Inspiration #1

I have been meaning to start writing short accounts like this one for a while now. Up till now managing time has been my greatest issue so I am unable to allocate time, let alone ample time, for writing. But yet again I vow to not slide back into oblivion and keep writing regularly. Let’s see how successful I am this time with two little monkeys sucking the very last droplet of energy and sanity out of me every day! (Also, I just realized this is my very first post of the year so maybe this will keep motivating me to write more…its a thought heh.)

These accounts I want to start writing are about people who have inspired me throughout my life. People who probably do not even remember me or know me at times. People who I feel need to be reminded how awesome they are and need to continue to be. These people are family, friends, acquaintances. These people are you, and because they inspired me, they are me.
The very first person I want to write about is very special. She was my very first tutor that my brother and I used to go to study from after school in middle and high school. She was a young, focused, and extremely talented young girl (I am sure she still is). She was studying architecture as far as I remember, and I was fascinated by her drawings and intricate assignments. She was an excellent teacher too. Problems that I got stuck on for hours, she would resolve in a matter of minutes.
Her family livedĀ in a small apartment with three bedrooms. The apartment was like another home. I always felt at peace as a child in it. This was also because her mother was one of the warmest women I ever saw and knew. She was extremely supportive and caring of my mother when my father was working abroad and could not return for eight years. The scent of that apartment, and my teacher’s mother’s bright smile still lingers in my memory.
It is amazing how when we grow up and look back we are able to find things in the cluttered room of our memory, things that we do not even consciously remember or know exist. During my adult life I have more than often found myself standing in the middle of my memory room and finding all sorts of things that give me inspiration now. My dear teacher is one of them. Her smile, determination to make her parents proud, her confidence, the charm in her simple life, even the way she dressed and carried herself, all created an aura around her that I still admire and remember. Perhaps it her inner warmth is the reason that to date she still looks like the teenager who tutored us, not a day older.
She inspired me to be confident, keep working hard, and be a good daughter and sister. She was the eldest sibling of three, like me, so maybe that is why I resonated with her as well later in life. I just want to thank her, and let her know that I pray her children get to cherish her as a person and more just like I still do. May she continue being an inspiration forever.

Ducks on the Railway Track

Every morning the three year old little girl’s mother would dress her in a new frock with matching clips or rubber bands for pony tails, and take a picture from their extremely old fashioned camera. The little girl would hurriedly gobble down some breakfast and as soon as her mother would wipe her face clean she would run outside to her father’s motorcycle and impatiently wait for her father to seat her on the motorcycle’s tank in front of him.

It was a time when seat belt laws were not yet effective, when children could sit wherever and however their parents wanted them to on vehicles, and truly have fun by feeling the breeze ruffle their freshly made hair unlike having their noses buried in tablets and cellphones all along the journey.

It was also a time when the city this little girl grew up in was peaceful and beautiful. It was not yet bombarded by billboards or skyscrapers competing to surpass the last one in height. Not yet infested with business minded zombies, foreign franchises, and power hungry vigilantes. It was a place where mothers would allow their little ones to spend afternoons in their front yards or at a neighbor’s house without fear. When people could still leave their balcony doors open as they took an afternoon nap in the warm summer breeze when electricity would go out. It was something like heaven compared to twenty five years later.

So one peaceful and beautiful summer morning, wearing a new frock with matching shoes and ponytails, jumping in joy to be seated on the motorcycle, this girl was about to leave for her Montessori school. Every morning her father would seat her in front of him, hold the motorcycle’s handles from both sides around her and that was the safest place for her she ever sat despite no belt or car seat for protection. Her joy was not only because she knew she was going to learn something new at school but because in order to get to school they had to pass her favorite small passage. The passage that had ducks on a railway track.

Although ducks are not a rare sight in most places, and nor are railway tracks, but this particular combination of both served as a beautiful start to her day. She loved driving past these ducks and waving at them every morning. If any day she would not see them due to taking another route her mornings would lack that extra flair that she only forgot once she got to school and got busy in some activity. Her father would always smile as they drove past those ducks and he had to slow down his motorcycle in order to prevent damage to its wheels especially since those railway tracks were very stubby and old. While slowing down he would show her the ducks and talk to them for her and she would just laugh gleefully in pure joy.

There must be many other fond memories of her childhood but this one is the earliest one she has. Maybe because she did not get to spend such beautiful mornings alone with her father making her laugh and protecting her from falling as he slowly got off his motorcycle without letting go of the handles on both sides with her seated firmly between his clasp, and walking till the tracks ended. Some days they brought crumbs that the little girl clutched safely in her little hands till they reached the tracks. She then used to throw them scattering them amongst all the ducks.

Twenty five years later she is driving in her car towards her home, her father seated besides her as they talk about his memories. Its a different city, a different place, and certainly no ducks on their journey, but he remembers his motorcycle vividly and how he took it to venture in different places. What he doesn’t remember at all is those ducks, or the railway tracks, or even one such morning from her childhood. They are driving home from his neurologist’s office who hasn’t seen any progress in almost a year and has just provided a fresh list of “numbing” pills as his daughter calls them because all they do is numb his sensitivity to his rapidly escaping memory instead of curing it.
There is no cure for lost memories any way.