My uncle, my first best friend

Everybody has that one friend who loves to see you smile, wipes your tears, loves your laughter and feels just as good around you as you feel around them. For little me, it was my maternal uncle. Going to India for vacations every summer was obviously an exciting prospect!  I love both sets of grandparents dearly. And little me would wait for my uncle to come pick us up from the train station and take us home to my grandparents. The saddest part of summer was to accept that I wouldn’t see him for another year.

Being the youngest of seven children, he is obviously closest to my age. He loved his sisters (one of which is my mother) very, very much! And he knew they loved him back. Running errands for his sisters around town seemed like a hobby of his to my little eyes because he was always so happy to do it. When I got scolded at for being naughty, he’d hear my whole story out like I was the most important case in his court.

He taught me a lot of things I know now…for example, he’s the one who taught me how to ride a bike! He always volunteered to help me with my holiday homework (which the school always gave in ample amounts) and we  had so much fun! He would buy game cds so I could pass time when he was gone and had lots of books to keep me entertained. My favorite ice cream at the back of his scooter feeling the wind hit my face is one of the best memories I have with him.

I always fussed about his eyes. His eyes were hazel like maa’s but a shade deeper.  They were serene sometimes and filled with childlike joy at other times. For him, making me eat was really easy. “Aashu? You want eyes like mine? Eat up!” (Yes, I used to fall for it).

Since he had so many sisters and all of them had kids (my cousins) I’m sure he was as unique to them as he was to me. He always made everyday special! Which kid wouldn’t want an uncle like that?

Since then, I’ve had many close and dear friends but I will always remember my first best friend who taught me to respect him by treating me like a friend.

Even now, if its a GK book I need for my entrance exams or a registration number we need for a college, he’s always so ready to help out.

Though I never express it fully, he means a lot to me even now, years and years later! In some ways, he’s made me a better person and he probably doesn’t know it, but he’s helped me get where I am now by juts being there for me.

I hope he is well! I cant wait to see him, my aunt and my baby cousin soon =)

Peace out!

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Memories

The dictionary defines the word “Memory” as the faculty of the mind by which it retains the knowledge of previous thoughts, impressions, or events. That may be literally correct in every sense but do you not think our memories are much deeper than just our retention of past events? Its much deeper than that.

Some songs may remind us of a particular person, a smell, anything! Memories are not to be seen or just thought of..they’re more! They can be felt. That’s the difference between a picture of your best friend and your own memory of the best times you spent together.

We see, hear and experience numerous things in our lives and our mind is unable to remember every single detail of every second we lived. We do, however remember fragments of it that make our lives worth living…the elements that we carry on with us and make a piece of our own being therefore are our memories. These elements decide not only how we reminisce our yesterday but also how we spend our today and plan our tomorrow.

I had a friend in second grade with whom I used to walk to the bus everyday. We weren’t very close but those few minutes we spent walking somehow mattered a lot to me. She used to board a different bus in the school yard which was always parked just adjacent to mine. One day she taught me a Japanese word which meant “goodbye”. We never spoke a word to each other from the school gate to our buses till it was time to board our separate buses. We’d smile and wave at each other whispering “Sayonara”. I don’t remember her name, nor do I remember her face but it’s that simple Japanese word she taught me that never left me. I still use it and still smile thinking of that special friend I had, the fascination I had felt of knowing a word in a foreign language which I knew my friends in class were unaware of and the satisfaction I felt every afternoon after saying a Sayonara to her. On rare occasions when she was absent I used to whisper it to myself not only hoping that she would somehow receive it, wherever she was, but also for the sake of my own satisfaction.

I relocated soon after that and thus had to change my school but the word stuck on and I still consider it one of my most favourite words. She had unknowingly become a piece of me forever.

So, memories are portions of the days gone by that make us who we are, that define our personalities and our likes and dislikes.  They are those images, sounds or feelings that have influenced us in one way or another and crave to be remembered. They may be the smallest of things, like where you shared a cup of ice cream with your mom, the last time you saw your best friend or the first Japanese word you ever learnt.

Sayonara!