The Meaning Of Your Memories

Last night I dreamt of my old home. It was a modest two-room flat in Delhi, we had moved to it soon after my father died when I was ten. So many memories of growing up.

The terrace and its view. The Jamun tree and mom’s terrace planters. Walking, listening to audio tapes on my Walkman. Jagjit Singh, Abba and Simon & Garfunkel.

To my school and college, I’m now Alumni. And yet a part of me still lingers in those alleys and streets. Carefree and happy. Those days of Doordarshan, Chanakya cinema and eating peanuts in the winter sun. Boiled eggs on bus stands, NIIT and Pizzas at Nirulas. Window shopping endlessly at CP. The Delhi of my childhood is almost lost in time.

Memories are not real. Yet they keep us so alive. So much we love to live in the past. Knowing fully well that it’s only this moment which is real. We re-enact parts of our lives. Maybe I should have done it differently or said something else. Maybe I should have not let go of this person. Regrets and things we miss so much.

People who seemed like they would stay for a lifetime, and suddenly they were gone without a trace. Some were lost in the world, a few to life.

We’ve discovered new friends, mobile phones, stress and anxiety. The world has become busier, more crowded and more complex. In this multitude of millions; at times, we feel deeply alone.

The mask is in place. People see mostly the side of us we wish them to see. At times we let the mask slip. With careless courage, we let it all go. Our cushy job, our comforts, our security and we do something crazy. At times some of us just leave the rat race and take a bow.

Goodness and vulnerability are seen as a weakness. We profess progressive leanings and yet deep inside we hold on to the same old insular and discriminatory thinking. Diversity and ESG, Climate change and peace. How big are the lips to whom we do service with our ramblings?

And yet there is change, always the wheel turns on the actions of a courageous few.

Entrepreneurs who try and create businesses for the larger good. Filmmakers who represent the reality of our times. Writers and journalists who do not fear persecution.

Youth who try and find meaning in what they do, not meaninglessly try and be engineers and doctors as our generation did.

I try to discover more meaning in what I do. I guess everyone does it in their way. I try to meditate on the purpose of life. How can we become better human beings? Sensitive to our changing times and our duty to our coming generations. I read and learn from the ancient masters – Buddhist and Vedanta. As I walk this path, the more I learn; the younger I feel as a student.

Life is troublesome, yet wonderful. Challenging, yet worth it. This moment is always new and real, and the only one which matters. And life is just an array of moments, isn’t it?

What we find in each of them, is up to us.

After all, what is a moment, if not a slice of eternity?

Navaneel Kar

President, Tata Consumer, Certified RYT 200, published poet. Get Navaneel’s latest book Moonrise and Memories: Contemporary Poems to nourish your soul by clicking here.

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