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Making Memories Together

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Making Memories TogetherIn the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind,” the hero Joel, is surprised to discover that his girlfriend Clementine has had her memories of their tumultuous relationship erased. Out of sheer desperation, he seeks out the services of  Dr. Howard Mierzwaik (who is the inventor of this process) to perform the same operation on him. However, as Joel’s memories progressively disappear, he begins to rediscover the earlier passion he had for Clementine. From deep within the recesses of his brain, Joel tries to escape the procedure and discovers that he was actually still deeply in love with her. So, he tries hard to prevent the memories of their times together from being lost forever.”

That is the kind of impact memories collected and stored over the years can have on a relationship. Marriages are made up of memories. All kinds of them- memories of joy and happiness or pain and heartbreak. But the important thing is to use them in a way that makes a marriage a worthwhile journey.

Shared memories help to enhance bonding. I was visiting the Chakos. A couple in their mid fifties. While strolling through their garden I caught the glimpse of what looked like a little elf peeping out from among the thick green leaves of a mango tree. I asked Asha what it was. Her immediate reaction was to exchange a coy smile with her husband and then came a shy,”Prabhu, why don’t you tell her the story.” To cut a long story short what Prabhu narrated was a cute romantic tale of how they had picked up the elf when on a holiday to Zambia. What was touching was that though I was not part of that memory I could feel how each one of them was reliving the joy and bliss they had once experienced as if it were happening all over again.”

Its not always happy memories that help people find strength in each other. Take the case of Colonel Ghosh and his wife of thirty years Ms. Purabi Ghosh. The loss of their sixteen year old son was a bitter and painful experience. But, memories of the shared pain has strengthened the bond between them as a couple. As Prabi puts it,”the other day we had gone to the market and I saw a kid who would be my son’s age. I felt tears welling up in my eyes. But suddenly, the touch of colonel Ghosh’s hand on mine reassured me that I was not alone in my grief.”

“He looked into my eyes and I knew that this was no ordinary look. Joy was in love with me. Now, ten years later. I can still feel my heart beat growing at a rapid pace when he asked me to meet him that evening”, says Radhika.  I was confused and did not know how to react but the one thing I was sure of is that I was extremely happy. This is a feeling that always brings a smile to my lips which sets the biological clock back in a way no anti-aging cream or even botox can.”

“Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory.”

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