Today, a friend asked me on chat to name one incident I remember fondly about my life in a certain year. Turns out, he is compiling these into a yearwise joyful memories of people on his blog. So I just browsed through the blog. And I was surprised to discover a sort of a trend in the memories. A lot of people seem to remember the years in terms of achievements..getting into a course, winning something, getting a certain rank..
And again the fact of me being out-of-sync stared me in the face.
I do not know, but this is not how I remember the times- certainly not when speaking of joy. Achievement and joy, though interlinked, have always been separate to me. I am not saying an achievement does not make me happy. It does, has and always will.
But if I look at moments of true joy, they have always been about small acts..everyday acts. Somehow I feel the joy in them is more pure, with no hidden agendas of proving anything to anyone (including yourself). Inspite of growing up in a middle class family, where academic achievements have a very vital role in your life, my memories of joy are full of such moments - moments of acts, rather than achievement.
Moments spent walking in the rain , moment spent playing football daylong in the mud and then getting spanked-but-still-smiling, moments of discovering a myna's nest in the stairwell, moments spent in the backyard jungle looking for edible flowers, stealing our way through barbed wire to wallow in the lake of the protected park, three friends staring at a crow skull and wondering how to take that home, drinking rum out of a saucepan, hitchhiking on top of trucks, stuffing ourselves with wild strawberries from the hillside; returning with my sis, tongues hanging out, looking for the nearest tube-well, after a hot and fiery session of phuchka; winter night spent sleeping in a tea stall, boat rides on the river, cycling for hours to a lake in search of birds, bonfire-winters and music, sitting on the pavement and waiting for the first subway back with a bottle of beer after a night spent seeking music, lost in the forest in heavy rain and hoping to see the red panda and not the bear, paperboats, kites, litter of pups to the street dog, smoking jute stems under the water tank,...