Nostalgia – a privilege

The tiny, tender leaf of the banyan; tearing it along its vein without a break is a sure shot way to make Krishna appear. In each of the million and more leaves swaying above our heads lies a key to find him.

As a child with a credulous mind and a romantic bent in the heart, I snatched away many an unsuspecting leaf from its branch and looked for a beloved cowherd. Today, I hold it in my hand and trace the innocence of that child along its veins.

Nostalgia is a safe game to play from a distance. Miles and hours separating you and your earlier self, covers everything with a shade of love. Your heart yearns for an earlier time.

We love our stories. We love who we were.

Then there are those born to that same space and time, but for whom the world is a maze. Surviving it is a task they have to begin before learning to dream. And the maze is unrelenting in its complexities. How does a child born to nothing make something of himself? Doomed from the start by his lack of opportunity and which some would later call – merit, maybe he will learn to blame that obscure word – fate.

And if by a strange, impossible miracle latent in those banyan leaves, in himself or by just plain old fate, he deciphers the maze; will he, sitting in a balcony with wind in his hair and a million thoughts in his mind wish for an earlier time?

We are all children of privilege. Entitled to nostalgia, to romance the bygone.

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