Saturday, September 19, 2009

Here I am...This is Me...

It was so familiar a sight, something I had been seeing for years, something a part of my routine, something so customary that it had ceased to be acknowledged, so much there it was that it wasn't there any longer, I never even noticed when it evanesced from my life. I was yet again about to pass by it acknowledging it unknowingly, unconsciously when I stopped dead in my tracks. I stood there transfixed looking down at the white orange flowers strewn on the ground. Harsingaar. It took me a moment to realize that here was a sight hailing back from oblivion. An oblivion I don't recall having entered into. So poignant were the memories it evoked, so intense the recollections that I had an immediate urge to stoop down and collect them. Of all the exotic forms in which harsingaar is quoted, mine is perhaps the most mundane, the most plain. These were just the flowers I used to find sprinkled on the ground forming an orangish white amorphous mesh, inviting us to feast on them. I was too young to fully appreciate the aesthetic aspect of it. For me, they were just pretty, sweet smelling flowers. In fact, even as I picture it now I am left paralyzed when I try to describe it in words. I fail desperately in trying to explain the contrast it presented against the otherwise brown earth. The peace of the sight against the hustle bustle of the kids around. I can just appreciate, revel in a beautiful view but can never recreate it through words to the same effect, much to my chagrin!


Not that the patch was left alone for silent contemplation! It was exploited fully, completely, much to our delight and satisfaction. Not for the sake of the destructive sense of mind kids are generally assumed to possess, but to be put to more gratifying uses! We stringed them together on longest possible sticks( I have no other way of describing what we did!) and gift them to our teachers. I remember the hurry to reach the school compound from the bus stand, the disappointment at finding the best flowers gone and the rest trampled upon. It was lame, stupid, dumb, and innocent, the happiness at being the first one to gift it to our teacher was genuine. There was a feeling of victory against rest of the classmates without a malice. There was no jealousy on a defeat. So innocent a quest, a battle and so pure were the happiness and disappointment likewise! Those were the only times I remember being glad about my relatively short height in the class as that put me near to the teacher, near to my target!


As I forced myself to move on, whole of my school life ran through my mind in an extremely quick flashback…with faces just flitting in and out of my thoughts. So rapid were these recollections that before I could concentrate on one face…it dissolved into another! Among these, the most prominent were those of my teachers. How glad I was of their attentions, of support, of hidden favoritism and of obvious love! I wonder how would I have turned out if not for the teachers I am lucky to have had! I remembered my sheer glee when I was told about my teachers arguing, each claiming me to be her student! Self obsession, narcissism, self importance and words with meaning in the same strain did not exist then. It was just a token of appreciation which spurred me to do better, excel myself and rise up to the expectations harboured by my teachers from me( and teach the ones who did not a lesson!). These fond reminiscences are what still keep me going in the most trying of times.


Coming to college has been good for most of the part but lack of good teachers is what I lament the most of all the grievances I have from this place. After passing out, if I ever get down to discussing the professors, I sincerely doubt if the discussion will encompass anything more than their eccentricities!


Apart from this, I wonder if my college life will gift me with memories so powerful and so moving as the ones by my school life…I wonder if my life here is actually moulding me into a better person? I wonder how has this place contributed to my life, in a good way, leaving aside the friends I have made…have I done anything worthwhile so far!?

On an optimistic note, I wish, pray that this place goes down in my memory as a treasured part of my life! I hope, yet again, that I will be able to retain in my memory all the best times I have had here and am hopefully yet to have!

On my way back I stopped and performed the old ritual again. I was happy, in a way I have not known for a long time now! I wished that this would permanently imprint it on my mind, with no danger of it getting lost irrevocably into the realms of forgetfulness ever again. Yet again, in an desperate attempt to hold on to all the memories…I pray that I am able to remember them all forever!


But I wonder, how many priceless ones have I lost so far….





P.S. I don't think its exactly a comeback…just consider it as a faint sign of life from someone just recovering from a near death experience! This explains the title of the post I guess....

14 comments:

Murty said...

When I opened the page, it said "This is me" and had a picture of a random tall tree. Misleading.

By the way, one of the many delusions humans have is that they can try and remember all their most wonderful memories, but it's only human to forget. All the same, just like in this case, there're markers all around us that we run into and remind us of memories such. And sometimes we don't. But that's OK.

siddharth said...

Another good post.
I definitely agree that the college years wouldn't probably match up to school.
Those were happy and more importantly innocent times. Sad that they are gone

ratika said...

an obvious compliment... but it is written very well..i didnt feel like skipping any line while reading it (sumthing which i tend to do most f the times with lengthy texts!)...

Sandeep said...

"here i am.. this is me" and i remembered Bryan Adams. :)
And happiness is just waiting to be found, have you made an effort?
And maybe you have done something worthwhile so far, just that u will understand the worth of it in future, don't be so quick in thoughts...
And about school days, they are the best i agree.
And indeed a very well written and nice post...
( and I m sorry if got too much into advising ;) )

Divye said...

So this is what you picked up today morning on your way back from "yoga"!

swapnil said...

Did you ever give it a thought, when in school, how many memories, good or bad, the school days will leave you with? When in your innocent quests, did you ever have in your mind that this or that will make a nice, sweet memory?

So, why now?

And nightmarish characters aren't supposed to be a part of memories. So, do not lament, if you know what I mean. ;)

Also, is the dead recovering? Or is it nothing but a last, desperate attempt to hold on to whatever life is left?
Hope its the former. :)

Prachi said...

@Murty
I realized that, hence was editing the blog and was hoping that no one would read it before I was finished but well, as is obvious, you did...

And it has to be OK, no other option right?

@Siddharth
Thanx.
College is essentially more fun and freedom but then, that is according to the definition of fun we NOW have...

@Ratika
Jai Ho!
Thanx...

@Sandeep
Yes I have, and have succeeded...it isn't about being happy but the quality of it...
I do hope I do not think my college years wasted years later and about your advices, thanks, nothing to apologise for because they don't come at a wrong time this once...

P.S. Bryan Adam's song IS where I got the title from.

@Divye
Affirmative

@Swapnil
I do not seek to create memories deliberately, I was just wishing for them...

And no, nightmarish characters though longer living in memory definitely aren't lamentable!

And, I too hope its the former!

P.S. Bring back the Sage!

Shweta Rao said...

The same flower is called 'Parijaata' back home. I grew up in a house with a huge Parijaata tree - it is intrinsic part of my childhood. When I read your post, I went through the same kind of feelings you did. I am so much in love with them that I want them to decorate my funeral party!
I liked reading the post, and now that you are 'here', pray stay!

Sandeep Mishra said...

I've never done this first-flower-of-the-day-to-teacher stuff, but u do remind me of picking up baskets full of harsingar during the time b/w summer and winter back home. We hardly got those flowers for 2 months every season but whenever it's time, it was my favourite first-job-of-the-day to collect them for mom's pooja.
I remember my hands itched due to its irritating designer leaves when I tried my best to knock down the last flower resting on the tree's leaves... I remember my heart pounding over the counting of flowers increasing day by day :) and then saddend with the end of blooming period :( That really was a sweet innocent age to be remembered...
Nice post... n i know u'll keep it up :)

Hermetical Platonist said...

Harsingaar is the most beautiful flower by far. The brightness of the orange with the subtleness of the white make it a visual delight!
Much like our own lives. Bright in some patches, sombre in the other!
Great post Prachi! Really nice!

Prachi said...

@Shweta di
Funeral party?!
What's the point then? Have them on your marriage party instead! Here is an idea, do not wear jewellery! Wear the flowers instead! What say?!
And I surely will try to stay...and thanx...:)

@Mishra sir
You have missed out on a lot then!
Thanx...

@Anunaya
Thanx and I totally agree with you!


@ALL
Never expected so many people to have so many memories associated with this one flower!
Pleasantly surprising...

mescaprices said...

They say hindsight 20/20.... The past often looks clearer, maybe even lovelier as we reminisce. You will be surprised at how many things we're gonna miss as we pass out from our col. Each moment is a beautiful memory waiting to be relived.

psr akhilesh said...

okhai.so this flower is called harsringar..in telugu we called it parijaata.i too hv some fond memories associated with this flower.in our family,our sect basically,we have this ritual of picking it up early in the morning during dussehra holidays(when they r blooming most prolifically).i used to wake up at six in the morning and go to pick up the freshly fallen flowers for puja as sunrays progressively rose up the tree.i barely used to notice how two hours or so passed away and my back almost used to be broken by the time i stood up,but while the time i was picking up flowers in the ancient park nearby,the birds,the bugs and especially the elegant earthworms sort of made me forget my existence.

Prachi said...

@Pranav
Roger that. I hope for it...and dread it.

@Pisra
Wow! It sounds so beautiful...must have been amazing in reality!