I've always been a sucker for nostalgia, as more than half of my notes or my (almost defunct) blog would indicate. I spend so much time stuck in the past, reliving memories, smiling smiles and laughing laughs that still tickle me the same way they used to then. I only need to listen to songs or see a couple of photos to be shoved headlong into nostalgia. 

As July 2014 dawns, I'm reminded everyday that it's been ten long years since I left home to another country, new people, a course in a university both of which I'd only heard of a few months before, but was confident and arrogant enough to think I could 'pull it off'. 

I just spent the last 20 minutes going through photos of my first three years in that city/country. Even as I got over the shock of how ridiculous I looked at 18 (and well, 19 and 20 too), I realise how enormously some things have changed. I am no longer the crackpot or 'tomboy' of any group, and I've gone through an entire cycle of being ‘stonehearted’ to becoming an emotionally charged person. I no longer have the arrogance to jump into issues heart-first-mind-later, with the last one I think I took being the reasonably thought-out decision to move back to India. I no longer sing out loud or whirl around my room ‘dancing’ (unless I’ve downed something that is said to trigger such behaviour). I don’t know what is happening everyday in the life of my best friend. I listen to Rahman’s new songs a whole week or two after they’re out. And heck, I no longer find every other thing fascinating, happy, curious or sad, such that I want to record it on my blog or diary. The blog is dead, for all intents and purposes.

Some people say I’ve grown up. Some say one has to ‘mature’.

I feel sad to hear all this, and to recognise how much I have changed.

And then I realise there’s still a lot that hasn’t.

The thick friends are still there, even if across various borders, and you can pick up a conversation like there was no gap of months between when you talked or messaged. The first sip of beer sends me into a happy tizzy that still makes me grin. I’m still hooked to music all the time I’m not talking or listening, and I’m still sharing YouTube links with my best friend. My feminism has only become fiercer, and thankfully, I have kept the oath I made in my third year of college that I wouldn’t make coffee for my husband because I don’t drink coffee and he can make it himself (it’s another thing I found one who doesn’t expect me to make coffee and does make it himself!) And most of all, I’m happy that I can still get over things quickly enough.

All the same, being nostalgic, as much as it makes me smile, makes me sad. How does life move along so quickly? Did we ever realise that the lives we were leading then were so good, no matter how bad it got – heartaches, fights, nervousness, job-related panic, tiredness? Well, would we ever remember the times we live in now, and think we’ll look back on these and go ‘Wow! I don’t believe I used to live that life’?

Currently, the ‘now’ seems so placid. I wonder if that’s how the then years seemed as well. I hope I’m collecting enough memories now – remembering tiny things, making notes, registering current addictions. For, my goodness, I’m going to need something to fill my future nostalgia trips.