The reason this quote was coined was perhaps because you only remember the good, the rosy and the loved. The pain, anguish, heartache and mistrust — and every other thing negative — is all forgotten. That’s perhaps our way of retaining memories, only the nice, good things.
Does childhood fall under that ambit? Are our memories of childhood also coloured with nostalgia-coloured lenses? Because all I remember are the nasty things. Things I did, experienced, saw…
How I have said strange things to my friends (friends who are thankfully still my friends) — like I didn’t want to give water once because it would mean getting up and going upstairs, so I told her that water from home had finished. Or when Spider-Man came on, I told her I was going home because I wanted to watch it on a colour TV. Was I even thinking?
How, at least twice, I got to two friends to fight by deliberately creating misunderstandings between them. It was the beginning of the summer holidays and I remember thinking I would get each of them entirely to myself.
How I had a tee that said ‘My school only taught me from A to B’ [I still don’t know what my mother was thinking when she got me that] and how mercilessly I got teased for it.
How a friend once squished my budding breasts and it hurt and even then I realised that being a friend didn’t entitle him to do that. Today when I tell him, he says sorry. But he went on to get the dubious distinction of the being my only known molester.
How I never got the spellings of twelve, cycle and Andheri right and how people younger to me then got it right, and yes, the teasing.
How, as little girls, wearing a dupatta meant I had arrived. My friend and I would spend afternoons playing with pieces of cloth.
How, every year, my neighbour went on vacation to her native place and had an exciting train journey and then spend another month playing in open fields and orchards with big groups of cousins and how I hated the fact that I had such a small extended family and how my parents insisted on taking us to new locations every year. Why couldn’t we have a ‘native place’?
How summer play did not stop because of crushes and chemistry and boy and girl. We just played. But then one day we stopped and now when we cross those same boys with their wives and children, nobody even meets the eye. Me included.
I don’t remember when I exactly grew out of it but there have been times when I have won the Full House on Housie or even gotten the Best Dancer in the building Garba ( I have to add here the others must have been terribly bad as I have no grace on the any kind of dance floor).
And one fine day I left it all behind.
I’d give all wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of Life’s decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer day.
~Lewis Carroll, “Solitude”