They say memories are golden. They provide a fresh lease and succor to life. Not only they enable us to keep in touch but provide possibly, a kind of therapy as well, which has no side effects. While painful experiences deserve to be forgotten, good and soothing episodes keep coming back to one’s mind and they should also.
Certain old associates could be compared to huge and perennial rivers, as there is no dearth of water or shall we say, no dearth of emotion in them? In order to renew and recharge old contacts, egos and self- proclaimed prestige have to be set aside. No confluence is possible if there is no common ground or level field. Also the past and present hierarchies need to be ignored.
With this prescription or frame of mind, I began a hectic search for Mahesh, our old Bungalow Peon. One was looking for him and was hearing as well about him from Sharmaji but no telephonic conversation was materializing.
On a relatively gloomy morning, I was bestowed with some optimism to have a contact. Without losing time, I grabbed it. Sarla, the State Guest House Caretaker managed to call Mahesh within less than a minute. His unique short stature, frail, yet, strong body and fair face, otherwise also makes him a distinct entity. One of my old friends was fond of calling him a ‘heritage product’.
When we got closer on receiver, both addressed each other simultaneously in the old, familiar and affectionate tone. I inquired about his welfare, family members, friends, place of work and present wages. He replied to everything in a smiling and positive tone. Before I could convey our fond memories of him, apt came the query” How are Memsaheb and Ankoor?” I gave him the required information. I did add that we were eager to send some presents to him upon being informed of his present place of work. He did inquire, if I was planning to visit his place in near future. Not only I mentioned about some characteristic features of his three year association with us, but I also reminded him about his delicious Chinese preparations and the nice, round and hot chapattis he would make especially for me. Those would be made at a time when the whole of Gangtok would be in deep slumber.
He smiled, laughed and reciprocated his emotions. I could understand him, so could he. Afterall, he would often share my joys and sorrows without any malice, whenever my family won’t be around. While I promised to contact him regularly, in turn, he managed very innocently to persuade me to let my wife and son call him soon. He could not believe that latter was now a tall, young man, religiously pursuing his Second Year of B.A Hons. He felt overjoyed on my positive response. Before disconnecting, a sigh of relief came to his face when I requested Sarla to take good care of him in view of what she heard.
Upon this pleasant drive down the memory lane, I suppose, my level of stress vanished into thin air. I received the therapy I was looking for. This is how life goes on and the foundations of future are laid on some of the past happenings and acquaintances.