I came across a blog post by Rachana that talked about not having many physical memories of our parents, thereby not having enough to share with our children or even holding on to it once they are no more. It’s a valid point, as photography wasn’t a rage back then. Also the fact that a physical film role came with restricted 36 pics at a time; add to it the expenses involved in buying the film, developing it etc. clicking pictures ended up being a lofty idea for the middle class.
Clicking pictures was either going to a studio or waiting for dad to roll up the camera with ‘kodak film’ rolls. Studio pictures were nothing short of a mini-celebration. You wore the best of clothes, had the best of smiles and were specifically instructed to ‘not close your eyes when the bright light blinks!’ Coz that meant a family pic where you looked like you were napping, and as it wasn’t a digital era, you hardly got a re-take.
Even we have very few pictures of our family. The camera came into our house after my younger sibling was born, so till then the pics that we have are all studio pics and they are very few. The roll camera just helped us capture our memories related to some family functions or the occasional trips that we undertook. Keeping the film roll in the camera for long increased the chances of it being exposed, thereby losing all the pictures, hence the film was rolled only for special occasions.
But I don’t really miss the non-existence of these pictures, even if my dad isn’t around today. For me and my sis he was a wonderful father and we have numerous memories of him. I am sure there must be many memories that must have faded or lost for non-availability of a way to document it, but I also know that the best of them are there. The reason- good old way of word of mouth!
Life is a memory and then it is nothing – Cormac Mc Carthy
We are a big family and make it a point to meet atleast once a year. There is grandma, her cousins and their kids and their kids and so on. Over the years, even if we don’t meet every year, we have met enough to have shared a lot of memories. I have seen my dad from various perspectives, understood the many facets of his life and probably learnt a few things about him that I didn’t know. There are some good memories and some not so good. There are instances where I don’t agree with what he did or what was done to him, but it does help me understand the person that he really was.
So, I know him from a mother’s view point, wife’s, friends, cousins, a niece and even a grandchild’s viewpoint. They all have some stories or memories that are close to them and when they share it, it always shows me a new aspect about him. Once a year, when we all sit together after a hearty meal, it’s time to go down the memory lane. Remember and relive the memories of the past. With teary eyes we remember the few who aren’t with us and share the many fun filled incidents that remain fresh in our minds.
Even today, when I miss him terribly all I need to do is close my eyes and every memory comes flooding back. I know my children won’t know him the way we did, but I really hope that someday I pass on all these memories to help my children get a faint impression of what a person their grandpa was.
Photo Credit – Pixabay