Monday, October 14, 2013

As part of my daily routine of trashy blog reading, I was looking at this article on identifying the best thirty seconds of your life. Questions like this make me feel awkward, because I haven’t had a tragic life, so surely I can come up with an intensely happy moment. A moment that is, as the cliché suggests, as perfect as a picture. These are not moments of victory, of achievement or of, I don’t know, earth-shattering orgasms. But, while amount of dredging through my mind yields a single such memory, I know that I have been happy. I suppose the reason why, for example, doing really well at something doesn't count as a happy memory in my mind is, well, I don’t know. That sentence lost itself. But I can tell you this, that happy memories are lit with a diffused, soft brightness, like sunshine through leaves. Victories, on the other hand, are hard and shiny. They are also two-dimensional, like a picture. I can never relive the memory of a victory- I can only see it like a picture on the mantelpiece. But I can live a happy memory, again and again. I can step inside it, walk around and stay for a while. I suppose that one arrives at happy memories often by accident. There is no association to be made, no larger significance to be added. Which is why it would be hard to pull them out, because what thread would you pull them by? But every now and then, a thread presents itself. Like, a friend of mine is going to Coimbatore. I have been to Coimbatore once, when I was very young. When I told my mum about my friend’s trip, she reminded me of the time we were there. It was during the Pujas, and we, my Mum, my Dad, my brother and I, were looking for any pandal. We were walking on this broad pavement, lined by young tamarind trees. Raw, green tamarind hung from the branches, and the sun shone through the leaves. I jumped up and down, trying to pluck the deathly-sour tamarind. It was a moment of unadulterated joy. I am not surprised that I forgot about this. Now, because of my friend, I have a bookmark for this day. 

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