Wish Versus Memory
Summer evenings have always been the best thing about our tiny hometown. Do you remember the evening that made us fall in love?
Do you remember the tree and the pond in the garden? The pond that made us fall in love with our reflections, and the tree that made us fall in love with imagination.
We had an irresistible urge to climb the tree. Do you remember that? But being quite tiny and silly, we could only wish to do so. And finally when we were tired of wishing, we stood beside the pond and stared at our reflections. It was then that we realised how beautiful it seems to watch our reflections stand together, yours and mine being just the same. We had stood together in front of the mirror several times before that, but never could a reflection in glass portray what a reflection in water did. And then we watched the reflection of the tree, that fell beside ours. We moved a bit and could see our reflection and that of the tree overlapping each other. It provided us with a narrow sense of gratification. Because virtually, our hands could touch the top of the tree. Back then, virtuality of things did not bother us much. Because, like most other kids, we were used to paying more attention to imagination than to reality.
However, unlike most other twin siblings, we realised the beauty of having a twin quite early. All it took us was a tree and a pond at the tender age of seven.
Do you remember our next wish, the last one that we shared? We wished to stand together at a seashore someday and cherish our existence, just the way we had done near the pond.
It is our eighteenth birthday today. I am so sorry, I have never been able to find us a tree and a pond ever since we left the town. So today, I walked ahead to a seashore. So far, I have always assumed that I will be able to find some fragments of your presence in the last wish that we shared. A year after we stood together at the pond, I lost you. Today, I stood for hours at the seashore, dying to feel your presence, and expecting to cherish our bond.
I stood there and intensely watched the waves rise up and fall down. As I kept staring, struggling to feel, the sea seemed to be leaving a message for me each time at the shore. While its water soared up and down happily, maybe it mocked me for being stuck at the wrong reason to cry.
I took a deep breath and started wondering. But no matter how hard I tried, I could not imagine us smiling widely at the water as we had done back near the pond. Maybe because there was no huge tree beside the sea water to trigger my imagination. And maybe because seashore is not the place where I can feel you.
Seashore was a part of our wish, but I failed to realise that wishes are not where you reside. So now, I decide to go for memories instead. Sometimes, reliving a memory is worth more than chasing an unfulfilled wish. I do not know what wins when a wish versus memory, but now, I certainly know what I need to choose. Because a beautiful memory might make one shed tears for the times past, but it does so in quite a peaceful way.
Well, we were once told that tragedies could be peaceful. Do you remember that?
When we got home from the garden that night, grandma told us a story. Thinking of it now seems like she could forsee what life had in store for us. She said she was once on a boat with a man she thought she loved. Neither of them knew how to swim. As she marked fear on his face, she could not help asking if he would regret if they drowned in the river the very next moment. He answered that he loves the boat only because it keeps them above water. They parted. For him, she was filled with tragedy. For her, he was filled with unrest. She reckoned that the ones who love the boat only because it sails and keeps them from the tragedy of drowning, probably do not realise that sometimes, drowning with memories is more peaceful than sailing with fear.
In our tragedy too, there is no unrest. For it is filled with calm reminiscences of you and me. I will now keep away the turbulence caused by an unfulfilled wish and walk towards you.
Tomorrow, I will go to our town and revisit the garden and stand near the tree, beside the pond. I will stare at my reflection, that will fall close to that of the tree. I know I won’t be able to find your reflection smiling beside mine, but I will certainly be able to find you.