“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The first one

The boy had finished writing his answer paper. He pondered for a while on what should be done next. Shyly, he asked the girl sitting next to him – he hadn’t noticed her before – all he could see was a bobbed head bent on to the desk, writing furiously – ‘What do I do now?” The girl raised her head and looked at him, the boy who had joined the school recently, and answered- “you fold it lengthwise like this and on the back of the right fold, write your name and class”. Then she went back to her writing. The boy saw that she wore glasses and was fair and beautiful. I don’t know what went through the boy’s head, but he did as was told and left the class room.

This happened sometime in 1965. The children were studying in 4th standard. The year after next, the boy left the place to far off Trivandrum and all he had was a group photo which said : “Standard IV Railway Primary School, Olavakkode, Palghat 1965-66. That boy was me and the girl, R.

I have never met her again, but I did not forget R. The only time I talked to her was at the above exam. I do not remember whether I thought of her then or tried to talk to her; unlikely because she was in another division. But when years later, in 1974, I met my old friend from Palakkad, one of the first things I asked was about R. And he even now teases me about it. Last year we had a reunion – classmates from 4th std – and we recollected our old days and laughed (See my post, ‘The Reunion- October 2009). Unfortunately none of the girls came for the two-day gathering. Guys ribbed me about R and said, “Eda, R is a grandma now”!

I look at the old group photo and think of R and my old classmates fondly. Some of them are no more. Most of them are alive and lead a reasonable life.

I do not know why I should still remember R with such affection. Was she my first love? At 7 or 8 years of age? I do not know. All I know is that even now when I look at her picture, it all comes back in a rush and I feel happy with my memories. They are mine, you see. They shall remain with me as long as I am alive. Then, along with me, they will be erased, forever.

************* Balachandran V, Trivandrum 14.08.2010


  1. How very sensitive and tender. You always bring forth the images so very well. Maybe, this was a first love...One that time does not erase. Touching Balan

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  4. Thanks, Sandy! Something like this would have happened for all of us in our life. It is just a minor incident in my life, having no significance whatsoever. Yet, such personal experiences are valuable as nuggets of our pasts; incidents that keep us warm on the cold and bitter nights of our lives...

  5. touching insight into the mind of a small child.the human mind is indeed a strange thing!

  6. Yes,ma'am. This was an attempt to peek into the innocence of childhood.

  7. Fort five years is a long time if we go by human nature to remember or even reminisce such little incident.
    In a lighter vein P must have been stalking you even then from somewhere, that R vanished thence.

  8. Love is not dependent on the person you love..its your feeling thats stays with you, similarly, memories are our own, to be brought out, polished, and sorted through, to smile at some, to laugh at others, and to put back carefully for another day. Just wish that majority of our memories are ones that make us smile. BTW R is surely a grandma now!!

  9. @Anil: 45 years is not a long time, considering the fact that I am 53! One cannot remember everyday details, but then how much can remember of yesterday? It was the photo that did the trick; and my own nature of scratching at the past all the time!

    I am sure P would have migrated to Acapulco if she had any idea of what her future was going to be! :D

    @Sujata: And from what I heard, a faaat grandma! :D

    Like I told KPJ, one has to preserve these nuggets and throw out the rest.

  10. Let me try to explain what I meant to convey.
    Yes its is true that we may not remember the yesterday. But human beings have their memory tuned to the convenience mode.
    You ,even though you discovered the photo need not necessarily reminisce
    the little beautiful moment.You did because you recalled the beauty in that little incident.

  11. hmmm first love first love!! and the boy looks very cute..he he

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