Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I know what you did when you were two

It’s funny how you know exactly what people mean when they say ‘tag me’ or ‘add me’ Suddenly, it’s all out there in cyberspace. Random nights of partying, reunions, weddings, engagements, anniversaries, babies, birthdays, holidays in Bali, that trek on Saturday—it baffles me how documented people’s lives are. You can almost trace the entire trajectory of “jab they met,” when they first kissed, when they officially started going out, and when they turned from ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship’ and when they got married and threatened to live happily ever after.

When I see friends posting pictures of their four day old babies, I don’t know where this is all going. It was ironic that not so long ago, I was despondent when, while looking for my baby pictures to design my wedding invite, I realised I had all of two (one of which was extricated from my favourite aunt, since we never had a family album at home). Which in essence meant that most of my childhood and my adolescence was never really documented (although I still have letters, cards and other trivia). I was a bit shocked—being the first born of the current generation, I thought I merited some Kodak memories. I asked my mother why this deprivation, and she simply told me that I was the best document ever, and what are pictures anyway when you have the real thing? I reminded her that I couldn’t put myself on the wall, hence pictures would have been helpful.

My younger twin siblings on the other hand got adequately photographed by my amateur photographer uncle due to their novelty value (till then, no one in our family or friend circle had twins, leave alone boy-girl). So there are some nice black and whites of them lounging at home, studio shots of them having their first real meal, getting their head shaved, and such like.

For many years, nothing happened—no real photos were taken (and I am not counting the utterly delinquent ones taken while posing for a group family photo at random weddings). The only big photo-op occurred when my brother went to the States—all my family and other animals were adequately framed for posterity. Since then, there has been a deluge of photo memories, so we all have abundant ‘cheese’ moments to stare at.

Which is why I was in awe when the mother-in-law presented me a video of the husband learning to crawl at age six months (I must mention here that he crawled backwards, which should have been an indication of his idiosyncrasies). That is one extremely well documented childhood, I thought.

I made a mental note of documenting my little ones adequately, and have done a good job of my cats so far. Lupooh Singh and Millie Kutty don’t know it yet, but they have been tagged for posterity. Also I made the rather wise decision of asking my brother to gift me a camcorder for our wedding—this way I could make sure that I could show the mother-in-law equally bizarre if not more absurd videos of our children—and hopefully, theirs too.

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