Art And Nostalgia
By Seethalekshmi Kishore
It’s weird how we connect moments in our life to different art works
Like how just three words of that song takes me back to my life’s version of The Great Depression. Or that time I was listening to a Taylor swift song when I came to know school was going reopen. Like any Taylor swift song I didn’t know whether to be incredibly happy or incredibly sad. Or that time I was reading about the impasto painting style which is when you paint very unevenly. I read it on my thirteenth birthday which is just a pretty name given to a messed up welcome party to the glamorous teenage life. So I guess you could say I read about the impasto painting style when I came to know my life was going to be impasto. Or that book I was reading when I decided to come out of my mother’s womb—I am definitely going way far with this.
But you get the idea, you relate events of your life with art: a book, poetry –any form of writing, a song, music even just a rhythm of notes like that Samsung default ringtone that you remember hearing when you came to know that your beloved little cat just decided to run away from your house. I sometimes wake up night hearing it…no wait that’s just my mum who thought it’d be a good idea to put that as her alarm.
Even going to the movies can remind of something. It was the first time I went out with my friends to the movies. We were watching Jumanji and I remember seeing the rock on screen and just standing up, without any hesitation whatsoever, at the top of my lungs, ecstatically screaming “that’s Vin Diesel, right”. The whole theatre hated me for the rest of the movie. And I can never look at The Rock or Vin Diesel that same way again.
Summer. The first day of summer. It holds a very dear place in my heart. It was about 5 years, my first sleepover with my friends and we made a pact-a pact about a book- about a book no 4th grader should be reading. But it was 2’o clock in the morning and I snuck into my sister’s room and stole a book. We read the book, didn’t understand anything but it was supposedly about relationships and about how it ages. So we made a pact that every first day of summer we’d come together and read this book. And we did 4th grade, 5th, 6th ,7th – during covid, 8th again during covid, and 9th - 9th I moved to Oman…. but we still did it.
My parents were ready to send me to UAE but only for valid reasons. Something told me “Mom, I want to go another country because I want to read a book” was not going to work. Instead, we met at the UAE/Oman border. It’s like any other conversation you have with a person except there a big old green possibly electric fence between you both. But we sat there on opposite sides of the border – in two different countries – the police telling us to get out three times yet still sitting there - reading and the irony is that……we still didn’t understand what the book was about when it was obviously - doing illegal things to keep your friendships alive. No actually I care very little as to whether we understood the book or not, that book holds a place in our hearts because of the story we connected to it. That’s what makes it so memorable to us, why it brings me so much of nostalgia, what I am going to remember when I think of my friends in a few years. And something I want you to think about is what would you do if you were to hear three words of that song “classy, bougie, ratchet”.
By Seethalekshmi Kishore