Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Where memories are made

" This is how we make clouds" said the gentleman in strong accent who was guiding our tour, and each one us turned our camera towards the glass window of the tourist bus. To our utter dismay there stood a factory with chimneys smoking to the sky. We all broke in to a chorus laugh. Amsterdam, a place just out of picture frame with windmills, tulips and cheese farms.

You might have read my earlier posts regarding my Europe tour in which I had the time of my life. I wore my best clothes, ate in best restaurants, had the perfect wines and took perfect pictures with my perfect camera. Now looking back it  feels like it belongs to my last birth, the one I had yesterday and woke up into the 'now'. It all started with a simple non technical support desk job, in India almost 11 years ago. Back then it was the job of my life for I had money in hands for the first time.And after sharing majority of the salary to my parents I still had some left for my own spendings.

That was the time when my best friend from college and I, met almost every weekend. No mobile appointments, sms or mails sent, come Friday night or Saturday morning we would meet up at my place or his place. There are times we both ended up being in each others place too :)  With little money we had, we would go out for a movie, eat street food, window shop or just sit at tea shop at the street corner and have endless chats about nothings and everything. Sometimes we go to terrace and stay there until all the birds have gone home and colors turn  night. My mom has to call us several times or have to walk up with coffee and food in hand and scold us for not answering her shouts.

Then we had this beautiful button phone, with spiral wire receiver that you can stretch all around the apartment.  I swear I can close my eyes and dial to 10 different people for I have memorised their numbers by heart.I was working on afternoon shifts that corresponded to Europe time. I called my friend on one fine Tuesday morning, and we decided to call in sick and go out instead.  I took my two seater moped, picked him up on the way and we drove to east coast beach. The drive took little more than an hour in the windy December afternoon. It was funny how this moped carried both of us, I mean it can drive well under 50 mph in a city with one driver. And when it goes over 60 it starts to shake like a drunken old man. There we were singing A R Rehman songs and driving at 60 plus, wobbling on the highway :) with no helmates.

Once we hit the beach, we let the moped tan in the sands and ran into the waters fully clothed and played for the next few hours. Exhausted, we dragged our wet bodies to the shore and lay there until our clothes dried. We spoke briefly sometimes and other times we just lay, watching the clouds pass by. It was a wonderful sight. The one where words feel heavier and silence feels natural.

If you ask me to recall my best memories, I may not talk about finest clothes or best wines I had. But I would definitely talk about my friend , the moped and the cloud that met us as we lay on the beach, with wet clothes and sand filled shoes. For memories are not made by the finest camera in the finest tour of the finest city. For they are made in wobbling mopeds and clouds.