Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I've often tried to capture that feeling that sweeps over me whenever I visit anything from my past. The dictionary describes nostalgia as
...a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time
As for me, I think it's just the sweetness of the memory from one's (distant) past...a school-bus route, punishment in class, opening strains of a song (associated with, say, a college buddy's hostel room), the menu card at a restaurant, a railway station platform, a dusty book jacket...heck, I even get all dreamy when I sense some familiar smells (one that comes to mind is whenever I spray a little from a sample can of PlayBoy, my first deodorant!!)

But does there have to be a desire or sentimental yearning to return to the past? In thought - yes. But in fact - I'm not so sure.

Why can't some memories be exactly those - simply memories? Why do we have to live in the wistfulness of returning to those places, those people?

It is universally accepted that it would be impossible to foretell the future by visiting it using a time machine and then coming back to narrate what would happen next year. Simply because the very act of travelling into the future would alter it significantly from what it would have been anyways. (Sometimes I lose myself!). This complexity is, thankfully, prevented by the non-invention of time travel till date.

What I seek to know is that why can't the same logic be extended to the past? When we physically revisit some memories from time that has gone by, don't we risk changing forever our associations with places, people, events...recollections get altered, impressions metamorphose, dendrites get re-wired.

And this thought brings me to ask myself - would I always want to do so? Heck, would I ever want to do so?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you have written this one well..me being in a hugely sloppy mood (consistent with my past behaviour, if u notice) have to tell u that i love u.