Friday, January 21, 2011

Memories that got lost

I feel terribly jealous when people talk about their childhoods and have extremely clear memories from when they were 4 or whatever. I hardly remember anything- except maybe blurry snippets of the faces of a few friends, what games we used to play (our entire lives didn't depend on the television even in the early 90s) and the few fights we had. Even when I think I do remember some small thing, it feels like a dream- very censored and hazy and sometimes I can't make out if I'm making it up or if it really happened!

I have one clear memory of a conversation with one of my neighbourhood friends, Shilpa (I don't remember her last name- the beauty of it is, at that age we didn't feel the need to find out). She told me that the sun was a star and I looked at her like she was total idiot. The sun is yellow, not shiny and too big to be a star, DUH. I had a good laugh at her expense. And eventually, obviously I wasn't the last one laughing.

But other than these small fragmented memories, I don't remember much- I don't remember what I spent my time doing. I don't remember what my thoughts were- I just remember wanting to grow up so I wouldn't have to take orders from grown ups anymore.

I keep trying to piece it up- ask my aunts or my grandparents what I used to be like (apparently either my parents didn't love me or the no-memory thing is in the genes, my parents remember nothing. My mother doesn't even remember what hour of the day I was born- How anyone can forget the exact time when something came kicking and screaming out of your body is a wonder to me). 

Anyway, so this is the synopsis of the report I have received from people who knew me from then: I was a well behaved child. I loved sweeping every corner of everyone's house (how life changes!). And I was the kind of child that didn't care much about dolls and toys. Sure, I had an imagination and used to tell stories or paint or write my own 'newspapers'. But mostly, I just constantly wanted company (not much has changed on that front).

I always insisted on a 'real doll'.

Just after I started playschool I told my parents that I noticed everyone at school had 'real baby dolls' (read siblings), and I definitely ought to have one too. My poor parents, having wanted only one child (and me being more than a handful) tried to pacify their 3 year old by giving her a room full toys, but I was a stubborn one, even then. I wouldn't be bribed- no, not me. I told them I would refuse to eat and cried till they assured me that a 'real doll' was on its way.

And that's how my sister was born- a fact I don't let her ever forget. Especially when I want her to do something for me- 'Remember you were born only because of me- you're indebted to me for life.' (of course this actually worked only till she was ten; after which she'd promptly ask me to get lost).

Thank god she's here and thank god she has a good memory because even when eventually I got bored of my new 'real doll' and wanted her away from me so I could play with other dolls my age, she hung around and pestered me. She has 'clear' memories and when I talk to her she helps me relive them now.

Mostly, I thank god because she's the best 'real doll' that anyone could've ever asked for- I can't imagine how dull my life would've been without her.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A new year and new butterflies in my tummy.

It's New Years' Eve and like every year, while everyone is celebrating, I find myself feeling uneasy and not as celebratory. First, it's the end of the festive season and this is depressing (the festive season is the only semblance of a summer-holiday type carefree time for us working class people; because no one wants to work and everyone is out on vacation). Second, and more importantly (read 'more scary') it's the beginning of a new chance, with a supposedly clean slate. 

'Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right'-- Oprah (also borrowed from a friend's BLOG)

This makes me kind of anxious, because it means I have to make the effort to try to believe that everything could be new and nice for the following 365 days. 

The reality is, you'll still be broke if you're broke. Your grandpa will still be ill if he was ill. The government will still fuck you over--they always do. And all those other factors you can't change will still be the same-- whooping your arse every time you look away for even a second... I mean it is technically just one day after the last 365 days right? Not like you have a special date with a Genie on New Years' Eve who will grant you three of your most heartfelt desires/wishes.

What you can do is take control of your life and do things with a lot more determination and hardwork this year. This 'New Year' and 'new chances' thing, it's really just a made-up 'new slate'-- it's a switch in your mind that you can choose to turn on or off. It's still going to be you renegotiating the TNCs (Terms and Conditions) of your life with yourself and renewing your self-motivation deal with yourself. Nothing exciting about that. I could do that bang in the middle of the year in June or July instead of making mass resolutions with the rest of the world on 31st of December.

And renegotiating a new self-motivation deal with myself makes me nervous. I can be a pretty hard bargainer. Hence the butterflies in my tummy.

All that said, I've still gone ahead and made some resolutions:

-Travel once a month or once in 45 days at least, even if it's a weekend getaway. (If I'm lucky maybe a trip to Australia in Aug)
-Lose a LOT of weight (the precise amount is not to be revealed!) and be Fit.
-Pick up at least two more hobbies (preferred options: Sewing and Photography)
-Brush up on French and finish learning Spanish (even if that means making random Spanish and French friends and forcing them to talk to me!)
-Save money and stop being in an eternal state of BBB- Broke Beyond Broke (even if that means making major life decisions)
-Write write write. And write some more.

Ok, that's all. Let's hope I can get these done. I'll make other smaller mental notes as we get on with the year.

Please 2011, if you can, please bless me and my life and give me what it takes to shine :) Thanks in advance!