‘On the first day of your school, you cried so much that the neighborhood came to check. And the second day? The smile on your face said it all.’
I don’t think I remember any of this happening but my mother has said the same lines so many times that I’ve created the incident in my mind and it is almost like I remember it. When my mother starts talking about my childhood it feels she is talking about some other child. The incidents are always new and the stories unheard of. Have I really been in the story she is talking about?
She tells me about the places I’ve been to, the people I’ve met and the incidents I’ve been a part of and I look at her with a blank face. No matter how hard you push yourself to recall the happenings-you just cannot. It’s all forgotten. Making the last effort to find the deleted memory in my brain, I ask-‘When did this happen?‘ She begins with -‘Don’t you remember?‘ and goes on to describe in a detail that forces you to exist in an incident you don’t remember about, compels you to believe in a happening you weren’t aware of a moment ago and makes you meet people you had not met in your conscious memory. And that is how I’ve built my childhood memory – limited to the words of my mother.
It has now become as real as it really was.