THE PETRICHOR OF MEMORIES
Writing is hard work. Physically, it tires the person who engages in the process. Ironically, habitual writers often feel depressed at the lack of enough writing hours. Perhaps, it’s just a habit taking its toll. Perhaps, it’s the addiction to the world inside one’s head. I get exhausted, wanting to fill myself with something to eat, mostly after long hours of writing.
Writing is craft. I think what’s more important is the ability to tell stories. We all are storytellers in one way or another. Just think about the act of recollecting some old happening from your memory lane. Retrieving an old event from the store house of memory is a very apt example for storytelling. Most of us, most of the time, fill the gaps in our memories with invented stories just to match the feeling we experienced at the end of the narrative.
Memories are like rain. They give us the petrichor that physically move us into vibrations that are not preexisting in our being. In India, especially, South India, where I belong, this is summer season. Scorching heat, dust, and sweat mark our daily reality. Tomorrow, that is, the fourteenth of April is a festival in Kerala, known as Vishu. It’s celebrated by bursting firecrackers and observing the auspicious kani. Kani is an arrangement of the produce of the season, including the beautiful golden shower flower [Cassia fistula], a mirror, in some regions in Kerala, and some coins. There will also be an idol of Krishna in some houses. Vishu is both a cultural and agricultural festival. The reason for firecrackers is still out of my comprehension. But I do enjoy them, when I see the ‘firebrands’ spitting multicolored effects. I have no liking for crackers. So I keep myself away from them, ever since I was a child. You can judge me as a fear stricken person. But I’d say it’s prudence. With the recent temple fire tragedy in Kollam as a sample, you may see some sense in my ‘prudence’.
Regarding this year’s Vishu or about the previous year’s we all may have stories to share. That makes us all partners in the unending alchemy of storytelling. I remember listening to older folks talk about their youth and childhood days, when, they say, Vishu was better and more festive than today’s. Listening to their stories, I never once doubted their proclamation. Their stories were evidence of the undying spirit of festivity in their mind.
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I wish all my fellow beings a very happy Vishu. The name of the celebration might be different in your part of the country. But it’s always the stories you tell that matters.
Petrichor PRONUNCIATION:(PET-ri-kuhr) MEANING: noun: The pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.
PS: After writing down these five hundred words, I feel my tummy burning for something to eat. I am going to have a heavy meal tonight.
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