A Treasure chest

In the last few days I came across many reports that spoke of Manmohan Singh’s appointment as Finance Minister in 1991, and the turnaround in the economy he engineered. Repeated references to the year, 1991, triggered a train of thoughts.

What did I do in 1991, I wondered.

It was the year I completed my schooling, my 12th standard. At the beginning of the year I donated my tonsils. Then there were a couple of picnics with schoolmates; those were our last few months together, and we wanted to have some fun outside the school boundaries. There were many group photographs. There was also a threat from a dada of our class asking me to stop “going behind” a girl I rather fancied. He fancied her too, but his threat was along the lines of “she is my sister; leave her alone”. I left her alone.

Then came the board exams – bad – followed by entrance exams – worse. I then had to move to Bangalore for my graduation (under-graduation, if you follow American terminology). New place, new college, new hostel. The hostel was managed by a strict octogenarian who switched of the hot-water boilers by 7 am (so we all had to finish our bath by then), peeped into our bedrooms from time to time (curtains were forbidden), and held a roll-call at dinner time to ensure no one was out late (we jumped over the gates after dinner anyway).

Sketchy details, at best. A pity, really, because memories are our biggest wealth – the more we have, the wealthier we are. How do we preserve this precious commodity?

Of the different ways to preserve memories, letters, journals and photographs are the ones that come readily into mind. Photographs are common; the other two less so. Had I maintained a regular correspondence with someone during those years, my treasure chest labeled “1991” wouldn’t appear so depleted. Had I maintained a journal, the details would probably have been richer.

I hope not to carry such regrets about 2004. I now have a blog; I have to maintain it well.

6 thoughts on “A Treasure chest

  1. I have a BIG REGRET about 1991. 13 years ago on 21-st of May I was a nervous person. I had not finished my holiday homework. It involved solving 2 mathematics 11-th Std final exam question papers – it would take 6 hours of calculus and trigonometry. I was sure I would be on my knees outside my class in full view of all the students of the school. Our Maths teacher was known about not going back on her word on punishments.

    I prayed that our President R. Venkataraman who was quite old would pass away so that I could get a few days more to finish my homework.

    I woke up on 22-nd May to the sound of the ringing telephone. My Aunt with whom we were staying answered. It was her son from New Jersey. He informed us that Rajiv Gandhi had been assassinated.

    I got my holiday but spent the next week in tears. Even though this incident did not change my habit of not doing my homework on time, it stopped me from wishing leaders dead – however young or old they might be.

    Hence 1991 alway stands out in my mind and leaves me still weeping about the loss of a great leader.

  2. Interesting thought, to go back to 1991. I had just finished college and started my first job – in advertising. Mmmm. But I remember lots.

  3. hey i’d completed my schooling in ’91 too. and for once in life done extremely well in the exams. so have very nice memories that i have (forcefully) stored since then ha ha

  4. Colors reminded me of my vacation with family to Ooty during 1991 when we got stranded in Coimbatore (the time Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated). All hotels were full and it was dangerous to venture out of the car to get food amidst the riots. We finally got ourselves checked into a seedy lodge and watched the ghastly scenes on TV in the stinking lobby. We couldn’t leave the place for 4 days and finally when we did we had to put black flags in our cars and drive slowly (maybe coz we were supposed to support AIDMK?)

    Apart from that, I remember trivial things like cutting off my long tresses much to the irritation of my parents. Trying hard to imagine why I would need integration and differentiation in my life. I was in my 9th Standard (grade, if you follow American terminology).

    Man, Parmanu! you are in a different generation.:)And you are tempting me to blog.:P

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