The fog of time is often absolute. It tends to envelop everything that is past. We learn to live in the present and worry about the future. We forget things beyond yesterday.
And then once in a while, the fog lifts. For that one split second, one sees the path one has taken. A path strewn with laughter and sadness, with friends and fighting, with everything that has brought us where were. Little things. Great things. Precious things.
Like the time I bought an orange candy for a palmful of rice. The tastiest orange candy I’ve ever had.
The time when I was calling on God at the top of my voice without shame or regret when my dad’s scooter broke down in pouring rain one really dark night. It was the first time I remember being afraid. And dad’s laughter at the problem and promising me we’ll be home soon. And then we were. The first time I knew what fathers were.
The time I saw my grandfather’s limp, dead body brought home. My first brush with death. Clueless and speechless. First experience of someone walking and talking to you being burnt a few hours later. My first funeral. The smell of burning ghee mixed with burning flesh.
The time I had my first little crush. We were related I think. It didn’t really matter. I was 12. And the taunts of cousins. Then playing with them half an hour later. And crying when she left. She was cute.
The time I cried for getting a new dress for a school play. And dad telling me it was useless. Knowing for the first time what needing money meant. And dad going ahead and getting it for me. Knowing for the first time that no matter what, you do everything for the people you love.
The time I changed classes without telling anyone and refused to change despite everyone telling me to. Then explaining to dad this was my decision and I take full responsibility of the consequences. Saying even if I fail, at least I won’t blame him for it. Standing up for myself and what I wanted. Growing up.
The time my best friend was named a murderer. All hell had broken loose. I couldn’t believe it then. I can’t believe it even now. The first time my eyes opened to a reality beyond my own. The acceptance of the fact that bad things live side by side with the good ones.