The dynamics of human memory is very strange - it is able to accommodate an astonishing number of moments in stark detail within its folds and crevices. When we walk on the beach, the foot prints that we leave on the sand fade into nothingness, washed away by the mighty waves. There is not even the slightest trace that gets left behind. Yet, it is not hard to imagine, how surprised we would feel, if, by a stroke of fortune, we were able to see those foot prints again. Precisely, this was the thought running through my mind as I was talking to my child hood friend today. Every word that he spoke seemed to touch some chord deep within and reveal it in a stark fashion. Having known each other since primary school, conversation flowed easily.
The topic under discussion was our mutual acquaintances. As we reminisced, I realized that I had no clue what these people were doing now. The feeling was a little unnerving; these were the same people I used to meet every day, day in and day out, during my school days. Yet, I had no idea, what paths destiny had in store for them and in which nook and corner of the world, they are in! I came to know that somebody is in Ethiopia, some body is in NZ, some body else is happily married...
How does this happen? We get so caught up in our mundane routine that we forget the very people who were once, so much an integral part of our lives! The people who live 2 doors away, with whom, I used to play cricket in my school days, what do they do now? My school teachers, are they still teaching the same classes? That silent guy who used to sit next to me in class 4, what is he doing now? Perhaps, we should refrain from straining our memories too much. Perhaps, we should cease to think about these people, for they serve no purpose in our lives now. Perhaps, their utility in our lives, their presence, that was once so vivid, their unique attributes, the qualities by which we used to remember them, all of these have ceased to matter.
No, certainly, that is a very crude way to look at it. It is not how, we should look at life. What about the present? I almost shuddered. Will I, some 7-8 years from now, talk about my college friends in the same manner? Am I now getting confused between friends and acquaintances? Has this boundary ever been clear to me? It is simply unthinkable and too scary to contemplate. Yet, it is not a proposition that can be dismissed at the outset. It is quite possible, if not probable. Why did I not think about these boys and girls when I was in Bangalore? It is not possible to answer that question without feeling a little guilty.
Yes, I admit it. I am feeling guilty today. Guilt - it is so easy to acknowledge this feeling now. Once acknowledged, it makes redemption possible. I hope, I don't write a similar post some 7-8 years from now. That would be too hard to stomach. That would be, to repeat myself, totally unthinkable!