Have you ever come across the situation when an unfamiliar face comes up to you and tells you that they had seen you in your small and skinny days?
You turn to your mother with a flabbergasted expression to which she returns a very knowing look. Then the next few minutes passes by digging into your childhood and adolescent memories, and if there had been any embarrassing incidents, well, be sure that they won't be left untouched!
Our earliest recollections of our lives always tell us how we evolve as human beings, our thoughts, values, ethics, morals, all of which comprises to bring out the best from within us. Some memories are so wonderful they last forever, while the bitter ones are locked up in the small casket, which would be kept hidden and never be touched again.
I have faced these situations in almost every family gathering I've been to. I have met people I've never seen before, who later turn out to be distant relatives. And then, once after the introduction, I am usually bombarded with a few common dialogues; “Oh my God! Look at you! You're so grown up! Do you remember me? No? Well…I'm your Tifny aunty. You used to visit us and watched cartoons with my children!”
I, overlooking a few surprised expressions kept my humble smile plastered over my face, trying to sip at my dwindling fizzy drink, failing miserably. Soon, I'm surrounded by some equally matched people, like the 'unknown aunt' and the chapters of my so called wonderful memories with them were opened in no time with my parents being the special guest appearances in few scenes. I always felt frantic about the fact that all my weird secrets would get disclosed in public!
Now I understand that it is quite inevitable that the cycle of our childhood will always involve these moments at some stage, and when we come to think of it, we cannot stop recalling all those past experiences.
I see my little niece growing up, and I also, at some stage, would probably tell her how she used to react to things, what mischief she did, how she tried to convince me to let her have candies.
Maybe all these would not make much difference to her, and she may turn a deaf ear to what I would say and not accept it at all, but the truth remains as it is. Even when we go through our albums, most of us do get a slight shock by seeing our transitions from child, to teenager, and finally, into adulthood. We miss the smart pair of Nike sneakers, or the ragged jeans, the jacket that we loved to wear, our favourite bicycle, the hair styles and all of that, which that we called trendy.
As I see those relatives of mine now, with their same usual dialogues, I do listen to them with interest, for I know now, that maybe I could really get to know more about myself, which may help me to improve in someway. Growing up is all a part of life; a life which imparts so many shades, though we often forget to see them. These sketches of human behaviours will never be erased, never be drawn again, but will be framed and when we see them in the memory canvas, all we can really do is remain in awe.
By Yamin Tauseef Jahangir