Time And Again

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Memories. That’s all we have in the end. Sweet and sour. Just memories that hold us to the past and makes us to move on. A single instant can evoke a lot of memories in us. Each day, each hour, each minute, each second leaves a memory.

Krishna Priya was gazing at her own photos in album. She looked very petite and horrible. She laughed hysterically at herself. Its actually fun to laugh at oneself. She suddenly felt sorry for her. Pity for the ugly child in yellow skirt and green blouse. Urged by a feeling she looked at the fat and round figure which has evolved from the thin fragile child in the picture.She felt relieved that her husband has never seen that nightmarish look of hers. He would have fainted for sure.
The child in the yellow skirt smiled so happily. The innocence of childhood;the warmth of childhood. The years in her life which have always had the golden label attached to it. Krishna Priya wanted to be that girl once again. To smile like her and to relive that life once again.

Memories of her childhood always had a green background with rubber trees, paddy fields, Bhagavathy temple and silvery ponds to colour them up.Though it was not the most beautiful place in Kerala, for her it was the explanation for ' God's own country'.

The village still lived in the ages of Radio when the cities where booming with cable TV channels when Krishna Priya' s dad got transferred there.She reached there during summer when the brown dusty sand gave a sepia color to the whole village.The people were different from what she had known. They were too simple to be carried off by modernism. And among them there was a boy with Chandana Kuri on his forehead and a smile; so simple to be noticed. But Krishna Priya noticed it for no special reason. His smile.

Hari and Krishna Priya were classmates in an old school where the head master used to give monotonous speech messages about disciple in the morning assembly. They had nothing in common except that they were neighbours. They were entirely different; views and ways. But they became friends. The friendship had something to do with the Postal Department.

Krishna Priya had the hobby of collecting postal stamps and Hari was also collecting them not as a hobby but to show it off among his friends.

'' Kutti, will you give me that Kuwait stamp if I give you my Oman one?'' Krishna Priya asked Hari while the temple record played a song describing the love of lord Krishna.They bonded over stamps but the friendship stick to their minds firmly than the stamps.

The childhood was so innocent that they knew themselves too well. There was nothing to conceal though. But they were unaware of the name of their relationship. Friendship too dear to the heart. But they never bothered to name it. Pranks, Teases, Cycling, Chatting……. The years just went off.

''I have put nick names for all of you'' Krishna Priya was peddling her cycle in the opposite direction though it was not moving.

''Even I have put names for you. 'Thadaka' is the best name that suits you'' Hari couldn't control laughing at her angry face.

Two years have passed and there was no much change in the village.But a drastic change came in the life of Krishna priya. Her family was moving back to the city. In the excitement and anxiety for the city life she forgot everything. That she didn’t even remember to say good bye to Hari; her childhood friend!

She didn't know how many years went off as the life was so ghastly revolving around her. But memories never fail to haunt her. She thought about Hari many times but never tried to contact him. Forgetting the past was something she learned from the city life.
Krishna Priya passed tenth standard with good scores. Phone calls were flooding from relatives congratulating her. Krishna Priya was least expecting it when she got a call from Hari.

"Hello, Is this Krishna Priya?" Hari sounded hesitant.

"Yes, I am. Sorry, May I know who is this?" The sound was so unfamiliar to her.

"I am Hari, your old classmate"

Something struck in her mind.But with an uncontrollable force of heartlessness, she answered him that she didn't remember him. Deep in her heart, she knew that she was lying. The teenage mind of hers was too recessive to admit his memories. She lied. Knowing that it would hurt his mind, she lied.

Krishna Priya wanted to be successful. She had her dreams...ambitions... In that expedition of conquering horizons, she kept her mind firm. She achieved everything. From her dream job to marrying her college sweetheart.

Memories never failed to prick her mind time and again. Soon after her marriage, she decided to visit the Bhagavathy temple in the village. It was a festival season.
The village appeared to be the same. But the serenity was disturbed by the hullabaloo of people enjoying the festival.It was colorful every where.

The temple bells were ringing harmoniously when she met Hari near the gateway. She knew it was him. He has changed a lot; but the smile and Chandana Kuri remained the same.

"Krishna Priya, Do you remember me?" The sparkle in his still the same.

"Hmm... Sorry, I don't remember".

Lies. Again. For no reason.

"I am Hari, your old classmate. My house is over there..." He was trying to evoke his memories in her.

It is possible to make someone remember something if they have forgotten it; but it is hard to make someone remember if they didn't want to remember it.

Krishna Priya knew that she was being cruel to him.She didn't want him to know that she searched for him always when she came to the village. That his smile was something she went for in all the gatherings at the temple. She didn't want to hurt him anymore.

"Oh, Yes. Now I remember.What are you doing now?"

Hari has become successful in his life.He has earned a good job and was supporting his family. Krishna Priya felt so proud for him.

It was time to part. But this time she said Good Bye to him. His eyes conveyed the wishes for a happy married life. The best wishes which a friend can always give.

Krishna Priya kept her eyes closed through out her journey back. Memories flashed in front of her eyes.It came out was warm tear drops. It touched heart.She wanted to confess everything to him. She wanted to tell him that she thought of him many times, she knew it was him who telephoned her and she always wanted to see him again.. She wished to stop the car and run back.The name of this relation was unaware to her. Some relations cant be named. Ever.

The mobile phone started ringing alarmingly. " Vivek Calling" It said.

For a moment Krishna Priya didn't know where she was. She was in that car back from village and now where? Reality was far ahead of her. Last moment she was that old little girl and now she is the wife of Vivek. Memories cant be controlled.The phone stopped ringing. Her husband must have been wondering why she didn't pick the call.

The album was still opened. The little girl was smiling. Her smiled conveyed many things to Krishna Priya. She asked her to confess her faults. She told her not to hurt her friend anymore. Her eyes pleaded.Sometimes memories lead our life. They advice us to correct our mistakes.Krishna Priya was confused.She wanted to tell Hari everything. But is it too late? It has been two years since they last met.

She took the mobile phone and called Vivek. He knew everything about Hari. Maybe he could help her.

She was right. Vivek asked her to speak out her mind. "Better late than never" he told.
Krishna Priya rose up and searched for Hari' s Number.One thing that she did for good was getting his no from him. she dialled it....beep..beep....she waited.
And the friendship continued.....

Memories are the only things left. They are the only treasures we have. In the end, our life is just noting, but a panorama of memories.

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