Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present. – Midnight in Paris

While there is nothing particularly painful about my present, past does creep in on me every now and then. Of course, it has the uncanny ability of appearing simpler and sorted. All the difficult decisions of the past have been taken, things that turned out wrong have been gotten over, and the happier moments still remain etched in the memory. So yes, it is almost always tempting me, calling out to me to walk back in and soak in the greener times. Just for a short while.

I love my present, most of the time but I miss people from the past. I wish I could relive those moments again:

The time when she and I glued our bums on the plush couches of our favorite café, refusing to budge. We played our favorite track on repeat on the music box, heedless of the others who may have been bored out of their skulls. We sipped Irish coffees for hours.

The time when I snuck out of work in the early evening to catch a cup of hot tea and some spicy snack with the friend who’d come all the way to my workplace for a chit-chat almost every week.

Those endless Sunday afternoons when we lolled around on the carpet, talking about our fears and dreams of tomorrow. Today is the tomorrow we talked about then. We would often go up to the roof and sit in the shade of the neem tree, where sometimes she would smoke. The look on her face was so blissful that I almost always tried a puff just to figure out the hidden joy.

Those afternoons, when we walked down the dingy Chinese restaurant close to the college for the greasy noodles that we truly enjoyed, are from so long ago that they are becoming a little hazier and that scares me.

The unending phone conversations that we had right after we got home from work; where we had chatted for hours in person and on Sametime. Those cannot be replaced by discussions on Google Talk and WhatsApp.

Some of these memories are with friends who are still emotionally close, some with friends who have drifted away with time, and all with friends who are geographically apart. And a part of me is essentially scared of being in a situation that allows me to relive the past; for if life and time have changed us, I do not want to know.

Yes, nostalgia is denial and let us keep it that way.


3 Responses to “Nostalgia”

  1. Norwegian Wood Girl Says:

    What a beautifully written post, A. Loved it. Thank you for this.

  2. I sat on the same red couch with a friend the other day but it wasn’t the way it was with you. Even the puffs are not same in the company of others. But, if you would like to believe me, the neem tree spreads out in the same way as it always did and I still sit on the roof thinking about us. Maybe we can relive all of it, or some of it, someday.
    Lovely post, Annie.

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