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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Happy Memories

The laughter that my (older) sister and I sometimes shared with our parents. My father and mother fought or stayed surly for days and weeks on end, often for no reason at all, but when they told stories or shared jokes it was like being in heaven. 

The stories that my grandpa, my mother and my uncle told me in my childhood; everything from David Copperfield and Oliver Twist to Sherlock Holmes, Jim Corbett, tales from Hollywood classics of the 30s, James Hadley Chase and Hercule Poirot … they made up as they went along, and held me enthralled for hours together; there was an added pleasure in reading up the books and watching the movies for myself later on, often years later, and somehow, unconsciously, I imbibed both the taste and the skill, and that skill, more than anything else, is what has kept me in gravy for 25 years now.

Being in love, again and again and again…

The joy of finishing stories of my own.

Organising picnics and excursions, from in my neighbourhood as a child to my college days and as a schoolteacher.

Travelling in America.

While in America, getting photographed before a real, perfectly-preserved Spitfire that had seen service in the Battle of Britain.

Doing excellently in examinations and contests, as when ‘If winter comes’ won first prize, or I got a very high rank in the joint entrance for medical colleges, or maxed the TOEFL, or topped the university merit list, or was chosen as one of the translators for Oxford’s Tagore project...

Working as a quizmaster.

Getting paid for my work. It never ceases to amaze me, and fill me with wonder, 25 years since I got my first envelope.

Watching my savings grow, and pulling me up ever so slowly from genteel poverty.

Seeing the relief, joy and gratitude on the faces of many humble but good people to whom I have been of some slight use.

Courting my wife to be.

Seeing my daughter being born, and the first decade of her growing up.

Seeing my writing in print – everywhere, from Basumati, The Statesman and The Telegraph, Misha, Proma, Reader’s Digest, the St.Xavier’s silver-jubilee souvenir, message boards on the Net…

Hearing many old boys and girls acknowledge their awe, their affection and their thankfulness.

Writing To My Daughter.

Being told that Father Gilson died with my letter underneath his pillow.

Getting my own computer, and hooking on to the Internet… the delight of being able to write instantaneously to people around the globe, and find and download every kind of information imaginable – often for free!

Discovering that great writers are still being born as I grow middle-aged, and the realization that they still find devoted readers in large numbers all around the world. 
( Nov. 17, 2005)


tathagata said...

Well here the author has given us compendium of his happy memories which he still now cherishes in his mind and in his heart.Infact these are the moments which every man in his life looks forward to.These are the moments from which man gains the impetus to rise from the shackles of doldrums and to look forward towards his destiny. But here the author has been really pragmatic in describing his memories.Infact he has squeezed out whatever juice he can had from every bit of moment in his life and enjoyed it to the full extent.The moments which he commemorates right from the days he used to be coddled and pampered to that day when he first held up his daughter and pampered her has been a real treat. But he had evaded us very cleverly from his love life!! And now he sends this same message to every one of us,through this unique piece.What he tells us that amidst all the wonders of the world nothing is as wonderful,as beautiful,as soothing,as saccharine as our memory garden.And in our moments of tranquility we must go for a journey down our memory lane and enjoy those moments.
WOH LAMHE........
Really,there is a liitle bit of happiness in every bit of moment of our life.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thanks, Tathagata. I'm sure as all you folks grow up you will store up lovely memories to cherish. But it's an art that needs cultivating.
Those of you who are rather curious about the writer as a person (as T. seems to be!) might care to look up another post on this same blog titled 'What sort of person am I?' But it's rather long, and will tax your attention. You have been warned!

Ankan said...

The simplest of reads...yet something I personally relate to and hold very close to my heart.
One thought though, I believe every person has such a list in his/her mind, how much difference does it make if he/she does not put it into words? All of us reminisce the good times of life at various intervals-I, for one, do that a lot!

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Coming from Ankan, I find the second part of the comment not a little surprising. If it's about 'making a difference', well, it obviously makes a difference to me - writing in the reflective mode has always been one of my favourite forms of relaxation. It doesn't harm anybody, does it? And if it makes the slightest bit of difference to even one other person (warming his or her heart, if nothing else), I should consider that a big reward!

Sudipto said...

And yes the writing did indeed warm my heart. I liked it because I can personally relate to this, somehow.

Subhanjan said...

Very few people can sit down, think and write down meaningful happy memories from the past. Such small things tell a lot about the character of a person.

Saikat Chakraborty said...

Dear Sir,

I am glad that you gave the link to this post on your last one; I haven't read it before. This is indeed heart-warming and the best part is that many of them are not yet just memories- you are still scripting stories, adding to savings, touching lives and hopefully great writers will never be wanting. Hope this continues and you will have more memories to cherish.

With regards,