• Indira Mishra

HOW TIME CHANGES THE FEELINGS AND MEMORIES WE ASSOCIATE WITH PLACES AND THINGS

Updated: Jul 18

A crooked side of the story...

Let us suppose you go to a place that you have loved a lot, at a former period of time.

Not necessarily ages ago but a time long enough for having new experiences and memories pile up over the ones related to that place or thing.

For instance,

Do you get the same feeling on reaching that spot which you used to get when you belonged there?

Or do you get similarly excited on seeing that dinosaur toy from your childhood as you would as a child?

Probably not.


There might be people who would disagree wholeheartedly.

Well, there is no reason to confer if you do not feel the same way.

It is what it is...... but hang on!

Would you still feel the same to enter your ex-boss’s cabin as you felt when you were an employee there, and you went there not because you wanted to pay a visit but because you were summoned to produce a report or an explanation? I believe now you understand what I am talking about and we are all on the same page.

Let us continue from here.



You never return to the same place that you leave.

You return to a changed version of that place or thing.

The new version may be an updated one, a better one, one that is more polished and better functioning but it is nowhere the same as the one which was there when you were a part of it.

It is not yours anymore, now that you have left it.

It belongs to others now. Other people who are not you. It is not possible to visit a place again and relive the memories that you have created there!

You, of course, can create new ones but the old memories are never going to come back and happen again.

“It is mine” is always more charming than “It used to be mine”.



“It is mine” is always more charming than “It used to be mine”.


THE INCIDENT THAT MADE ME AWARE OF THE VELOCITY OF TIME IN THE HUMAN SENSE

There was one particular incident which prompted me to discover and devise this theory.

After I had joined grad school and was in my second year of college, I got a chance to visit my high school for an official work.

It was a holiday so the teacher-student folks were not there to decorate the classrooms and corridors of the building.

It was a golden opportunity for me to roam around the premises without attracting any awkward onlooker’s attention.


As I went about my tour, I found a strange kind of unfamiliarity surrounding me.

I had studied in that school for eight long years but here I was, feeling like a foreigner in the very place I literally grew up at.

Like an outsider in her own turf.

The building had been painted a new colour.

The display boards were filled with articles and posters none of which had been made by me.

The concrete pavements had now got new improved paving.

The parking area was now well defined and the old rails had been replaced with newer, shinier ones.

There was much better lighting in the then dingy ground floor corridors now.

The topper’s board and head boy/head girl boards contained names of my juniors which made me accept the fact that they no longer remained the kids that I had always known them to be.

The empty spaces in the ground had been filled with either grass or had been transformed into flower beds.

Some trees had been chopped down while other trees had been planted at other places.

The teachers list outside the common teachers room mentioned many unknown names.

In a nutshell, the whole place had transformed.



WHAT ENSUED THAT DISTANT FEELING

Nevertheless, I did not feel that I was at an unknown place. This caused even more trouble.

For a moment It felt like someone had played a trick on me. As if all that I believed my school to be was a lie, all my memories related to its existence were lies.

As if they never existed but only in my imagination.

Though these thoughts subsided quicker than they had come, they gave rise to a sense of detachment in me.

They showed to me that things go on. With or without you.

Such involuntary detachment can also be seen in a beautiful story - “The Address” written by the famous writer Marga Minco in which a daughter who is also the narrator of the story returns from a Nazi concentration camp to the address where her mother’s kept her belongings before the war.

The caretaker of those things was sure that no one would return from the camp and hence had made those things hers.

When the daughter reached that address, the caretaker did not let her in the house fearing to part with the things which the daughter could lay a claim for.

However some days later, the narrator got a chance to go inside the house when the caretaker’s daughter unknowingly let her in. There she managed to get a glimpse of her mother’s old belongings.

The silverware, the table cloth, the plates etc.

Although the things she saw in that house belonged to her, she still felt the things to be strangely unfamiliar.

She did not like the fact that all the things had lost their beauty and importance as her mother was no more there to care for those things.

Those things did not seem to carry any meaning anymore.

She decides never to return to that place.


CONCLUSION

It is normal human nature to live in the memory of the past and want never to come out of it.But as time passes we should make peace with the fact that we have left some things behind and they are bound to change.Be it our school, old house, old friends etc.


We should keep telling ourselves that we need to move on. We can’t afford to brood over things for unusually long. Life swims fast and we need to keep up!

We should keep finding arguments to tell ourselves and make ourselves believe that the things we had in the past are not half as good as the ones we have now!

Even if that is not true.

Dwelling on past memories, even the good ones do not bring much joy to us. They end up making us feel all the more miserable.

They leave us yearning in the sorrow of the absence of the good old days that we once were a part of.

Obsession with one’s old memories have the potential to make us end up living in the past and ignore the present until the present also becomes the past and meets us only in our memories.

Live each moment to its fullest because if you think that doing it again will give you the same amount of happiness or pleasure. I am afraid that won’t happen.

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