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The Million Dollar Book

Most of the things I have possessed over the years have left my life due to a number of reasons, chiefly the fact that my parents always threw away old stuff of mine. My faithful toys which never slept so that they could guard me from monsters. Around two dozen comic books which I would read over and over again because my parents wouldn’t let me buy new ones. Pirated Game CDs from the flea market that would turn out to be something totally different. That old knockoff NES gaming system that hooked up to the TV. Those little erasers shaped like Spider-man. Stupid shows on TV that I can’t find anywhere now.  The list goes on and on.

Looking back at my life, I’ve mourned the loss of valuable possessions, their value being measured by the memories attached to them, not their monetary value. A rare edition of Pears Cyclopaedia from 1954, passed on to me by my maternal grandfather was recently thrown away by my dad. Little did he know about the memories attached to that little book. That little book flew all the way from England to Kashmir sometime back in the 60s, passed on to my grandpa from his friend; not just any friend, his best friend whom he lost contact with for 40 years. For 40 fucking years, he faithfully kept the book safe, even when he was threatened in Kashmir in the 1990s. In those moments when he had decided to leave everything behind in Kashmir, he had deemed that book worthy enough to be brought along in those dire times. Yes, that was the legacy of that book, which my father didn’t know about. I cried over a book being thrown away. A book that is currently available on eBay for 10 GBP. Coming to think about it, I have never cared about the possessions but the memories they kept alive inside me. The little toys used to remind of the long lost friend (I miss you Deepanshu) who I used to share them with. The comic books would remind me of the first time I realised what it meant to be a real hero and how they inspired me to fight for good.

Every time I lost a possession, I felt a part of me going away with it. It used to be hard to lose the very things that tied me to those moments across time, the ones which changed me forever. Now that I’ve lost most of the things I used to cherish, I’ve finally learned to let go of my precious mementos. No matter where they are, what condition they are in, they’ll always be in my heart, reminding me of each and every thing I’ve gone through since birth. I wouldn’t trade places with a king nor accept castles of gold for all that I’ve lost to time.

The Hindu concept of being made from the soil and disintegrating into it eventually made me realise how I, myself would be gone one day, forever and ever. The only thing that can’t be stolen from me is my memories, the golden scrapbooks locked inside my head. Every little thing that ever happened to me has shaped me into the person I am today.  For possessions may come and possessions may go, my memories go on forever.

Shiv Kokroo
Shiv Kokroo
20. Programmer. New Delhi, India

1 Comment

  1. Alice says:

    I have lost a lot of items the same way. Sad to see everyone throwing away your stuff without asking you!

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