Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Remember: 25 Years.

I remember not feeling a tinge of loss... because I got everything I asked for. The little he-man action figure still lies in one of the boxes in our garage, sitting silently, pock-marked with scars- his attempt to achieve glory and sacrifice for his country. 

I remember watching the sunsets from the window... sitting compactly on the windowsill- the colors changing from yellow to orange to red... a faint violet rising and pfft... then gone. 

I remember mother calling after us for doing our homework, her shrill yet tender voice beckoning us before the impending night. The pressure cooker releases its withheld steam- one whistle at a time. My mother's anklets jingling... as she walks from one room to another tending to one child and then another. Her silhouette barely visible in the kitchen and yet her presence marked clear. There is mother, wearing a loose pigtail- her black hairs soaked into her skin.     

I remember watching my father walking silently up the stairs, head bowed, shoulders taut, legs a little slow than the day before- another day gone, another day of his youth taken away for his family, his children. Another day added to his countless home comings. Another day when his daughters waited for him at the door, smiling, hands stretched out. Chocolates? Candies? And, there always was. 

I remember the steamy summer nights in a small, upcoming city, drenched in the pathos of religious differences, in the throes of pathetic casteism. The heat rising above the salty Ganges, its waters laid there to be tested for ages. Before and after. 

I remember my parents taking turn in the nights when there were power cuts. A single tattered hand-fan making a chapping sound. We pretended to sleep having woken up a moment after the power cut. The fan taking its rounds as my parents shifted and stirred. 

I remember believing in parents never getting old.  

But, in the fall of 2008, when I turned 20, my father turned 46 and my mother turned 44.

Silent wisps of  silver hair appearing overnight. Getting up early a little too difficult. And, sleeping at a night a little more welcome. The robustness of my father a little too invisible. The shrillness of my mother's voice a little too dull.  

I remember 2009 when our world was still fresh with hope and beliefs.   

I remember 2010 when suddenly we flourished.

I remember 2011 when things fell apart. Lost, found. 

I will remember this moment as they sit and watch another rerun on television. My father in his shorts riding up to his knees, squinting into the flat screen. My mother in her maxi, her hair- still black, reaching up to her waist. 

Together. Like they had been doing for so many years.
For 25 years. 

The very secret of life for me was to maintain in the midst of rushing events an inner tranquility. I had picked a life that dealt with excitement, tragedy, mass calamities, human triumphs and suffering. To throw my whole self into recording and attempting to understand these things, I needed an inner serenity as a kind of balance.” - Margaret Bourke White


“I remember…” Writing Me series!, Bigger Picture Blogs. You can catch up with the best lot of writers here. Bigger Picture Blogs.


  1. I can hear those anklets... lovely. As always :)

  2. Rathi, I loved this. I implicitly understood the deeper meaning without you having to say it. Elegant.

  3. I remember believing in parents never getting old...

    This line struck me so. It is really a life changing moment when we first realize that are parents have aged. It rattles your sense of security as you begin to allow that they are fallible and not eternal...at least not in this world. You capture it so well.