It was my substitution period in class 5. I asked them to read, write, draw or do whatever they wanted to, except talking. This is actually the time when you really get to know about the interests of the children. I was just taking a round and observing what they were doing, when these two children caught my attention. They were exchanging stamps.
“Ma’am, we collect stamps of different countries and often exchange the extra stamps”.
During my interaction with the class I got to know that many of them have a hobby of collecting different things, cards, key chains, coins, pens and even dolls!
One of the students asked me, “Ma’am, what do you collect?”
What do I collect?
I am not in the hobby of collecting things…….I collect Memories!
One of my most cherished memories is of the mulberry tree in the corner of my school ground. During the break time we children used to gather around it and throw stones at the tree. Mulberries fell down and we collected them in a poly bag. Washed them and ate them to our contentment.
My most beautiful memories are of my school time. Concentrating on studies during the sixth period was the most difficult task, immediately after which we had our lunch break. The aroma coming from the mess distracted all our senses and we geared up to run as soon as we heard the bell of lunch break. There was a mess in the school; we used to get breakfast, lunch, tiffin and a huge amount of happiness there. Nothing could beat the taste of the food that was served. If we have six taste buds, the food charged them all up. Ringing all the bells in the stomach and satisfying them with a savor much tastier than the last time we had it. I still wonder if it was the taste of the food or the magic of the company! (You make friends for a lifetime in school.)
A big space of my heart is dedicated to my school time memories, which I often visit. Out of all those recollections, my class 11th and 12th memories make my heart swell with pride. I still have a clear vision when my teachers during a P.T.M. of class 12th, praised me heartily and my mother had tears of happiness in her eyes. I was an average student till class 10th but in 11th and 12th I always stood first in my class. (Let children choose the subjects of their choice if you really want them to be happy.)
Although I want to relive all my beautiful memories but the hug that I most dearly long for is of my grandma ( Amma). I remember each night my siblings and I used to have a tussle over who will sleep with Amma. She used to tuck me close and tell me mythological stories. She was the one who supported and helped me develop my love for cooking. Her culinary skills were out of the world! (She used to even separate membrane of onions while chopping them!)
Whole life we all collect memories and trust me, this is the treasure that no one can steal from you. Time passes, situations alter, people change or even leave you but memories will always stay.
As I see my kids grow, I know one day they will get busy in creating their own beautiful world. But each day, since they were born, will always stay with me. I can still touch that feeling when my daughter gave me the honour to be a mother for the first time. (Having goose bumps as I recall this beautiful and most precious memory). The first hug of my son who was still concealed in blood made me forget all the pain I went through.
My memories are my most treasured possession. I have a vast collection. No camera can capture the liveliness of my memories. No picture album or CD has the power and capacity to store the spirits of the life that I once lived.
Often I dust them, arrange them and relive them… my memories are precious!
I collect Memories…