“Memory is a strange thing. It doesn’t work the way, I thought it did.” The movie ‘Arrival’ left these beautiful insights as breadcrumbs for those in search for answers. Ever wondered about those times, when you wanted to immerse yourself in the moment and not walk out. When you wanted to replay the same memory on loop, till your eyes hurt and your mind resonated with no other thought but that memory itself. Memories are strong reminders of how thoughts can cause euphoria and still silences at the same time.
I have always refrained from looking at my best photographs, always afraid that they would become worn or damaged. I was mistaken, somehow. These pictures are just conduits to the impressions of my best memories, the ones that are not beautiful enough or remorseful enough to leave a permanent mark. My recollections of thoughts are quite opposite of these celluloid stills. Unless I visit them more often, they will fade. Memories are evidence of the beautiful souls that belong even to those who have made the worse mistakes. Enough stress can change the best of us, even me. My father tells me of one particular memory, that he describes, is as live as freshly minted seaside grass. “There was a beautiful temple complex with open spaces on all sides of the temple. I and your mother were very happy that day and were strolling around the back of the complex. Her happiness was infectious. I could feel it pass through me like a warm ocean wave, washing the stress of my day to leave me free. I had a Polaroid camera, the one that generates an instant picture in a small frame. The wind was blowing in perfect proportions, throwing your mother’s hair to my face and as I wrapped my hands around her waist, we got the perfect camera shot. I love those days, when we were free of societal obligations and simply talk, laugh and make silly jokes. I always wanted one thing, that I could go back to our first conversation and start again. I love that memory a lot, and most of all I love her the most.”
A thought, I believe is nothing but a screenplay in invisible space, a safe haven for us to experiment with ideas before we speak. It’s a ballroom for unseen dances, it’s the freedom to roam without getting lost, for all it takes is one memory to bring us home. Answers to some questions are inexplicable, somehow. How is it that just one thought can bring long buried emotions and stir what we thought was settled? People often say that leave things be and not walk down the lanes of past. But what else is there to do when the only way forward is tracing the way back. Perhaps, though it is just selfishness to return, to make others feel what was better for them to forget. Ever wondered that all the pain you feel, throbbing deep inside, are just mere thoughts. Thoughts, that are just mere figments of your mind.
In the movie ‘Arrival’, Amy Adams asks Jeremy Renner, “If you could see your life from start to finish, would you want to change things?” To this, he says, “Maybe I’ll say what I feel more often.” Maybe in the moment, people end up saying some things or nothing at all, that makes all the difference. Memories are fragments, like coloured glass shards in a kaleidoscope. They’re a source of hope in our life, yet the cause of such sadness. At the end, I’d like to leave the reader with one of my favourite Lang Leav’s quotes, “Isn’t it strange how much of our lives are interchangeable, how little is truly ours.” Some memories never leave your bones. They’re like salt in the sea, they become part of you and you carry them. Maybe, forever.