We are all storytellers aren’t we? When a certain alley brings back memories, and we tell the stories to someone…maybe our close ones, maybe our children, or even a random stranger who happens to be sitting next to you at the tea stall right across the lane which grew up with you. Our childhoods are stories etched across our memories, are they not? How little do we remember?
Among the trove of my memories I remember rushing to the canteen for cigarette lozenges, fatafat or to the small gate of the school entrance where the popsiclewallah and the aamshiwallah sat. I remember having phuchka at two a rupee rates and have heard tales of even cheaper temptations of the same. I remember nilkomol lalkomol and so many other stories my grandmother recited to lull me to slumber.
Do any of you remember the man who used to lead a monkey about to show tricks of all sorts? Do you remember the first doctor’s medical toy set you got? Or the first storybook that you ever read?
Being a resident near the kalighat temple, I remember the shongjatra passing right in front the shop from where my mama parked his scooter and left me to my universe of curiosity. I remember that I shrieked and almost cried an ocean when the man dressed up as a bear came to scare me. I remember the first parents call I ever had from school. I had beaten up this friend of mine for calling me a pig, yes, and I was in class 1 back then, so it was a grave issue. I remember bunking school for the first time. I remember the royal drench in one of the best rains of my life.
Do you remember the time when landline numbers had 7 digits? Or the fiat taxis available at ease? Don’t you recall playing gully cricket with a rubber ball and then losing it and going to your grandmother to ask for money to buy a new one?
I can recollect a million more but I guess given the haphazard way it’s scattered throughout this post gives you an idea of how fickle I am.
I feel sorry for the generations to come whose memories will not be stories…but social network posts maybe…but that isn’t my concern because I’ll tell them of my stories if I get a chance because what are we but stories at the end of the day?