Wednesday, February 24, 2010

First when I felt sad

Do you remember when you first felt sad? For that matter of fact do you know what's the earliest thing in your life that you still remember? How old were you then? Well, these are really debatable things and I'm sure psychologists would have done enough researches on this.

Theoretically I don't know what a human being has the earliest memories of. It never came to my mind what that memory could be. But I often have this weird thought of finding out when I first felt sad, or when I first missed something or someone in life. I still faintly remember the initial days at the primary school, called 'Children's Home' in Calcutta - I used to cry a lot everyday. I can retrieve some really grainy snaps from my memory about one or more such days. Yes, I was surely feeling bad or even sad, but that's not the sadness I'm talking about. I remember so well the last day in the boarding school after the secondary exams. We all stayed for 5-6 years together in hostel and that was the time when we're leaving each other. We knew it well that, that day could be the last time some of us saw each other in our lives. And it did happen like that. I never saw many of my friends with whom I stayed for so many days, with whom I shared such a big part of my formative years. That's the feeling which I'd say 'feeling sad'. A similar day came again when we're leaving IIT. Some six years had already passed by then. Somehow I knew that the prospect of being in touch was much better now. It's true that I was not that sad as I was when I left my school. Might be this time duration of the say in hostel was little lesser, or perhaps I knew that I'd be anyway in touch with most of the people I'd like to be in touch with. But back in school even if I wanted to be in touch I knew it won't be that easy. That feeling of sadness in the last day at school perhaps never came back in my life. That's what I'm talking about. Do you remember when you first felt that type of sadness?

I've been thinking about this for quite sometime. Finally I came to the conclusion that perhaps I felt a similar sadness for the first time in my life when we're leaving Kashmir after a trip in 1980. I was just seven years old then. Had my mother not taken the pains of taking those valuable twelve snaps in her Agfa camera, I might not have remembered anything of that trip later. The photos have also faded a lot. I can't recall much about that trip other than the fact that our Jammu Tawai Express was late by some 10-12 hours due to some accident in the train line ahead of us and we missed our connecting flight to Srinagar from Jammu. But I don't remember the hotel that we stayed, I don't remember any of the places that we visited. But I somehow still remember that when I was leaving Srinagar I was feeling sad that I won't be seeing a particular waiter in the hotel, with whom I'd become so close. Perhaps that was the first time I got attached to someone outside my family. Perhaps that was the beginning of the life long saga of getting close to someone and then leaving him/her. Perhaps that was the beginning of getting old, getting to know the realities of life, getting to know the sweet-sad, 'meetha dard' part of life. Perhaps I started growing up since then!!

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