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My earliest memories

mem1My first memory is visiting my maternal grandfather in a hospital. I only remember a single specific scene. My grandfather lying in a narrow hospital bed – somehow in my memory it is at a great height (which is possibly due to the fact that I was about 3 years and 3 months around that time).  I also remember that my grandfather had a tube inserted in his nose.   Later I found out that my mom and I had come to her house. She was pregnant with my little sister.  She came to find out that her dad is slowly losing his memory – apparently the result of a stroke.

My second memory is when they brought my grandfather’s body home. I remember that he was laid out in the large front room (near the main door) of my mother’s house. I remember whimpering and tagging along my grandmother clutching the end of her dress (the pallu of her mundu-veshti) while she circumambulated the body.

My third memory is my first day in school.   My dad had brought me back from Kerala because school had started. My mom was still in Kerala because she was still pregnant.  My dad and my cousin sister (Vinichechi – in a red maxi dress with roses on it) dropped my off at school.  I remember constantly looking at the door trying to see a glimpse of my sister and being very relieved when I  did see her at the end of the school day.   I don’t remember this but my parents say that I went back home saying “tomorrow is chutti (a vacation day)”

My fourth memory is my first glimpse of my sister-Dwiti.  I woke up (it seemed like the middle of the night to me, but it had to be early morning) and went to the bathroom to relieve myself.  I remember that I was scared of the cockroaches that sometimes lurked in the bathroom, so I would not go all the way into but did my business – just one step into the bathroom.  When I finished and turned around, there was my dad hunkering down holding my baby sister and saying “Look it is your baby sister”.  I remember my mom talking to someone in the living room at the same time.

All four of these memories took place in the span of about 3 months.  After this I don’t really remember anything clearly for atleast a couple of years.

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