Monday, February 13, 2006

Faded pictures in my scrapbook/ just thought i'd take one more look

In my last post, I had mentioned that I'd follow up with my thoughts on Gloria Steinem's parody...well, right now, I don't wanna.

Nope. Pas du tout.

Today is (drumroll)..... Valentine's Eve. And I'm feeling all lovey-dovey and warm and smiley and lonely and grumpy mixed. Of course, it doesn't help that I've downed 2 glasses of nice Chateau Indage wine. And have watched an advertisement-free hour-long V Day special on VH1....all '80's and early '90's love songs (after a loooooooong time have switched on the idiot box). Had forgotten half of these numbers- 'Two steps behind' by Def Leppard, 'That's the way love goes' by Janet Jackson, and ohhhhh, that song which brought back memories of Class 10 n 11, of cool summer days spent inside a semi-dark room at home, singing along with cousin C to 'You're the Inspiration' by Chicago. ahhh....

So then, I'm feeling nostalgic on top of everything else too. (To those among you who are saying 'eww' as your read the names of the songs, back off right now...grrrr....i stand by them till death us do part)

But no, hold on girl, I am telling myself. Nostalgia can be a dangerous route to slide down, especially when you have spent the last few years looking strongly ahead, trying to forget some painful memories of the past, scared that looking back might hold you back.
But for once, today, I have decided to indulge myself with my memories- not with fear of what the remembering might bring, but with a strong urge to dip into the smells of yesterday- for the only reason that they made me happy when they did happen, and shall always be a part of me.

These are then strands from my past, in no linear order.


When I was little, about 8 or 9, my dream destination was London. A cold n grey 1970's London no less, with red brick houses warming the landscape and green fields with horses spread about in the background. I would picture myself sitting inside the open doorway of my own little house, sipping coffee and looking smart in brown woollen trousers, sexy knee-length leather boots and a beautiful cream-coloured top... The more I flipped through Mum's old St. Michael's' 'New Winter Collection' manuals, the more my dream I dreamt :)

When I was even littler, 6 to be exact, I decided I wanted to be a writer when I grew up and that was THAT.
At 10, I wanted to be a writer, a doctor, a veterinarian and a tennis player.

In Class 3, there was in our english textbook a story about a wise old man to whom everyone in the village would come to for advice. The wise man knew everything. I thought that my grandfather must have been a wise old man. I decided I would be a wise old woman when I grew old.

'Another Day in Paradise' by Phil Collins was the first English song I really really loved and tried to learn the lyrics to. I was 8 years old then, and I remember it was summertime and I was having lunch when I first heard that song. I still hold a special place in my heart for the song and the singer. Thank you daddy for introducing me to him and other great artists.

I remember dad teaching me how to climb trees at age 4, swim at age 3, to be strong and brave and not cry at even the most painful cuts.

I remember my first crush at age 10 on a cute classmate- S. Liked him for 6 more years. He had beautiful artistic hands. He's studying to be an artist now and is still rather cute.

I remember crying when, at D's tenth (or was it eleventh?) birthday party, above-mentioned classmate remarked off-handedly to my brother after a game of cricket - 'Your sister's such a tomboy' (I'd batted and fielded too). Not something you want to hear from someone you're trying to impress.

I remember summer holidays in classes 5-9, hot sunny days spent with cousins inside water-cooler'd cool rooms. Of playing endless games of scrabble and pictionary and cards with C. Of sporadic games of chess with Uncle A. Of ice-creams and aam panna and watermelons and mangoes. Of making beautiful school projects with help from C. Of feeling young and free and wild and happy in a timeless time that those 3 months were.

I remember middle-school days spent swimming at the Talkatora Stadium after school hours. Trained by Mr. Gogia- my mentor, guide, friend and father-figure. The one who believed as much in his girls as in his boys, if not more. The one who pushed us all to excruciating limits in swimming, athletics and basketball. The one who made me stretch myself to the max and shouted at me whenever I slowed down. Who made me jump from the 10-metre dive board, run the 400-m in an athletic meet even though I hadn't qualified, taught me how to shoot hoops, dribble, kick the football. Who would put his arm around my shoulder while talking as he did with the 'guys'. Sometimes, with all bones in my body aching and my breath gone, I kept going only to make him proud. I looked up to him. He taught me how to live with dignity, courage, self-confidence, self-respect and pride. Thank you so much, sir!

Ages 13-16 were happy times. Happy happy happy times. They shall forever be slotted in my heart under the sunny/springtime/fresh/cool/happening categories.
In those 3 years, I grew much. I learnt lots. I made new friends. Was part of a cool 'gang' of 4 at school, which included me, my bro, N and A.
Had my first sleepovers. Trekking trips from school.
Started 'hanging out' at the coolest place of the time- Priya Complex in Vasant Vihar.
Heard my first 'non-veg' jokes and grew red at hearing them. Heard my first non-veg jokes and had to have my brother or N explain them to me!
Went alongwith girl friend alone to have sundae at Nirula's. Went bowling with her too. Proudly learnt to assert my independence. Even if that meant major fights and silent rebellions.
Discovered great music. The Beatles, Boney M, Abba, Demis Rousseau, George Michael, Celine Dion, Trisha Yearwood...stuff that still brings back good memories each time I hear it.
Went for school dance parties.
Got scolded for talking for hourrrrrrs together on the phone.
Learnt to drive the scooter and the car. Drove a bike once too.
Had my first major crush, on a handsome fella whom I'll call GK. He had just joined school in class 8 after living in london for a long while, had an amazingly throaty bri-iish accent, played the guitar and even shaved regularly for god's sake! This when the rest of the boys in the class were still developing toad-voices.
Walked straight into a huge pillar when one day, walking in opposite directions down the school hallway, and when I thought he wasn't even aware of my presence, GK said Heii Girrrija, just like that, to me. Bam! went my head against the black pillar.
Got woozy in the knees when he called up once (the only time he did!), so what if only to know about next day's history homework.
Got my first pair of Nikes.
Lived a lifetime. that's that. Nostalgia-time's a-over...for a while atleast. So is feeling low and lonely and grumpy. I feel good, no wait, i feel great already! yeeaaa

Happy Valentine's Day to me. To me, me, ME! So there. and there. AND there!


Anonymous said...

ok this is a fundoo posting! all nostalgia and stuff....and it is so huge too!
please do write gonna bookmark your blog from today! :)

Girija D. said...

thank u anonymous!
am humbly pleased ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Girija,

Loved the piece u wrote on Valentine's Day. A walk down the journey called Life - at least your version of it made for compulsive reading. Will visit your blog more often...

Keep writing as well as u do..


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