This evening, when I found an old CD with photographs that got hidden in the cobwebs of time, I found nostalgia. The joys it brings, the memories it rummages are precious, don’t you think? The times in these pictures are all gone, the moments but a frail memory. Some people in them are gone, too. Just like that, with the next grain in the hourglass…

Allow me to indulge a little in nostalgia today with this etheree.


The past.

And pull strings

To pull at love.

Stand back, watch the sands.

Grains top the others, look.

Time adds years to timelessness.

Miracles abound, wouldn’t you say?

When more gets added to the more,

Memories made with every turn of hourglass.

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64 thoughts on “Nostalgia”

  1. Great post! I am working on a post about home movies. My family and I have gotten out some home movies from 10 years ago when our kids were first born. We have been watching them together as a family. Photos, videos and nostalgia of all kinds can help solidify the bonds between us and draw us closer as family. Such wonderful and powerful memories of the journey we have all shared together.

    Thanks for sharing in your own beautiful way.

    1. I look forward to reading your post, Kevin. Home videos are still a rarity in an average Indian family. It would be so nice to have some memories stored as moving pictures! The bonding has so much more substance to feed from through videos. Enjoy the process of this nostalgia-substantiation, Kevin!

  2. Brilliant post Priya. Your little etheree is marvellous. I don’t know many people who are able to play so skillfully with words as you. I cried when I read the opening lines:
    The past.
    And pull strings
    To pull at love”

    I’ve looked at the slide show several times. The photos are intimate peeks into your life and tell us so much about you but without identifying who or what or where or when…
    Thank you.

    1. I wrote these first four lines, Rosie, and cried. For me, nostalgia is these ten words. Thank you for picking these, for it tells me a little of my heart travelled to California today.
      Oh! You liked the pictures! Could you spot the one from my wedding? I was hoping you would. It’s the one where B and I are sitting on white sheets on the ground, wearing garlands.

  3. Oh, this post is absolutely beautiful… my fave lines are…

    The past.
    And pull strings
    To pull at love.

    Thank you, Priya, for allowing us a peep into your treasure trove of precious memories!

  4. These two lines “Time adds years to timelessness” and “When more gets added to the more” approach the ineffable and ephemeral of the experience and the memory. This is a beautiful post and I can only imagine who and what they are. Thank you for sharing such precious people and things.

    1. Georgette, you make me smile with your warm comments. Isn’t it amazing how warmth and appreciation transmits through virtual systems this way?

      Thank you for your time.

  5. Beautiful Etheree and delightful photographs. I am mesmerized by your wedding picture – 24/05/2006 (It looks like something I saw in National Geographic). That is your wedding, right?

    And you’ve got so many dogs! Amazing.

    Finally, I love the photographs of the tree-lined path and the one with a huge open window; light giving the room an overall bluish hue.

    Thank you for sharing these, Priya.

    1. Yes, it is my wedding. Time flies! πŸ™‚

      The two black/brown ones (dogs) are with us, and the white and black/white are with my parents. All in the family. I so much want a kitten, but Moti, the one running on a puddle of water does not agree. He’d rather chase them out.

      Thank you for the appreciation, Nel. Feels good.

  6. What a lovely way of inviting us into your life. You are so generous, Priya. I, too, love the wedding picture. It looked like you were very happy and enjoying the moment. Was the wedding stressful? Very often big weddings in the States become a bride’s nightmare. I’d love to hear about your wedding some time. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ever since I’ve read your question about the wedding being stressful, I’m tempted to do a post on it — the wedding. It could be fun!

      I don’t remember being stressed for long, at least not about the wedding itself. The finality of getting married and staying that way for the rest of my life stressed me more, I guess. But I got over it. Our wedding was not big by Indian standards, but it involved participation of a lot of relatives — all those who could come. Whoa, there’s so much to talk about!

  7. What a wonderful way to start my morning! Absolutely beautiful etheree and I loved all of your pictures. Thank you for sharing this with us, Priya. I have never had the guts to try writing an etheree. Someday!

    I hope you are enjoying a relaxing weekend.

    1. It’ll just come, I think, Darla — the etheree. And when it does, I am certain you’ll make it as superlative as all of your other posts you’ve written with so much heart.

      I’m having a crazy weekend, thank you. Sun, work, food, sun, work, food… and then some more. And then moon, work, food…

  8. Very good post Priya. Love the way you use words to show emotion.. some of the sentences you use makes me want to read that line again and again.. captivating – Memories made with every turn of hourglass… wow!

    THis also comes with the realization that I have of how far I have to go to be able to use the right words to captivate readers…

    1. Arindam, I’ve been thinking about what you said here — how far I have to go to be able to use the right words to captivate readers… We all struggle with this terrifying realisation. The grass seems greener and better tended on the other side — almost always. But the trick is to sometimes allow yourself to see that your fertiliser and mower are not quite all that bad either. It helps a lot. In improving, getting there, and sleeping well at night.

      All the very best! And thank you for making my day for telling me just what you feel about what you’ve read here today.

  9. Well, Priya…what a joy to find this. You really do have such a talent with words. It’s easy to imagine you crying as you wrote the first four lines.

    I KNEW that was your wedding! I love the expression on your face! It made we want to know what was going through your mind at that moment. Couldn’t we have fun with that guessing!?

    Enjoyed ‘meeting’ your family and pets. I would love to walk your dogs down that tree lined path. It promises a long exploratory adventure!

    You are very beautiful, Priya. Plus I can see the mischievousness in the demeanor. It plants a great big grin on my face. πŸ˜€

    Thank you for sharing more of your life.

    1. Oh I had all sorts of terribly unmentionable thoughts at that time, Amy. Mischievous or evil, you guess. πŸ™‚

      If I have talent with words, why do they hide from me, Amy? 😦

    1. Old pictures somehow make the new and current moments that much more vivid, I’ve experienced. That in itself is miraculous, no?

  10. Poetry, dear Priya. Beautiful.

    “When more gets added to the more…” I will be thinking of this line for some time. It’s got weight.

    And how perfect to have your beautiful pictures accompany your beautiful writing. I especially liked the one with the chair by the table with the boxes, and the one with the air conditioner and the red curtain. They seemed to tell of hurried days — paused — on film.

    1. It feels good to know you liked it, Melissa and that you’ve taken back something with you.
      The purpose is to leave a little of oneself around. Nothing feels better than to know that it’s been successful. Especially when it is in a positive way.

  11. Beautiful post, Priya! So glad I came to visit .. through Play 101 and Charles … but I never get enough time it seems to read everything. I loved your photos and it made the world seem smaller to know that we all share so much!

    1. I discovered etheree a few months back through someone’s blog, Dave. It appealed to my largely unpoetic talents. There’s something for everyone in this world, I am glad to notice.

  12. I am struck by the photos more than the words; the views into your world, your family, the wedding, the pets. I am afraid to ask, but the photo of the two men in the car – is one of them the brother you lost? You’ve written so eloquently about him in the past.

    I’ve watched the slideshow a dozen times now, trying to see into the screen, deeper, and wonder what you were thinking on your wedding day and what your parents were cooking in the kitchen and how cold you were standing in the snow!

    1. Sometimes, pictures have the power to convey more than words ever could. I agree that they lodge themselves more in one’s memory, too. Thank you for taking the interest, EOS.

      The boys in the car are two of my cousins who insisted we sit with them in a jalopy and take drive around town. You can imagine the fun stuff that went on during the drive!

      Let me tell you what my father was cooking. It was his very famous mutton (goat) curry. It was just the right time to start trying to impress his very new son-in-law, you see. Ma was in the kitchen to try to ‘oversee’, which he obviously resented, and shooed her out finally. The apron he’s wearing is a substitute for the one my brother and I had presented him years back with World’s Best Cook hand-painted on it (I’d stitched the apron, Shonu’d painted the letters). Small things make big memories, wouldn’t you say?

  13. Priya, I’m late to this post because my email settings aren’t working (or WordPress isn’t) and I hadn’t realised you’d posted it, but I’m glad I thought to pop by and check. This is now my most favourite post of yours. The poem is brilliant and I love your photos, particularly the one of your wedding, and is that you with your mother in one of them?

    1. Praise coming from you is an honour, Val.

      That’s my Naniji (I am assuming you mean the picture in which I am sitting with a lady in a white sari draped over her head). Naniji means maternal grandmother. She was fun to be with as long as her body allowed it.

      1. Yes, that was the one I meant. Your Naniji is (was?) a lovely looking woman. πŸ™‚
        Curiously I know the word ‘Naniji’ as I spent rather a long time, a while back, colouring a photo for someone of theirs.

        1. She was indeed a lovely looking woman, beautiful, even.

          Someday I’ll be able to commission some picture-colouring, Val. There are so many that simply must be, and there’s no one who can do it better than you.

  14. Hey you’ve got a new theme again Priya. Its interesting how our comments go right across the page like this.

    I like learning new words. Why is English so dull? Why don’t we have different names for maternal and paternal. I’m going to use the name for Naniji. (is it pronounced as nanni-gee?) What language is it?

    1. I was getting bored, Rosie. Feeling fuzzed — couldn’t read, couldn’t write. So I changed the theme to trick myself into thinking I am not entirely wasting my time.
      I am not sure I like it all that much, and might change it again. It indeed is interesting how the comments spread like this, but I confess the thick gray lines between the comments make me a little dizzy.. Thank you for being patient with all the mercurial stuff that goes on here.

      It is Nah-nee gee, where Nah rhymes with the Pah of party. If that’s how you meant it, do pat your back for me. It is a Hindi word. The maternal grandfather is Nanaji. Ji, by the way, is like the san of Japanese. It is suffixed to a name or an address to show respect to a person. I agree the difference in the names make it easier for everyone to know who we’re talking about. Perhaps English is not dull, but just a rushed language, encouraging people to fill the gaps for themselves?!

  15. I must have looked at these pictures a dozen times with even more thoughts but always left quietly. For one, I remember thinking, if I had known Priya a decade or two back, we would have been friends from college times!

    I so loved seeing you…..
    There’s a particular one where you look so so content. If you did feel that way while it was clicked, you will know which one I am talking about. Btw, is that you in the saree with blue flowers behind B? Or is that a sister who looks a lot like you?

    It is lovely, isn’t it, to be reminded of old happy memories through a misplaced album? Unfortunately for me, my house (and my life) is so d*** organised (by me) that I have never had the opportunity to be happily surprised. This reminds me of a friend from college who was often discovering money inside her cluttered bag. I could see her face light up every single time (not to mention the time she saved not cleaning her bag). I am blabbering again.

    Priya, with all the intense conversations we have been having the past few days, one thing got sidelined. How is your eye? I do hope its all good now. Please let me know.

    1. AIT, you’re right. I am very content in that picture. And that is me behind B. πŸ™‚

      We can put decades of friendship behind us, then. Any beginning is a good one when you know that it’s going to last to give happiness to all concerned.

      I find misplaced, long-forgotten money, too. And I am very disorganised! My class teacher in class 1 had this to say about me, “Creative, but untidy work”. The untidiness has never left me.

      My eye’s been quite all right. I rest it well, and exercise it, too.

      You be well. I must tell you this picture of yours always brings a smile.

    1. The blue door is at my in-laws’ place, Patrice. I love the look the room takes when the sun streams in. It is an enviable atmosphere then, I agree.

      Thank you for coming back and appreciating this.

  16. Memories are such beautiful things. In fact, I don’t think it’s possible to live without them. That’s how precious they are to me, as I’m sure these memories are to you as well.

    The poem is beautiful. You have a new follower! πŸ™‚

    1. You are right, Sanchari. It certainly is difficult to live without memories. It is worth being grateful, wouldn’t you say, that all of us have at least a few good ones to think of with happiness?

      Thank you for visiting, and showing your appreciation.

      Your B.A. in Sociology is bound to help you flutter by good things with humanly grace, I am sure.

  17. Lovely post! Pictures are so special because of the memories they hold, aren’t they? Lovely set of pictures – you’re incredibly pretty! πŸ™‚

    I missed the last two posts 😐 I think wordpress and/or my email is slightly messed up 😐

    1. People are telling me that notifications fail to reach inboxes if you have certain themes. Like Chateau, the one I currently have. I hope it’s a temporary thing.

      Memories make great tchotchke on the shelves of our mind, yes. It’s so wonderful to be able to just pick them up and admire their beauty as we see them.

  18. Hi Priya.

    Loved your post. Memories are significant. I loved your photos. It was like a time-travel in such a small time. You looked pretty in your marriage. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Nandini. I quite appreciate the time you took to look at the pictures, and that you found me pretty in my marriage picture. πŸ™‚

    1. I do it just the way you do, Saara. I’ve been struggling for weeks to write something that “moves” hearts, but have been failing. A person like you writing this to me gives me a kind of motivation that is much appreciated in such times, thank you.
      I wish for you happy writing times. It’s actually a selfish wish — I’d like to read more of what you write!

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