It is impossible to know how our mind works. Nostalgia is the hidden button in the back of our mind. It remains hidden most of the times. But an event kicks in and presses the hidden button without our knowledge. The other day I got the cell number of my childhood friend Vira aka Virendra. I called him; he lives in Pune as I do. We chatted on the phone, gave and took updates of the old friends. The usual stuff of sharing addresses and photos was done. I did not realise that the hidden button was pressed.
A similar thing had happened when I got in touch with another friend Sunil, a few months back. It shows and proves time and again that HE is the most celebrated designer of all time. Many times, we make statements like, “Oh, this is enough for me, my brain is now full!” Well, our brain never uses more than 20% of its capacity. Our brain stores many things. In today’s terms, Onedrive offers one Terabyte storage capacity if we subscribe for office 365. I feel that our brain’s storage capacity could be measured in Peta or Yotta units. Many many things get stored in your brain, and the problem is that for some people, the brain is not able to retrieve the information. Please see the link about the details of Units prefixes.
Ladies generally have a high capacity to retrieve dates. If you meet some girl from your school days, she might surprise you with a statement like, “Pramod on 27 August 1963, you were punished and kept out of the class for the whole day. I am sorry, I had complained about you.” Someones beloved might tell him, “You kissed for the first time on 13th January 1975.” Oh, yes, it is possible! But he doesn’t remember. He was never a serial kisser a la Imran Hashmi. But still, he can’t remember the date!
I used to live in Dhobi Talao area in Bombay. Virendra also lived a few buildings away. In my professional life, I used to interact with someone who lived in the same lane, in Dhobi Talao; but I had never met him in the childhood.
I have observed one interesting thing. When in a nostalgic mood, people tend to discretely add a bit of fiction to the facts of those days. I won the (inter) school athletic championship when I was in tenth grade. Okay, I am lying; remove the word (inter), it was only the school championship. I was reasonably fit in those days, but I had never practised running as an athlete. After I won the eight hundred meters final, I collapsed and puked. In the SSC board exams, I stood the SSC merit list. Ha, Ha! I am again lying. But I surprisingly got a distinction. It was a surprise to others, but not to me. Honestly!! No more lying, God promise!
Now, after many years, I realised that I lived in one of the poshest areas in Bombay, thanks to quarters provided by the Police department to my father. It brought back more memories of those times. Virendra told me that an old friend of ours is now in a deep depression. I had spoken to this friend six months back, for the first time in fifty years, and found that he was not very keen on my meeting him. During childhood, we never realise how life is going to treat all of us in future. During those times in Dhobi Talao, most of our friends were in a similar financial and educational situation. But how the dice will fall for each is challenging to predict. But in general, I have seen that in 80% of the cases, people continue to be what they were. If they are smart in childhood, then they continue to be smart later too. In a few cases, some who appear not so sharp in childhood become brighter than what they were. But this percentage is low.
A friend from those days was quite smart, a reasonably good athlete, but he tended to go overboard. His trait continued in adulthood; he did pretty all right in life, success wise. But he died when he was around fifty-five. The reason was over drinking and smoking! I have seen a similar tendency in one of my nephews; he continues to go overboard though he is a senior officer in the armed forces!
It reminded me of a friend who was very naughty in childhood but retired as a high-ranking army officer. After retirement, he did some excellent work as a professional engineer; he is also an outstanding bridge player of national repute.
In my school, we had one skinny teacher. In our 11th grade, we had gone for a three days picnic to Matheran. The teacher had accompanied us. He told me that he and my father were classmates in college. I felt closer to him for obvious reasons. Then I asked him, “Sir, why are you skinny?” He said, “Pramod, in college days during my B.Sc. some students troubled me with ghost stories. I was weak, even in those days. I was scared and fell sick. Since then, I have continued to be skinny.” I know of another case where similar ragging was done to a student during his college time. He lost his confidence so much that his family moved him to an institution. He never recovered from that shock. He died later at the age of sixty-three in the same state. He was an exceptionally bright student.
That brings me back to the friend who is now in a deep depression. His story was a little different. He was doing alright in his job. But his daughter was born sick and continued to be ill and died in her teens. The problem with the daughter also depleted his finances severely. He is somehow surviving, and it is no surprise that he is depressed.
Do I have any memories of any teen romantic stories? No, I don’t have them. I think all our gang was too busy playing sports and enjoying life in general. I remember the days when would come home from school walking in heavy rains. We enjoyed walking on the sea wall at Marine drive in monsoons, accompanied by powerful winds and equally powerful waves, which would drench us when they broke against the wall. We always had a shortage of money. So, whenever we could save money, we would cheat and drink cold Sharbat on Cross Maidan, or Sugar Cane Juice. Wow, we always had great joy in doing forbidden things.
But friends don’t forget the pitfalls of going into nostalgia trips, especially in the golden period of life. If you tend to become nostalgic frequently, younger people will avoid your company. When they see you, they will mutter, “Now listen to Pramod Uncle! In our times bla bla bla!” You should be able to communicate with every age group. Keep updated with technology; try to know what new things are there in the world. The other day, I was talking to my grandson on his twentieth birthday. He is in engineering school. He said, “I skipped classes today so that I could come home.” I said, “You mean you officially skipped classes today!” He laughed.
Okay, if you have memory issues due to ill health, it is a different issue. Otherwise, you become like Vizzy. A quick nostalgic trip again! 🙂🙂
Vizzy was Maharjkumar of Vijayanagaram. He used to give cricket match commentary. Once while giving commentary in the ’60 s of the last century, Vizzy had become nostalgic and was telling some story that had taken place twenty years back. In the background, a lot of noise could be heard. After five minutes, the story was completed, and Vizzy said, “While I was telling the story, India has lost three wickets.”
Don’t become Vizzy, but for that, you must remain busy!