|Multiple Memories, Pittsburgh|
On a recent long-haul flight, I ended up re-watching the Hindi film, 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani' and something about the opening scenes snagged my attention. The leading lady, Naina (Deepika Padukone) is reminscing about a life-changing trip to Manali she took several years ago and once she eventually finishes flash-backing and drifts back into the present, we find her surrounded by keepsakes she has preserved from that trip. It got me thinking then about how I too once upon a time used to similarly and carefully preserve objects - notes, cards, gifts, trinkets - which had great sentimental importance and store them in pretty boxes...and more importantly, why I no longer do so anymore. Coincidentally, soon after I landed home, I received a message from friend and fellow blogger, Khadija, telling me how many things she had recently donated and how she finds that she doesn't seem to attach importance to these objects anymore. "I don't want things anymore," she told me. "Suddenly, they have no meaning and are just taking up space."
|Leafing Through, Pittsburgh|
I was quite a bit of a collector during my childhood and teenage days and I must say that the habit still persists; I continue to collect fallen leaves or feathers and will often place them in bowls or dress up my coffee-table with these found treasures. Yet, these objects increasingly hold ephemeral significance for me; as soon as they cease to fascinate me, I do not have any compunctions in bidding them farewell. Unlike earlier times, when I would bring back home a pinecone or a pebble or a shell as a physical, tangible reminder of a holiday or experience and steadfastly hold onto them, I am now finding myself shoeboxing memories, so to speak, in written/visual form. An object can easily shatter or be misplaced or simply disappear...a visual and written record is more durable and permanent, and ultimately, much more effectively bottle the mood and spirit of a moment or a journey. Suffice to say, I would prefer to photograph the object and memorialise in it in that fashion, rather than keeping the physical object itself!
|Looking Up, Warwick Art Centre|
In addition, it has made me even more sharply and vividly aware of the river of sights that streams past me every day; what I earlier may have been oblivious to re-presents itself in form of quirky visual messages instead. I am learning to distil beauty from the mundane and create dream-like stories from a family of otherwise merely sundry individual objects.
How do you preserve your memories? I would love to hear!