Which is the earliest memory that you have? Which is the clearest memory that you have? Which is the memory that moves you to tears, or manages to bring happiness? While you may or may not agree that these questions are important, you will agree that you can answer them. All of us have memories. Memory is the act of storing and retrieving information. This information can be what we have read, heard, seen, or gone through. It could something emotional like the time spent with a loved one, or something like the process of riding a bike. In each case, memory is important.

No matter how old you grow, certain aspects of your life get etched in your memory. The highs and the lows, the moments of joy and sorrow. The more intensely you feel something, the more likely you’re going to remember it down the line. I remember most of the lows, and some of the highs.

I remember clearly when either of my parents have been angry at me, or scolded me. I remember when I first fiddled with my dad’s shaving blade and bled after I cut my finger. I remember an accident I was in as a kid, when I had a collision with a scooter after I let go of dad’s hand to run across the road. I remember the color the scooter, and how I was bleeding with blood running from head onto my shoulders. I was scared that mom might freak out, and had to be cajoled by dad to come with him. He was a doctor and wanted to take care. I remember getting jaundice and when my parents took me another doctor, I kicked him and they had to hold me down because I was scared of injections. I remember the toy gun they got me after I got well. These are just the memories of before I was even 6 years old.

There are clear memories of other times which were not joyful or sad, but made me feel a strong reaction. I was at my uncle’s and was to change into my pyjamas. Instead of have mom change me (I was less than 4), I tried to do it myself and ended up with both feet in one leg sleeve of the PJ and the other as a tail. I had to hop my way into another room to get mom to free me. I remember playing and dancing in the class with a girl while the class teacher had been called down, and the punishment that followed. A particularly strong and clear memory is that of a class in which we were taught about honesty, and how it is the best policy. Someone passed a joke at another and a bunch of us laughed. The teacher, who had been writing something on the board turned around and asked who cracked the joke. Then when she asked who laughed along, I found myself raising my hand. I was promptly sent to stand out of class. I remember clearly how I felt, and what I had learnt.

Which is why I like to associate memory with experiences. I am a big Harry Potter fan. I started reading the books however after Azkaban had come out, and my class mates were raving about it. Curiosity got the better of me, and I read the book. Yes, the third book was read first, and then the second and finally the first. It was such a wonderful experience. I remember taking up my entire weekend reading them in order of release then. While mom later purchased books 1-4 (4th I had read after issuing from the school library, there is a story for that sometime later), I started to pre-book my copy of books 5-7. I still remember how I left at 6 in the morning on the day of Half-Blood Prince came out, so that I could catch the first bus. I reached the bookstore (Crossword at Mithakali, Ahmedabad) and found a small bunch of other fans like me. We spent the time discussing our favorite moments from the previous books, and speculating what would happen in this book.

I have left out some of my most memorable moments, and could go at lengths about more memories but I would like to sum up with this quite apropos quote by Subject 16 from Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.

“What is a man but the sum of his memories? We are the stories we live! The tales we tell ourselves!”

Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words – 2. Day 1 prompt: Memory/Memories

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41 thoughts on “Remembrance

  1. You made me feel so “ummmmm” I was nodding to each one of those here… and yes we are made up of our memories!!

    Loved your take.. we are nothing without them I guess 🙂

  2. Enjoyed that walk down memory lane with you. You too.. A Harry Potter fan? I’m a huge one too. I prebooked the last one while I was on bed rest expecting my twins.. Unforgettable.

  3. hello to the harry potter fan! 🙂 it was indeed a good read. i am sure you would have enjoyed recollecting them as much as we loved reading it 🙂 great start; looking forward to reading rest of your stories.

  4. “I remember most of the lows, and some of the highs.”… This is so true. Looks like you had a very interesting childhood. All that before 6? My, my. 🙂

    I remember the joy of reading the Harry Potter books. I used to read them when the kids were at school. 🙂 I remember pre ordering the last one!

  5. oh! you made me smile…
    you are so right about how “The more intensely you feel something, the more likely you’re going to remember it down the line.”

    Your childhood memories made me grin! 😛
    One very intense childhood memory is one where I applied an entire bottle of Dabar Amla hair oil on a friend’s head so that her hair would grow!!! 😆
    Ma had chased me with a stick!! 😆

    Thank you for sharing your Harry Potter memories! I remember reading the first book from the library. The first 3 books were from the library. The 4th book was owned because of a small mistake! I remember pre-ordering the 5-7 books too and picking up the 7th book at 6 AM from Blossoms and reading the last page out loud to my sister in the auto!! The auto driver had turned around and given me a look!! LOL!

  6. Ahh the Honesty is the Best Policy class. I had a similar experience back in school too. And the shaving blade episode has happened with Lil Love. Chidlhood memories are such a beautiful bunch. 🙂 I always wonder about the capacity of our brain the speed of its processor. Brilliant piece of architecture our brains are. 😀 Err, I hope my Dad doesn’t see this and comment here. 😛

  7. The strangest of memories are etched in our minds. Yes, what would we be without our memories. I enjoyed the HP books too. But I didn’t wait in any queues! Love the quote at the end.

  8. A strange coincidence I too started with Azkaban. And I do believe it is the best book in the series… Yes memories have these strange sense of attachments in our mind. With each memory you stated an incident and I too remembered my own.

    Richa

  9. Another explanation for déjà vu is that there is a slight malfunctioning between the long and short-term memory circuits of the brain. Somehow, specific information shortcuts its way from short to long-term memory storage, bypassing the usual mechanisms used for storage transfer. The details concerning this shortcut are not yet well understood. When this new, recent piece of information is drawn upon, the person thinks that the piece is coming from long-term storage and so must have come from the distant past (6) . A similar theory says that the error is in the timing of the perceptive and cognitive processes. Sensory information is rerouted on its way to memory storage and, so, is not immediately perceived. This short delay causes the sensation of experiencing and remembering something at the same time, a very unsettling feeling (2) . One other explanation is that déjà vu is actually the process of remembering memory connections, of following the impulses and synapses (4) . All of these neurobiologically based explanations for déjà vu seem plausible and intriguing and perhaps there is some overlap or combination that accounts for the different experiences we call déjà vu.

  10. My only memory of math in elementary school is listening to a tape of a man saying, “Three times four is…. Four times four is… Five times four is… “ It was one of those drills where you had to write down the answers before he asked the next one. It just occurred to me… Why couldn’t my teacher have asked us these questions? Why on earth did they need a tape for this?! Anyway, that’s all I remember.

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