1) I distinctly remember the day I first went up the road to my school, holding my grandfather’s hand, waiting for admission. I remember climbing up onto the principal’s desk and delivering a Rajiv Gandhi speech I had learnt by heart with full gusto and enthusiasm, for a promised chocolate…. (Bribes! they start them so early…. 🙂 )
2) I remember that happy day in class 1-C when I won the first of many quiz competitions. I didn’t realise it then, but that day was the beginning of a life long obsession with learning and remembering abstract and totally irrelevant facts… ( The first of them being the direction in which the sun rose….! )
3) I remember most of my quizzes, essays and elocution competitions in school, and the hard nights I had put in for every one of them, the sweet taste of victory, the anger at having come in second, and many more emotions…..
4) Watching In Harihar Nagar and Ramji Rao Speaking countless times on my ancient Video player and on TV…. Picked fights with mom when I was not allowed to watch them without completing my homework.
5) The day when my class came out with the class magazine “VISION”…. my proudest moment as the editor…
6) The day I won the bible crossword puzzle with Rs 50/- as the prize for my church magazine. My first earning. The beginning of a long journey with crosswords and puzzles.
7) Listening to ameen sayani talk of kishore, rafi, lata, asha and the names of a hundred unknown people from across India on vivdh bharati radio just before singing out malayalam prayer songs with my mom and slipping off to the world of dreams…. Beginning of a lifelong obsession with music, Kishore in particular.
8) Watching umpteen cartoons like He-Man, Swat Kats, Popeye. Eating spinach in the hope that I would get muscles like popeye. Learning that its all a hoax….
9) Taping songs from radio onto cassettes, and trying out hopeless imitations of all the singers…I remember spending a whole summer with my tape-recorder and walkman. It was an old Philips model, and we were inseparable!
10) Collecting and playing with cards of famous wrestling stars with my two best friends from the colony….Oh, the summers I spent traipsing all around my colony Mini-Land….the pool, the playground, trying to touch the sky on a swing….
11) My lifelong association with books began the day I got one as a birthday present, from the folks living on the ground floor in ‘93.
Didi, I will always be indebted to you for that Hardy Boys book.I’ve read and owned at one time or another, close to 200 other Hardy Boys books, and my thirst for books of that sort has only grown since.
I remember reading one book a day from my school library, and suprising the librarian everyday, so much so that she gave me an extra key to the shelf. And I daresay with just a hint of pride, I must have read more books than all of my peers in school combined.
Many subscriptions to Gokulam, Tinkle, Readers Digest, etc later, whenever I see a book, I am drawn to it.
12) The Food. My grandma’s cooking. No further words needed.
13) My first job in Accenture. Joining day. Rains. Four more years of many projects, people, hard work, no work, carrom, Java, etc.
14) My first trip to America.
15) My second trip to America.
And then there are many more memories. Of going to church on a cold December night every year for Christmas, Sunday School, Coaching classes, tuition classes for Marathi and Hindi, Gaming sessions in a video game parlour, travelling to Kerala, to Thiruvalla, Tripunithura, through all the states of South India, and many more.
I write this in the hope that one day, when I look back at this post and read it, I will remember all of these memories again.
One day, I will look back and thank God, as I do now, for all the blessings, all the happiness, all the memories. All the good and bad times I’ve had. All the people around me. All the love, affection, friendship I’ve been lucky to have.
I write this in the hope that whoever reads this may know, the Lord is great and merciful. And he never ever says no to a prayer from the heart for some true love and happiness. My memories are proof enough of that…..