. Memories are also moments in time when we felt the defeating crush of dreams crashing down in front of our eyes. Memories are memories and are possibly a reminiscent trace of a moment witnessed, participated , endured and survived. That’s all there is to them.
Oh I’ve tried to relive them memories. Through words, through music, through plots where I relive the details by making my characters go through the same. I’ve tried. And today I do realize that all I’ve accomplished is to retell those memories and share it with the world. Put a smile across strangers who see these words, gather a few tears when they connect to the pains around the words. That’s all I’ve really managed.
As I went on a thrashing spree of all the trinket that got trapped in time in the cupboard, I realized the answer to the question that I asked myself. Maybe I don’t choose to make new memories is because my cupboard is already filled with stuffs that are there but I don’t use anymore. I tried and tried a little more harder, holding on to the past and the memories had now become an obsession to refuse letting things go. The memories did not direct me to the roads that I was yet to take.
I refused to let them go because I felt it would be wrong to let go. I felt like I was betraying myself and the promises that I once made by making that choice to let go. And finally, eventually the obvious hit me. Letting go is a simple enough process of accepting how wonderful things were, acknowledging that they aren’t there any more, and making a choice to either wait for it to recur for all eternity or go ahead and try something new irrespective of what the outcome might be.
My cupboard is clean. I’ve managed to free up four shelves of a free space. So is my mind.