Down the memory lane
Source : Google photo
Synopsis : We all love to remember the good times we had with good people and try to forget the bad people who leave no impression in our lives. This blogs remembers those who made a big impression in my life and who I miss.
Have you ever stopped to think about the people you met often by chance or by design who left an indelible impression on you? Have you ever wondered what happened to them and where they might be? How has life treated them? Are they still alive or dead and how is it that such people have entirely disappeared from your life without leaving a trace?
These are very valid questions that may induce you to think about them deeply and make you realize with a pang that you miss them.
In this long journey of life we meet all sorts of people along the way. While most people you meet are perhaps not worth writing about including the toxic people who used you, demanded favors from you and showed no gratitude, people with no manners who were poor examples of the humanity and who left you better off disappearing from your life, there are those whom you still miss and wish to see them once again before you kick the proverbial bucket so to speak.
We all have such experiences of meeting people who left an impression that lasts but sadly they have all disappeared. I do not mean your high school classmates or college classmates or the kids you grew up with in your neighborhood while you were growing up although there may have been a few you would have liked to keep in touch.
In my life there have been quite a few such people. I remember Louis with his boyish and eager face and red curly hair who loved to ride my motorbike and would drive 200 kms to come to see me. I still have his photo with his mischievous smile and exuberant personality but he has completely disappeared. I tried looking him up in the social media where often you can find people who are long lost but I did not succeed.
There was Wiriya who was a wonderful Thai girl who showed me around in Bangkok and introduced me to the University where she worked across the river.
There was Alison who would bring me to the bus station at the middle of the night to say goodbye in California. There was John who was supposed to go with me to Angkor Wat but I had to cancel the trip because something came up. There was Masafumi who showed me Tokyo the way only a native could. There was Kam Fat in Sheung Shui I wrote about earlier in a blog.
Looking back, I vividly remember their young eager faces trying to so hard to be my friend and ready to do anything to please me that still makes me feel their absence now. I had a dorm mate in California called Steve who was so simple and so innocent that it was hard to believe.
During my travels through many countries over the years, I have met many such people that are hard to forget which makes it even harder to accept that they have so completely vanished. The one I tried very hard to find again was my French teacher Marie Francoise who would non challantly cross the streets anywhere just like she did in France and look very surprised when she got a ticket for it in Washington, D.C. She was funny, witty and full of mischief and a gem of a person whom I cannot forget. I could not understand her handwriting so the address she gave me at the last minute was useless to me and I lost her when I left the United States.
After such a long time of more than 50 years or so, people move to different locations, they marry, have their families or break up and go somewhere else with someone else. What terrifies me is the thought that they may have become sick or may have died.
So we all have at some time or other met wonderful people who have now disappeared never to be found again. Perhaps it was the time and the circumstance under which we met that can’t be replicated again so we all move on in our life in different directions so our roads never converge again as it did so long ago.
This world is so big if you think about it for a minute. It is vast and the distances that seemed short in the jet age long ago now seem so great now that we have stopped travelling. So I wanted to record these wonderful people in this blog with a very faint hope that someone somewhere may read it and say I knew him when we were so young and reckless, fun loving and adventurous. We got into mischief but we had fun together.
Our life is like a book where the memories are written and we revisit the pages again and again even if the book becomes threadbare and fragile. I choose to write about the good people I knew and ignore the bad people who were toxic. I choose to remember the people I liked and cherished than the ones I detested and who never became my friends.
I found out that people anywhere open up and smile if you just have the courage to say hello with some exceptions in some countries where they are suspicious and afraid of you. I do not write about them because they never became my friends even though they were my officemates or neighbors.
I must say that I am partial to the French people because they were so friendly to me from the start. We used to meet at the same restaurant every evening for our meal in Tizi Ouzou ,Algeria and knew many of them. They used to shout from their table and say we are coming to pick you up tomorrow to play football in the next town or there is a party tonight that you must attend. One used to pick me up at my office during the noon break and we would swim in the azure blue Mediterranean just below his house on a hill top and roast a lamb in the evening on charcoal fire while listening to Jean Ferrat in stereo.
There was Yves who did not hesitate for a second when I asked him to tow a fellow whose car broke down and needed help. He moved to Rabat and remains lost to me. I was blessed to know so many good people that I cannot write about all of them but they are lovingly remembered in my threadbare book of life.
If you if have similar experience then write about them and make the memory permanent in the blog even if you do not know where they are . This is the least anyone can do to show that good people are always cherished because they had a positive impact on your life in some way.
If you close your eyes for a minute and think of life as a multitude of people you meet on the road of life who are all travelling in the same direction and will meet the same end sooner or later, you begin to appreciate your fellow travellers who may slow down and may stop while you go ahead and meet new ones until you too slow down and stop while others coming behind you overtake you someday.
I cannot go back to those days except in the by lanes of my memory.