Last Sunday I woke up to thundering noises coming from the store room which is built separately from the rest of the house. Terrified, I sprang over the garden and ran towards the room and almost got my head banged into the huge iron cupboard which someone had pulled out. A thick layer of dust made it impossible to see who the doer was. Stupidly, my first thought was – is someone trying to steal that huge mountain of steel and dust (a.k.a. Mount Doom), God, are we being robbed? Then my next thought was to shriek because the first thought had scared the shit out of me so instead I asked for my “Mommy”, in a frail voice.
“You’re finally awake?” asked Mom.
I still could not see her.
“You bet I am”, trying to hide my scared-as-shit tone and replacing it with a you-woke-me-up-so-early-on-a-frigging-Sunday tone.
“Will you give me a hand?”, she asked me coming out from behind the huge dust cloud. She was enveloped in grey dust flakes and when she came out of the room in the sunlight, the particles shone brightly making skin and hair turn white. A huge broom was in her left hand and an equally huge photo album in her right. All in all she was looking like Gandalf the White from The Lord Of The Rings! Thankfully, she was wearing a mask over her mouth and nose and gloves on her hands to get cover against the dust but that made her look like Willy Wonka, only in whiter clothes and without a hat.
After all of my useless observations, I finally said, “You bet I will.”
Trust me, I become all the more satirical after being woken up to unessentially horrifying sounds on an essentially important day like, I don’t know, a Sunday!?
“Well, someone has acid all over their morning breath”, Mom said signaling me to hold the prehistoric album.
I rolled my eyes because if I was a pro at this, Mom was an old pro.
Mom was spring cleaning the place and like all the other previous years it was that time of the year when all of us would sit together and “relive the old memories” because after this the album would be put back into the cupboard and the room won’t be cleaned again until the next year hence no “remembering the good old days”. That photo album has all the pictures since Mom’s and Dad’s college days to their marriage to our births to the present day. It’s actually a collection of different photo albums put together as one.
For this special little event of ours, Mom makes some special food and Dad’s thing is to get all the pictures of the previous year made from the photo studio and put them up in the album. After everything has been done, we sit together and look at the pictures not actually to go down the memory lane but mostly to make fun of each other.
I am not going lie but I wasn’t the most photogenic kid in my childhood, hence I have to face most of the humiliation. There is this one picture that my uncle had clicked just to check if the camera was working or not. The picture was a natural one because neither of us knew that the camera was working. So, in the picture, Mom, Dad and me, all of us are sitting on a sofa. Dad is reading a newspaper and Mom is sipping her tea and where am I? I am sitting right beside them with only a minor difference, that is, my legs are where my head should and head is where legs should be and as it turned out that the camera was working perfectly! So, after getting myself humiliated over and over again, I noticed one thing, that is, it seems I didn’t care how I looked or what I was doing when those shots were taken just to get a oh-my-God-I-should-upload-this-on-Facebook, which was great, but, as it turns out my parents didn’t care either.
Apart from harassing one another, while the event goes on, my Dad has a few lines which he says after each picture.
1. My God, look how fast time passes by!?
2. How I wish we could all go back to those times!
3. Oh! Hah. Look at you! And you!
Trust me, he says these words at every second picture and with the same energy. It seems as if he is transported into another world once we start to look at the photos. He is instantly back to his childhood and talks how beautiful those days were and how happy he emphasizes upon how fast the both of us grew but my sister and I tell him melodramatically – NO, time does pass by, every single year we have gone to school each and every day and suffered the thrashings of our daily routines and for over a decade and for the last time, TIME DOES NOT FLY BY!
The point being that we never really thought about Dad’s words or what they actually meant until today.
So, today again we were having this event and Mom called had Uncle and Aunt over to our place with their two beautiful kids. They have a boy of eight and a girl of one.
The girl is one of the most ravishing things I have ever seen. Hands down. To this most of you might think that yes babies are beautiful and all, but when I say she is ravishing, it means she is one of a kind. She has this small round face accompanied with little silky smooth black hair falling on her forehead. Her long eyelashes sweep across her pink cheeks slowly as she blinks her eyes. What I mean is she is you can’t take your eyes off her once she is in the room.
Anyways, we were all sitting and chatting about the old days. Dad was in a awe (again) and was back to his childhood and stuck to his pet lines. Mom was telling Uncle and Aunt about an incidence my sister pulled off in her school. My sister, Vikhyat (the boy) and I were teaching Avi (the girl) to speak. As we were forcing her to get words out of her mouth, Mom said, “Look how fast she has learned to walk and now she is even starting to speak!”
That’s when it occurred to me what Mom and Dad had gone through and now I was too going through that stage. My sister was also born in front of me but at that time I was too young to understand the phenomenon. But with this little girl things are different as I now am more capable of witnessing and understanding her growth.
Nearly one and a half decades ago, my parents were doing the same thing, teaching my sister and me how to walk, to speak, to do stuff and how weird it must feel to see those little things grow up so fast like Avi is doing now. That girl was born in front of us. She took her first steps in front of us and now she was going to speak her first words in front of us. A pang of nostalgia hit me and I could not stop thinking about this girl growing up so quickly. She has half her teeth out and within two years she might be going to school!
Realizing that soon she would be a grown up too and within no time we all would be sitting with an older version of her and remembering these days nearly stopped my breath for a second.
I know I was hypersensitive about the whole thing but at least now I understood what my father meant and felt and I actually thank him for days like these. And yes, Avi made me realize – TIME DOES FLY BY!
Below you will find the pictures of the girl, the ‘first love of my life’ as I call her and I hope you will understand as to why I don’t want her to grow up!