We connect specific people to special images in our mind frames. The very thought of a particular person is related to his image in our intellect. The face, the smell, the sensation of that particular touch, the voice of that someone remains etched in our minds.
And memory has no age; it does not grow older with years and the passage of time does not leave a wrinkle on its visage!
As years roll by, walking down those cherished by-lanes of reminiscences, I stumble upon those old images of amassed senses, those warm passionate touches, that glowing countenance, the smell of a half burnt cigarette and a glass of whiskey.
A dark dingy room with old brown curtains and its little holes, through which the first rays of the sun filters in, encompasses my world of memories.
"Can you see the light there?" you ask me, pointing towards the dark sleepy glides across the sparkling Subarnarekha. The river's at her passionate best, shining like quicksilver on a gorgeous moonlit night. "Do you hear the rumbling of the maadol?" I ask in return. Somewhere hidden in those mysterious shades of green, grey and brown jungles, someone is offering a prayer in a language we cannot comprehend, but whose essence we can both construe—music. It's well-past dinner time; and on another night when there's a nip in the air, we could be happily tucked in bed, sleeping or talking; or perhaps awake and wrapping up the end of a long day doing little things that make us happy.
On another night, at this hour, you could be sitting next to the soft lights of the terracotta lamp (yes, the one with those little bells on its rim…the one we picked up after much bargaining from the Poush Mela that year when you played for the first time in Santiniketan) leafing through some new music reviews, or humming lines from a very old favorite ghazal…maybe Zafar, maybe Momin…or even the clssic tunes of Mohiner Ghoraguli. On another night, I could be reading excerpts from the latest Book that you bought from Blossoms, or perhaps just scribbling over the last few words on my jotter, or just may be...playing that guitar tune again and again till you ask me to play the other lead. But on such an ethereally lit winter night as this one, wrapped up in shawls, we are both happy to be awake and to let our souls drown in what we feel happens rarely, and therefore cannot be missed—the milieu of euphony, moonlight and mystery. As the apartment lights and halogen lamps switch off one by one, and the whole neighborhood plunges into honeyed slumber, we stay awake, straining our ears to hear and absorb the distant reverberation of a rustic Santhali tune, wondering and seeking the origin of a music so secreted, yet so eloquent, untouched by the periphery of urban life or parameters of "civilized understanding". We stay awake in a trance, relishing the music, the forest fires, while the moon moves slowly and deliberately over the landscape like a seductress, enveloping and embracing the entire panorama of our vision in a mystical silver veil. We are at a strange crossroad of feelings tonight…assimilating the beauty of the ambience individually, yet together, in a way. Unlike our usual discourses, we leave nature to initiate and lead all the conversation. After all, even sharing a moment of silence with someone who can read your thoughts can be so beautiful.
Light dims, music fades and returns….
I see the room as an unpretentious little penthouse of my very private moments and very personal experiences. I still feel that diffident air in the room that smelled of burnt cigarettes and moisture.
Even now, I picture the room in its old image, with half-opened Kafka and Richard Bach, lying on a dusty old burma-teak desk, an yellowing letter from an old associate in the drawers, butts of Gold Flake scattered in every corner of the tattered rug that was once a red carpet, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd and Fool's Garden booming from an old CD player on a smoky, dusky afternoon., broken guitar and You!
Starry eyed you, with a thousand dreams in your doe-like almond eyes.
Fiery, passionate you, with that furious Cancer rage, one that could destroy the world, your relationships and finish you!
Creative, talented you, singing "Country Roads, take me home!" in my ears.
Passionate adorable you, admiring my face in the light of a match stick one midsummer night!
Then I see us!
We sharing a sunset; we reading out pieces from Love Story together; we wishing upon a silver shooting star, we holding hands in a dark theatre watching a gripping thriller, we dancing in the terrace on a cold moonlit night to Ian Anderson's magical flute; we hunting for old tattered pieces of wisdom in the pavements of College Street, we making love in the rain!
Thanks to memory, it has a selective vision.
Memory does not age. Its images do not alter, amend or modify with time and relationship.
Is memory infinite with neither form nor definition? Unbound by time, emotions or space?
To all my memories, its images and metaphors, its senses and emotions,