Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A File That I Opened, Only to Find Many Memories

I wonder what it is about nostalgia that strikes a chord. That tug at the heart beat, that smile that invariably creeps in...

Last night, nursing this sudden insomnia of mine, I was going through an old file and it opened up a torrent of memories. I found some old letters, some bits of college that I had managed to preserve in those folds.

A friend of mine, one I no longer keep in touch with, had written a letter when I got my first job. Reading the letter brought back memories of the day when the then resident editor had personally called and told me my appointment was through, the euphoria of the first job! Nothing can possibly replicate it. I also remember ma's response, a cool huh! given that she was so confident that I would get it! Mothers!!
It brought back thoughts of that day when life was suddenly nice and I felt all important. That first job!

Then there were issues of Campus Courier, a daily newspaper sheet we had to bring out at uni. That made me think of the hours we would slog there, typing away and then learning to make the pages in Quark Express. Then there was the special issue for independence day, a colour one, of Madhyama Mangala, another mag broadsheet we had to bring out. I remember the days and nights we had slogged for it, the hurried walks in the late evening back to hostel, the high that work used to bring.....good days, idealistic days, simple days.

In another part of the folder were some old stories and articles I had written for college assignments and others. The best one that brought a huge smile was a "ghost story" that I wrote when I was probably 11 years old, one of my earliest 'surviving' works!! I must put that up here sometime....

Then there was the Kannada story that I had read out at All India Radio some years ago when I was interning there briefly. Those were super fun days when computers were first introduced in the station at Madikeri and all of us were learning to work them together. Often, I would end up exploring Cool Edit Pro and passing it on to the seniors. Radio perhaps touches people more than any other media. I remember reading the letters we would get from remote villages about how they loved all the programmes and how AIR was their lifeline. I remember that some bed-ridden listener had sent in a postcard appreciating my story after it was broadcast. Those first thrills!

Then there were the first college assignments. The parents, Raksha the best friend and I had gone in search of Jenu Kurubas, a tribe in Kodagu and spoken to them. One of them, after letting others of his tribe talk about their problems, had remarked that in the end I would only write in black on a white paper; their lives would remain the same. That line continues to haunt me.

Then there were the words that I wanted written on my tombstone! How morbid!! Some other stories and articles.
It sprang to my mind several little parts of my life so far, not forgotten, but those that had slipped into far corners when my mind was making other memories.

Titiba the birds, the food that I grew up on, writing, old poetry, friends and several memories. All of which will soon make many more posts on these pages :-) Ah nostalgia!!

Meanwhile, I am going to be away for a while. This weekend, I go to Kochi and from there to different parts of the country for a month on a defence correspondents' course :-) One month is a little too long to be away from some semblance to routine, but well...So there you go, my dear readers, I shall be back with lots and lots of tales to tell. Take care, dear people.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I Found My Chennaiah!

The bangle seller has always fascinated me and I have tried to pay tributes in these pages. Last, I wrote about two folk songs with the bangle seller at the centre of them here. Then, I wrote about how much I loved a play here, again the bangle seller was the protagonist there.
And then, just near where I live, the best friend and I chanced upon this bangle seller. Lovely colours, the nostalgia, the songs that ma taught me. The best friend took the pictures and I had to buy a dozen bangles.
The man had a very amused look on his face. Muttering to himself, he walked away. I did not ask him his name. He will always be the Chennaiah of my songs for me.