I completed 800 days of blogging daily, as of yesterday, and I realized that I had been half-assing my writing over here for a pretty long time. So, to change things up a little and to actually put in some effort, I decided to post this write-up that was originally written for an assessment of sorts. It’s something very close to my heart and I decided I wanted people to read it.
Hope you like it! Xx
I think about how simple things once used to be.
And every once in a while, I allow myself to wonder what life could look like if I could ever go back in time to the only place I could never bring myself to forget. The wide streets lined with towering gulmohar trees and the scent of freshly-mown grass lingering in the air with the golden sunlight filtered through the leaves leave me longing for a memory from twenty years ago.
Reminiscing about a place that has only left you with the barest hints of memory can be such a bitter-sweet experience.
One moment, you wonder how differently your life would have turned out if you had never moved to other places, and the next, you cannot help but think about how much you have grown up since, and the things that once left you awe-struck may no longer seem that way.
All that there is left of the place I once admired is an abandoned street lined with empty, dilapidated houses that are covered by creepers and moss. And somewhere on that street is the house I spent my childhood in. I couldn’t recognize it now, no matter how much I tried. It has been far too long since I have been here, and even back then, I was only a child.
How could I remember anything of it at all? But I do.
I remember walking down the street with a basket clearly too big for my little hands, picking up the fruits fallen from the almond trees. I remember being stubborn enough to refuse any kind of help because I was a ‘big girl’ and I could ‘do this on my own’. I remember breaking the fruits open with Mom and eating the almonds, and then saving some aside for Dad. I remember golden-brown forests that began right around the end of the streets, and the guava trees that I used to climb. I remember the lawns where we had several picnics.
Things were so much happier back then.
When I think about this place, I imagine everything colored a warm gold. I imagine laughter. I imagine everything that happiness is supposed to be. I think of this place from my childhood and all I feel is a pang of yearning. If there was anywhere I could go back to, just to feel the metaphorical warmth and comfort, it would be here.
I don’t remember the faces I should have known; they have all disappeared from my memory as though wisps and tendrils of smoke. It is such an unsettling feeling to have gaping holes where the sound of ringing laughter and a million swimming emotions should have been. It feels like the loss of something although the pain of the said loss is barely even felt.
There are plenty of reasons why I keep going back to whatever little memories I have left of this place. I suppose the most important reason is that this was where I felt most carefree. This is the place where I was at my happiest. Things seemed so simple, back then. But that was just a child’s perspective of the world; the complexity of reality doesn’t exist when everything in front of you looks much bigger than it really is. It isn’t until we grow up that we realize how much more there is to everything.
The further I walk down the winding paths of memory lane, I find myself yearning for that long gone simplicity.
If I had to paint a picture, it would be of this place. If I had to go back to a place and live there for the rest of my life, this would be it. It is one I hold the closest to my heart for reasons that I cannot fathom. Reasons that seem convincing enough to me, but not to the rest of the world. Then again, what would the world outside know about what my heart truly longs for? We only see what we want to see.
If I had to go back in time and into the arms of my favorite memory, I’d go back to what the streets from my childhood once used to be.
Because, now that I see it for what it has become, all I feel is immeasurable agony. There is no laughter. There is no golden warmth. All there remains is the dull grey of houses that stand where they did, now in ruins, covered by creepers and overgrowth that were left unchecked in the years that the streets were left abandoned.
Perhaps this is what becomes of the heart when it is left abandoned for too long, as well.