The remnants of a letter that once was bright and alive with the smell of ink, now folded and preserved carefully. That memory of a cold, damp evening, not the evening so much, but the person that was shared with. That random act of kindness of a stranger that you couldn’t stop thinking about. People are always leaving behind footprints.
Sometimes muddy footprints in your just-cleaned home and most of the times invisible ones in your life.
I’ve always been petrified of the Oblivion Curse, the damn curse of being forgotten. No, I’m not writing about this because of The Fault in Our Stars. This stupid curse has haunted me ever since I sat in that terrible English class (I think in my eighth standard or worse sixth standard) where my teacher read out Toru Dutt’s poem, Our Casuarina Tree.
Seriously. Who decides that children should be exposed to such poems? I was so depressed that day. I remember wanting to cry, no actually wail. Toru Dutt’s tragic life didn’t help in making me feel better either.
Anyway she talks about her beloved Casuarina tree and towards the end of it, hopes that the tree is saved from oblivion’s curse, because of all the beautiful memories that played out under the tree.
I was convinced that once people die, those living would somehow, someday forget them. The memories would fade and so would many other things. That footprint that I was talking about would get wiped out… inch by inch.
Imagine being forgotten about. No one would remember your laughter. Your extremely lame jokes, that disgusting-tasting cake you made, though if it was disgusting it would’ve been very difficult to forget.
It’s going to be eight months since Jacky passed away. Not a day, sometimes not a moment, goes where I don’t think about her. I might not remember the finer details, not remember her distinct bark clearly. But I’ll never forget how she made me feel. Happy and content.
And that’s all that matters anyway.
When your memory will make a loved one smile, long after your perfume fades out of your room… years after you’ve gone… you’ll know… the curse has set you free.
Toru Dutt had said it and I hope it remains true for you too…
“May Love defend thee from Oblivion’s curse.”
Bec-ause the Casuarina tree might not be there anymore, but what Toru could never know is that… the oblivion’s curse was lifted long ago… precisely the day I read her poem.