He felt warm in his room. The warmth reminded him of his mom and how she used to caress his hair while he slept. Warm hugs from his girlfriend flashed his mind, and brought back the feeling of the benign hold. He recollected the warm conversations he had with his roommate in his dormitory in his college life. All that the warmth in his room could do was take him back, and play that sequence of memories in his mind.
As he worked on a presentation in his laptop for the next day, his room felt warm even in the chilly month of December in Delhi, India. Decembers in Delhi are supposed to be freezing cold. No personal heater, no centralized heating system. Open windows at eight in the evening, yet he felt warm. So engrossed he was in his work, that he didn’t bother about the source of heat. The comfortable atmosphere could do nothing better than taking him back in time. His eyes were fixed on the laptop screen, reading unconnected words, one by one. His mind stuck on those bygone memories, reliving them, moment by moment. It’s so refreshing to go back in time, he thought.
A flash of light outside his half open door caught his attention. He dismissed it, assuming it to be an effect of working on the laptop for four hours then. It’s pretty normal to assume this, when your eyes are weary and tired and all you want to do is click Shut Down on your laptop screen and sleep. Another flash of light, this time farther away from his door. Let me complete this one analysis of the pie chart and then I’ll get up to see what’s wrong, he thought. Busy, engrossed, engulfed in his presentation, he failed to foresee the danger. There went another brighter flash of light. This bothered him. He finally got up and opened his door. There was nothing but fire. He panicked. Fire had taken up all of his kitchen and his living area, and there seemed to be no sign of escape.
The only thing he probably was afraid of in his life, was fire. Memories, that’s where all of it lies, the happiness, the sadness,the anger, the innocence, and the fear. All his life, his parents had brought him up in such a manner, that he was now a dynamic person in the society. His dedication towards work and religion, love for his sister, affection towards his friends, made him no less than an ideal person. He was never afraid of anybody, or any circumstance; his heart was always full of hope, optimism and determination. You would always see him smiling, even in the darkest hours of the day and the dimmest days of the week. The only thing that could bother him was fire. He was never able to light a matchstick on his own, never able to click on the lighter to get fire. This somehow dates back to his childhood days when he was seventeen months old. He faced a mishap where he almost burnt his hand in fire, thank the wind that blew off the flame, for saving him that day.
We treasure flashbacks.
We smile on flashbacks.
We laugh on flashbacks.
We break a little due to flashbacks.
We fear flashbacks.
These are some inevitable memories that stay in our mind despite the time, place and our being. I remember the box of Eclairs (toffee) that my classteacher had when I was in Nursery. She used to give each of us students one Eclairs whenever we answered correctly and boldly in class. It’s just a view that I have in mind, just a flashback. These are some sudden remembrances that make us smile, make us want to go back in time, to the people we had with us and have lost.
Do you not sometimes want to go back to the people who were?
Do you not want to go back to the time that was?
Perhaps, you don’t?
Because maybe all’s the same, yet doesn’t feel the same?
Perhaps, all feels the same, but isn’t the same?
Which one is it, in your life?
Your mom loves you so much, doesn’t she? She offers you a glass of water when you come home, back from work, doesn’t she? Then why do you hesitate to go to your mom and say, ‘Mumma, I’m unable to sleep. Please help me sleep?’, and then fall asleep in a minute? Then why do you not tell her every single detail of your life, as you did when your were in Nursery? Then why don’t you give her an early morning kiss when you wake up from your sleep, like you did, till perhaps high school? When did you grow up? When did it all change? When did you change? If all’s the same, why doesn’t it feel the same? If all feels the same, the love, the warmth, the care, why isn’t it the same?
Afraid to realize that I’ve changed.
Afraid to have those flashbacks that pull me into a well of thoughts I don’t want to come out of,
Afraid to have those flashbacks that bring back memories that affect my present existence,
Afraid to drown into myself, ignoring my surroundings.
I’m afraid, because I’ve changed. Are you?
Life Is After All Beautiful