Pensieve

I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind.”

— Albus Dumbledore

It is 6:00 pm. I am sitting with dusty old department files from’95 and listening to the Azhan from a nearby mosque. It is oddly reassuring to listen to the Azhan today, especially after a big burger and a glass of O.M. My ears are sharper and begging for distractions.

I like unearthing old department files. Time and again, I find myself asking for stories about the department. These stories are from a faraway time where, I am assuming– there was more quiet. I imagine myself, following the people in and out of their stories from the 80’s, the 90’s,and the 2000’s. I am like Harry in the Pensieve – floating, desiring, following.

I look into yellowed papers and let my eyes sit on its words. Hand writings. Some familiar, some not- whose pensieves I cannot seek because they are lost. I find it hard to cope with moments like these because there is too much conflict in them. I am nostalgic for a time that wasn’t even mine.

Is there a word for this? To be nostalgic for a time that you have only heard of – from other people? What does it mean if you want to live in other people’s stories more than in your own? I am not looking for an answer. I am looking for a solution.

I came back from a family trip yesterday and like always, I kicked myself for having agreed to go on the trip. There was a baby on the trip – my nephew. My mother becomes a child when she sees him. In la-la land, it should make me happy no? To watch my mother laugh like a child? I think somewhere it did. But behind those giggles was a soft plea to me – to give her a grandchild. Her own, as they say – to play with and what not.

My aunt says I should have a baby before turning 30 because otherwise, they become slow – the babies. My grandmother says I have to get married before she dies otherwise she’ll never forgive me. I don’t want to know how she’s going to manage not forgiving me after her death. I have watched far too many horror movies.

I sat next to these women, holding their hands, giggling in my head and calmly nodding. My sister kept raising her eyebrows and making terrible lesbian jokes. My brother kept dying about wanting internet connection. The father of the baby was stuffing his face with food while the mother was feeding the baby- feeding herself- keeping the baby from falling off the earth. There was so much irony in this entire trip that it stopped becoming an irony after a point.

These are times when I don’t want the pensieve.

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