Weekly Writing Challenge: Those Hidden Memories

Years ago I visited my mom’s village. I was probably 12 that time and like every kid I had this habit of checking out everything and to ask questions about it. One day I came across a wooden cupboard, and as I opened it, I saw dozens of books inside. My mom told me that all those books belonged to my grandfather. I was a curious little kid who was fond of reading even then and as such I started taking out all those books out. The books were mostly Hindi novels, some even from the early 1900’s (probably inherited by my grandfather from his ancestors) and the difficult language with which they were written made it impossible for me to understand anything.  Bored of the content, I started flipping the pages and as I did that I discovered old letters, torn pages, and dried flowers. I found two letters which were from the time India got independence, both addressed to my grandfather, letters from friends who lived far away. There were also notes about the people to whom my grandfather had lent money. There were pieces of paper, may be receipts of the things he bought with their prices. I was amused to know that once upon a time the cost of sugar was just Re. 1/kg. I was fascinated to read everything, letters, notes but I don’t know why I didn’t keep those things with me. It’s not like I didn’t visit my village again, in fact I was there 4 years ago but those books never crossed my mind. It’s only today when I started writing about this challenge, I thought about those notes in my grandfather’s old books.

Moving on from my grandfather’s story to my own story, I would like to tell you what happened two weeks ago when I went to my sister’s place. She teaches little kids and as such she has kept my old story books, text books, comics with her. One fine day I was going through all those old books of mine and I found lines written by me, dried flowers, leaves of different shapes , cartoon sketches and notes written all over. I can’t express what I really felt that moment. I was happy, sad and excited at the same time. I took time even to recognize my own handwriting; it was so different back then. I could see smiling faces drawn by me all over and I remembered all those happy moments, those beautiful moments I lived. All those memories hidden within the pages of those books were a part of that time of my life when I was really happy, those times when I believed in fairy tales, when I believed in superheroes, those times when I was a protected little girl. I was lost in a world full of memories. Those books brought back my childhood.

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You really can’t hide anniversary cards in e-books, you need paperback course books for that!

It’s not that I don’t like e-books but I do prefer paperbacks. I don’t feel attached to them the way I feel with paperback books. I can’t see them as my personal belongings. I feel attached to the books, novels and magazines I own. I can touch them, smell them, and feel them. Ah the smell of a book, especially of a new or a really old one! I still have the habit of writing small notes on the pages of a book, or hide my secret things within the pages of my text books, no one looks for letters or cards within the books you study, they always look for your diaries. And I certainly can’t hide things in an e-book. I preserve flowers or leaves within them, the first flower my guy gave me, or some differently shaped leaves. I love doing that. And who doesn’t, we all love making memories. Memories make our lives worth living.

Letters from friends, another thing to hide! And it does feel great to find them in the novels i read.

Letters from friends, another thing to hide! And it does feel great to find them in the novels i read.

I believe books are an important part of our property, they are as precious as money or jewelry specially to people like us who spend a major part of our lives either writing or reading the written word. Someday our future generations will inherit these books from us and they will discover the world we lived in. Just like I thought about my grandfather today, they will think about me. And I like being remembered, don’t you?

The latest addition to my memories, one rose from the bouquet i received on my birthday last week.

The latest addition to my memories, one rose from the bouquet i received on my birthday last week.

( Written for this week’s writing challenge)

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9 thoughts on “Weekly Writing Challenge: Those Hidden Memories

  1. I totally would like that !!
    Books over jewellery ? Girl, you are full of surprises 😉
    I have never been comfortable with e-books myself. You mean the book readers right ? But lot of people are using that these days. Plus they are environment friendly. So, maybe we will have to embrace that some day.
    But I guess understand the connect we have with things old. I still have the letters that my mother wrote me while I was preparing for the IIT entrance examinations… It contains all those instructions of how to eat and sleep on time. So, yes. Though my bank account have nosedived, I am a rich man 🙂
    I am going to read those letters now 😛

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      • When did I tell you that I am from that college ? Arre I prepared for it back then. But yes, I did get through too 😉
        I think you have not met those who are a bit less on the geeky side, and more on the HR side. I might be sitting on that extreme actually 🙂

        Old stuff… I do not have much books as you have probably. But I have letters. I wish people write letters these days, but they do not. In fact, there is only one female friend of mine who writes amazing emails. Long ones, with impeccable coherence. She is married with a year old boy now, so ab toh kab hi hoti hain interactions. But the point is, people do not write their heart out these days. Haina ?
        You might be a lover of black and white pictures right ?

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      • I have met both, the extreme rebellious and studios ones. I can probably write a book on iitians. 😉
        I don’t have that many books right now, and i do read ebooks, free ones but i do dream of having many books some day. My mo doesn’t let me read novels. She feels its a waste of time. So i can’t read being at home.
        I am known for writing letters and long emails. I’ve written letters to my best friend, which were sometimes 5 pages long. My best friend, an example of the wild iitian. and i write long emails to my guy, another iitian, the oh so boring one. 😉
        People do write letters, don’t lose hope!

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      • Haha… You have quite some experience with people of my caste 😉 I hope you would not try to judge me by the prevailing stereotypes… a sincere request 🙂
        Well, I have not read many novels. A couple in fact. And that was enough for changing my life 🙂 But more on that some other day, when you want to be lectured upon 😛

        Maybe there are people out there who do write letters. But there is this incessant need to sound acceptable. So, they are not honest anymore. And, with honesty goes courage. Maybe the problem lies with the people I have around me. Maybe… But there is hardly anyone that I would want to take suggestions from. C’est la vie

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      • Haha, apart from my own college, the only friends i’ve are from IIT. Don’t worry, you seem to be from a different breed. Not the usual ones.
        People write letters and people are honest. May be not with the entire world but at least to the people they write letters too.
        I don’t know why you’ve lost your faith in people. You are not that old. And i am sure someday you’ll definitely meet those honest, strong, letter writing people.

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      • Sincerely hope so. I have some people on my good list too. But they are either dead, or too old for me to be with 🙂 But yes, I do not trust people at all.

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