Tasneem Sastry, WEEKENDER | Tue, 04/03/2012 3:26 PM |
Many things can happen in a lifetime, but the events that leave behind footprints become memories. We can trace back to how they directed and shaped us. In rushes of color, black and white, some scenes edited, like a motion picture set for personal consumption. As good as your own set of hidden treasures, although they still elicit the censored thoughts, the scenes that are edited or deleted.
So while most of us gleefully smile at our memories, let us get a crash course here. A memory is not always happy; it can be soppy, too, or what I call an onion memory. Now who says an onion memory needn’t be amusing? Happy is not an adjunct of funny; they probably belong to the same family but don’t function in the same way … as if any sibling ever did.
We all want to think about happy things, with self-improvement books proclaiming peace, composure, looking at the brighter side of life and counting your blessings. Indeed, I cannot keep count of these fruitful feel-good statements. Why can’t we be sad? What is so eternally wrong with it? Sure, sorrow is not feel-good, but that doesn’t mean it’s feel-bad. I mean, it is a feeling after all, and the beauty of indulging in all your emotions is far beyond just one of them. You never know which one will surprise you and create a memory you’ll relish for the rest of your life.
In fact, someone once told me that crying in front of the mirror is a lot of fun; you get that one shot at fame and a deeply sorrowful activity weighs less. I sense we all love drama – I personally love it. I feel like a movie star, to have something in my life worth crying about. The sense of grief makes for such an intense setting. Although we have to take care it doesn’t go beyond Scene 1.
And so the fun onion memories form when couples cry together at a movie and realize the compatibility and emotional quotient they share. Friends who bawl in unison swear undying loyalty and friendship. Siblings weep under their pillows when they endure multiple restrictions in their lives, be it television, talking on the phone, going out or whatever parents fancy. Fights draw angry tears, those that seem to sprinkle over all the fire and end up being so helpful. They serve as the best alibi any court could ever give a spouse or lover. Tears have no life span; they are eternal and have always been worthy of their existence. They melt, they scare, they hurt; they taste too, salt on the wounds.
Then there’s romance in onion memories too, that love-lost forlorn feeling, the melancholy of music that we so depend on. I mean, how would Phil Collins, John Mayer, Patty Smith and the gang ever have attained stardom with such feelings? When you hear a song, you go back and recollect that moment and not the pain. Pain has a way of recycling itself, to become nostalgia, with a smile and this amazing feeling of an experience worth going through. Yes, there’s romance in pain because it connects two people just like a smile does. If you can cry, then you have peeled back layers to reach the heart.
I may seem rebellious in turning sad into classic but all I am saying is memories happen sometimes, so why value only the happy ones? Life is made up of all kinds of people with different emotional sensibilities. Embrace each emotion, enjoy it and move on to make some more memories. As much as I’ve adamantly proclaimed how romantic, whimsical and star-like an onion memory is, I have inherently depended on the happy undercurrents. So hopefully we can all be as happy about our onion memories, too.