• Rather than we determining the existence of our memories, it seems to me that they define our existence

Apr 6, 2015-

I find it amusing how a song, a movie, a book or an old memento has the power to bring back the memories of someone or something and make us relive those moments all over again . I am sitting on my chair, by the window, with my old diaries and photographs all sprawled on the floor. I look out from the window. Suddenly, hundreds of vivid memories start playing in my head. And among them are those memories I had tried hard to erase from my mind.

Like any other human being, I too possess good as well as bad memories. While there are memories that make me laugh, there are a few stray recollections that fill my eyes with tears. And like any other person, while I am tempted to cherish and preserve those memories I like, I also try rubbing off all those bad, nightmarish recollections. But now, after having thought much about it, I have come to realise the futility of trying to treat my mind like a tool I can use to store or delete things as per my whim.  

How naïve I was, not so long back, to have made numerous attempts at wiping those unsavoury recollections away from my mind, as if they were a smear of dirt stuck on a glassy surface. How childish, how hilarious of me to have even imagined that I had the power to remove them all, as if they were bits of data stored on my computer that could be deleted by the click of a button. But then, all those unsuccessful, and by now meaningless, attempts also taught me a hard truth, that, after all, our memories  are very different from those words, sounds and images in our computer.

Finally, I have come to realise how helpless we are before our  thoughts and memories. Rather than we determining their existence by etching them in our minds, it seems to me that they define our existence. Our actions, thoughts and decisions are constantly guided and mediated by our memories. Even the perceptions we have of ourselves, of people around us and the larger world result from them.Without all these memories leaving their impressions on us, we would be like a blank slate, an empty canvas.

So, instead of trying to be selective about what I should or should not recollect, I have learnt how to nurture them all. And they have now become a part of my self—my invisible organs.  

Shrestha is a plus-two student at St Mary’s High School

Published: 06-04-2015 08:02

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