Have you ever sat back and tried to recall the first ever memory of your life. When I asked this question to my daughter, she told me about a memory when she was just nine months old. I was so surprised that she remembers things of the time when she could barely talk or walk. Then I thought that maybe because she is just a young kid and her memories are still fresh, unlike an adult.
When I tried implementing the same concept on myself, I was able to see my younger self clearly from the age of three. However, when my mind got stuck with this idea, it started opening the closed doors of my memory realm and believe it or not, I started remembering flashes of myself when I was just around two. They were just flashes, a scene here or there and nothing behind or ahead of that. I call them my ‘Youngest Memories’.
The flash which I recall is when I am being photographed by my uncle. I must have been around two then. As I am the firstborn of the family, I was just loved by everyone. My father’s brothers and sisters used to pamper me a lot when I was little. They used to doll me up and take my pictures. So the flash is about me sitting in a place and flower vases kept around me. I am looking at the person who is holding a camera and clicking.
Next, is a flash when I am walking with a tricycle walker in front of me. Now that Walker is made up of wood, the ones which were popular back then, and the surface which I am trying to roll it on, is a little rough. I just remember myself pushing the wooden walker ahead and I walk forward with its support.
The youngest and clearest memory is of the time when I was 3 years old and my parents had come to Mumbai for a holiday. The place where we stayed was of my mother’s cousin. The house was on the first floor. I don’t remember the house but the lawn which was behind it. The lawn had the most beautiful green grass which I had ever seen. With my parents, I visited many places. That particular day, my parents had decided to visit old caves of the Elephanta island. To reach the island one had to board the ferry or a steamer. We all boarded and were made to sit all around in order to balance the weight of the steamer. Somehow, I ended up sitting a little far from my mother with her cousin and family sitting in between us. Though they were holding me, I still wanted to be with my mom.
By the time, I could voice my opinion to be with my mother, the steamer started on its journey. Somehow, I found enough courage to say it aloud to my mom’s cousin, who was sitting beside me, that I wanted to sit with my mother. My mother must have been watching from her place that I was not comfortable being away from her. As she was holding my sister in her lap, she beckoned me to come to her.
From there the things went downhill. Since all of them were adults, they couldn’t walk so freely to and fro on a moving steamer which was a tad old faishoned compared to the sturdy ones nowadays. So, it all came on me, to walk all the way by myself where my mother was sitting. I was a little scared because – firstly, I had never sat or walked on a boat before; secondly, the floor of the steamer was made of wooden boards. As I walked a few steps, almost reaching the middle of the boat, I just happened to look down to watch my footing. But instead, I looked beyond. Just next to my foot there was a wooden board which was placed a few centimeters away from the next plank, and one could see the water flowing below, from the gap.
I was three years old, walking alone on the wooden planks of the boat and shaking with fear. With all these things together, I also happened to see the churning waters below the streamer. My fear closed in and I just froze. I couldn’t hear my mother calling. I could only see that water below and had a vision of it gushing towards me. My legs gave away and I started sobbing as I sat on the floorboard, the fear clutching my heart.
As I think of it now, maybe it was the fear that had locked this memory so clearly in my head. Even after so many decades, that image of swirling water is still clearly embedded within my memories. Though my father ended up carrying me to the other side still my youngest memory is about something which I am afraid of even today.
What is your youngest memory? Share me your stories in the comment section below.
This blog post is part of #A2ZChallenge. My theme for the year 2018 is Memories. This post is for letter ‘Y’.