Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The box that opened childhood …..By Mrs. Minal Gurav (Mentor, Grades)

A few months back a friend returning from her village sent a bag full of village goodies. Tucked in the same bag was this box which looked like any other small plastic container. When I opened the box, I saw what you see in this picture. The small box as if magically opened a big box tucked away in my senses, my heart and mind. My tongue tingled with the taste of tamarind even before I had picked any up. I was transported to that tree from my childhood under which I spent a lot of time collecting tamarind filling them in my pockets.  Standing here, in a completely different space I looked up while in that flashback, and I saw that tree loaded with fruit. I felt a sense of joy, a sense of unhurried childhood peace. I was as if standing there in midst of a childhood summer vacation idly eating the tamarind, collecting the seeds, playing with them and spending long hours seemingly doing nothing, but actually making memories.

We all have experienced this at some point, the smell of rain, the smell of the sea, the sight of gulmohur in bloom, the smell of that kheer, a specific song, the sound of the train and many such experiences related to the senses can revive memories, and take us back to something we have experienced often in our childhood.  

If we think if what we did as adults in our last vacation or even our most memorable trip, we would have visual images and events coming to our minds. But if we try to bring back memories of childhood to our present, they will appear in the form of emotions, diffused but intense sensations. We feel like we have travelled back in time.

After this journey through the tamarind box, I am, yet again, in awe of the way we are created. How life gone by can be re-lived. As if the life gone by is packed away in so many unknown places in this very body. How a seemingly mundane, day after day rhythm of childhood like collecting tamarind, can bring so much peace and joy years after childhood is long gone.

As I say this, I see my daughter making a marigold flower garland, a Diwali routine in our home, and I think of how the smell of marigold and the feeling of joy and peace that will goes with this is a pathway to establishing emotions that will accompany her for life.

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