Very Deep Memories


How far back can you go down memory lane?
If you can do this fun exercise with me, you won’t be disappointed.
In fact, it works like therapy. At least, it does for me.
You close your eyes, relax in your couch or bed, turn down the lights, turn down the TV or other unnecessary noise of life, and just think.
It’s a wonderful meditation. It’s yoga in its purest form.
Think about your childhood.
I have written about it before a number of times. Perhaps you have read it too. But I have more to share. I have more fun sharing it.
Slowly, I go down, go deep, very deep into my memories. Slowly, and gently, with softness and care, I unfold some of the most beautiful moments of life — one moment at a time.
Concentration is a prerequisite. Calmness is a prerequisite.
Doing it with love, you find concentration. You find calmness.
You become a yogi.
Thoughts, memories resurface randomly. They have no pattern. They have no sequence. They follow no rules. They don’t have to.
They resurface, and rearrange, like a kaleidoscope.
And that’s magic.
I close my eyes, and see the first time I wrote the Bengali letter ঈ on a small slate board, with a piece of thin, white chalk. I see I’m doing it all by myself for the first time, and my grandmother and aunt are cheering for me 🙂
I close my eyes, and see I’m visiting with Ma her friend Maya (মায়া মাসী) at their North Calcutta residence. It’s a large single room. On one side, we’re sitting and chatting. On another corner, Aunt Maya’s father — perhaps in his eighties then — is smoking his hookah. I can hear the deep rumbling coming out of his slow, peaceful puffs. I can see the long, snake-like pipe going from the base of the brass hookah all the way to his mouth. He closes his eyes and puffs again…brrrr…brrrr…brrrr… (গুড়ুক গুড়ুক গুড়ুক )
I close my eyes, and see I’m visiting with father his aunt (মেজো পিসীমা) at their dark, dingy house in a Benaras riverside alley named Bhelupura. His aunt, my grand-aunt, was already ninety-five at that time. I remember her sitting just outside of their kitchen, on a soft cane stool (মোড়া), and I remember her left eye covered with a black cloth patch. Perhaps she had just had a cataract patch
Father’s aunt passed away long time ago. But I remembered her, and then called up one of her grandchildren, my cousin who is now sixty-five years old. He has always been like a dear old brother, but I haven’t seen him for eons.
But I called him, and he and his wife (whom I only met once or twice after their marriage) spoke with me from across the world, and we spoke for a very long time.
As if no memories were ever lost.
I thought that was magic.
What do you think?
Tell me.
Dipping into the deep, deep, absolute deep…
Brooklyn, New York

Varanasi. Peaceful childhood.
Varanasi. Peaceful childhood.


  1. For some reason that I don’t quite understand, I have very little memories of my past. My husband can recall everything from the time he was three. He just turned 80!


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