Reminiscing Indian Summer

Like every day, I am drowning in the ocean of my memories. It seems like all this took place in my previous birth. Or all this occurred just yesterday?

Summer break has started, and many parents have begun planning various activities to keep their kids busy. I used to spend my summer holidays at my nani‘s (maternal grandmother) house along with my cousins. My maternal grandparents lived in an old house with numerous roshandaan and a large courtyard.

Roshandaan were high ceiling windows in old houses in Pakistan and northern India which provided both skylight and air. But at my nani’s house, roshandaans were the openings from where jinn (spirits or ghost that possessed humans) used to creep in stealthily to scare children when they created a ruckus.

My maternal grandparents had migrated from Punjab province from present-day Pakistan to Delhi, India during partition. They brought along with them nothing but stories and memories of their beautiful land.

My great grand nani (my mother’s grandmother) used to share incomplete stories and tales from her birthplace in Pakistan. She used to pine for her farms, the rope swing on the peepal tree and her village.

My nani used to keep a good stack of storybooks ready for me to read after I used to get tired of playing with my cousins.

My real life got intertwined with the stories I read and stories I heard. Stories reduced the gap between fantasy, imagination, and reality.

At night, all my cousins were huddled together on wooden charpoys or manjis with pillows, light cotton blankets, and mattresses. A torch and water-filled big earthen Matka or pot were filled with water on a small table.

I didn’t know that sleeping under the open night sky on the terrace and gazing at the sky lit with stars and celestial lights will be a luxury soon.

The air was sweet and filled with the heavy scent of Madhu Malti (Rangoon Creeper) and mogra (Queen of the night) which grew abundantly in the backyard of the neighboring house.

The sound of small nocturnal creatures finding food and our giggles broke the stillness of the night.

Last year, the big bright open house was bulldozed, and its place now stands closed, boxy and modern apartments. The new structures have all the modern amenities but have lost its character, history, and memories.

As per Hindu philosophy, past and future do not exist in reality. Our mind creates an illusion, and we cling to the mirage of emotions and thoughts. Our mind creates an interpretation of the past events and records every bit of it. These are not real events but only memories and impressions of the past actions, thoughts, dreams, desires, and emotions.

Is it better to lock these memories in an old trunk and live our present unaffected by it or should we open the vintage attic trunk some afternoon and soak in all the memories?

 

4 Comments

  1. One should definitely open the box once in a while and smell the memories. Intriguingly, I was telling someone about the memories philosophy just yesterday. They say our mind doesn’t replay the memories from when they happened but from the time we last remembered them. Loved reading your post

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Interestingly, someone told me the other day, how the mind processes memories and how we get dreams. It was along the same lines that you have said.
    I am glad you liked the post.

    Like

  3. Unfortunately, the idea that past is Illusion is not of Vedic-Hinduism. It was developed by post buddhistic Hindus who wanted to fight the Buddhistic nihilism.

    ” Viswam vishnur vashatkaro,
    Bhuta bhavya bhavat prabhuhu ” says Vishnu Sahasra Naama. It means, the all pervading Lord is also the Lord of Past, present Future. If they are UN-real, then the Lord is unreal.
    Also, gita says that Lord appears ‘when ever’ there is decline in dharma – “… Sambhavaami yuge yuge”. The concept of ‘when ever’ and ‘yuge yuge’, if unreal and Illusion, then Krishna is lying.
    One needs to properly differentiate between unreal and maya. Past and future are bi products of Maya (which is One of the Objectify ing powers of nature, called Aitareya in Veda). This acts like egg shell in which we grow with the illusive sense of past and future. They are not unreal, necessary apparentness. A yogi, meditates upon this aspect of time and then transcends it, because a cloth can cover anything else but itself. It’s fabric is its integral part so it the product of a fabric can not effect the cloth. Similarly, a realised soul becomes the source of time and thus time as such can not effect the soul. But this does not make time as false. This makes time as subordinate to such elevated soul. Otherwise, how can Krishna say yuge yuge?
    I guess I a bit more than usual, but I hope it makes sense.

    Like

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