Memories of the Past

   Posted by: Janahan Balasingham   in Experience, Personal

I spent a whole day in bed a few days ago thanks to the heat boil I got in my eyelid that made it impossible for me to see anything without tears. Just before I realized that, I read an email that was mass mailed to me and my friends. It was containing pictures of old Wellawatte from 1981. Some of the friends were recalling the old places and what they remember of those places. While I was lying in the bed unable to sleep, my mind roamed around old memories.

I do not know why I have specific memories of certain events while everything else is pretty much blank for me. And from what I remember, most of the good memories I have are when I was living in Jaffna. I think they are from the vacations I spent there when I was a little kid.

Good Memories from Jaffna

  • Taking a nice bath in the swimming pool near the well in the backyard of the house.
  • Spending the mornings collecting leaves for goats and feeding them. Very fun thing to do.
  • Eating fresh fruits like mango and a few others for which I don’t know English names right from the trees.
  • Eating string hoppers with spicy mango sambal. I recall eating it using a scraped coconut shell as the plate. So delicious. Still remember the taste.
  • Traveling around in bicycle (someone else rode it).
  • Beautiful Amman temple we visited often. Mom’s family temple or something like that. Don’t know the details other than going there often.

Bad Memories from Jaffna

  • Drunken fights of my dad with my mom and grandma.
  • Dad degrading grandma about money he gave her and the weak way she looked. It still haunts me in my memory.

Yet when I think of my time spent in Jaffna, I think of it fondly. The peace I felt there was something that was rare. Strange since I lived in Colombo longer than Jaffna yet the memories I have of my time in Colombo is not that pleasant.

Good Memories from Colombo

  • Watching a lot of TV (been collecting all the shows and cartoons I saw as a kid).
  • Time I spent with my then-girlfriend.
  • Visiting Nuwara Eliya during vacations and staying at Grand Hotel which is at the top of the hill.
  • Getting rides in different cars thanks to dad’s job until he messed it up.
  • Spending time with my only closest friend (Snowy my first and only dog).

Bad Memories from Colombo

  • Drunken dad’s drama in my memory that I cannot forget and it is too big a list to mention here. I have mentioned some of them in my “about me” section.
  • Being bullied by the older kids/teenagers in the flat until I snapped and beat someone. Parents in the flat requested my mom to keep me away from everyone else.
  • Losing the friends I believed were my best pals when they found out about my dad.

Even the memories I think that would have been good stays bad. For example, if I try to recall the birthday parties I had or I went for, I cannot recall any of my birthdays but I do recall going to Prasath’s birthday and end up in the pond when Yuthishtran pushed me into it. Sprained my ankle and went home crying when my mom came to pick me up.

My friends from school talk about the school life and the things they did during that period. But strangely I don’t remember much of my school life. I remember the teachers and the classrooms vaguely. But I don’t recall any good things that I can treasure. I remember getting a hell of a beating from one of the teachers (Chandrabose) for not reading the newspaper of that day. I remember Niranjan looking at me in pity while I cried for the entire class period in pain. I didn’t have any close friends after my dad and his drinking problem became known to everyone. So I didn’t have that much fun with friends inside or outside the school. And I was a ghost during my final years at school to make any memories. I remember facing occasional bullying from Arun & Co or Tariq or Yuthish/Rajeeva.

It is depressing to think that I did not get to live a childhood that I could treasure. I know many others have had worse and I can seek comfort from that. But it is sad to not be able to recall good memories during a conversation with my friends.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, September 4th, 2010 at 9:07 am and is filed under Experience, Personal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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