Thursday, July 27, 2006

I wonder...

The other day, I saw a movie on T.V- “Married to a stranger”- the heroine loses her memory totally after an accident. She can’t remember her husband, daughter, and mother. She is unable to feel any emotion for them. She is totally lost without a clue about the person she was- she feels sorry for them like a third person, but can’t bring herself to feel anything for them. She feels like a stranger in the house that used to be her home- nothing seems familiar- she wants to get away from their expectations and hopes. She wants to chart out a life afresh like on an empty slate- she begins to feel affection for the counselor who has been helping her out.

The husband is devastated, and finds it difficult to come to terms with the stranger that his wife seems to have become. He keeps thinking that her memory would return in the next moment- he finds that his wife has no longer the same likes and dislikes or passions. It’s like a whole new person only the face and body is the same.

So that got me thinking. Are we only our memories? Memories formed along the years thru experiences, circumstances- and conditioning? Without these we’re empty- a totally different kind of person?
Do we grow/learn to like/love somebody based on our conditioning- are we predisposed to certain behavioural traits according to values instilled in us? And so minus these factors we might never like/love the same person? Or does our affection/affinities sustain in spite of these variables? If yes, then is it what we call Karmic bonding? I have no clue…still I wonder…

Then there was this other movie: “Eternal sunshine of a spotless mind”- where there is this organization which undertakes to help a client to erase memories pertaining to a selected individual- the client is expected to provide all the memorabilia connected with the selected person.

So the heroine here decides to delete memories of the hero- and goes ahead and gets it done. The hero on coming to know of this is hurt and angered- and so he also decides to erase all memories of the heroine from his mind. And as he is lying unconscious while the procedure is going on, in his subconscious level, he realises that he doesn’t want to erase memories of her after all- as painful, bitter memories get deleted, he wants to cling to the sweet, poignant memories- he doesn’t want to let go of the beautiful moments- but he’s unable to stop the process- its like being on a speeding roller coaster that cannot be stopped. He is frantic trying to rescue the losing memories from getting erased forever…

And when the heroine is forming new relationships, he feels like the intruder is usurping his memories and identity. In an attempt to rescue the precious memories he tries to insert them into nooks and crevices of his memory where she did not belong- i.e.: in the time before she came into his life- his childhood.

The hero and heroine get attracted to each other in spite of the absence of their memories of their past together. In both movies, the heroines are worried if they’d be able to sustain their relationship in the wake of bad times, when the bitter memories resurface- but they choose to go ahead and forge their bond all over again.

So in the absence of the worldly/ mortal/ physical constants- i.e.: the memories based on our individual experiences and conditioning, what is it that paves the way for two individuals to bond, that unknown factor that guides them towards an affinity for each other- is that what we call Karma/ Destiny/Fate??? Is it about working out of certain Karmic debts? And if one had the option to select and delete unpleasant memories, enhance the good memories, then would the quality of relationships improve?

I’ve no clue- still I wonder…



13 comments:

yet another1 said...

Lovely, thought-provoking blog, Ardra. Intriguing questions - answers for which i don't really want to pursue, for entirely personal reasons! :))

ano

Apy said...

Hmmm.. nice post.. i think the circumstances play a major role when u meet someone.. but it jus gives a head start.. after that ur totally on ur own... u may or may not like someone after a while as u come to know the other person better, the way he/she thinks, attitude towards life... n a lot of stuff...

aria said...

This was such a wonderful post ardra. So many questions and probably we can spend more than a lifetime and wont come up with "one" answer.
The connection you drew between these two movies are amazing. (Haven't seen either of them)

A said...

good one ardra.. questions we often ask ourselves-- of those memories which we cant hold but which we cant ignore either.

anumita said...

Sometimes there are questions to which there are different answers for different people or no answers at all. This is one of them... something we are confortable not knowing too...

Priyamvada_K said...

Still thinking about those questions. We are at least in part, a product of our experiences. But there's also something basic which is our inherent nature, I think. This makes us absorb some things, and reject others. The eternal nature/nurture equation, right?

"And if one had the option to select and delete unpleasant memories, enhance the good memories, then would the quality of relationships improve?"

Some relationships, yes. But in some cases the deletion may make the deleter a sitting duck for further exploitation....a case of turning the other cheek causing one to be slapped again.

Priya.

sunshine said...

"eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" is one of my very favorite movies for this very reason... the questions it poses about our memory and our relationships...
nicely written!

Usha said...

Hi,
Loved this post. Yes, I remember having similar thoughts while watching "married to a stranger". But the problem there was that her memory had taken her some 16 years earlier and she was seeing this husband who was obviously 16 years ahead of her . they would have grown together in their original married life, smoothing out the rough edges and working on the marriage and the man the she fell in love with as a 18 year old would have grown to be someone different but perhaps more desirable and less exciting. Since she had lost the memories of all this growing up obviously she finds it difficult to love this man all over again. but in the end, she does, when bits of her feelings return to her. doesn't she?
I must watch the "eternal...."
Sometimes I also wonder if our feelings for our loved ones is all but a bunch of memories of our shared journey and all the pleasant experiences.
Will think about it more now. :)

ketki said...

areally nice post!
thought provoking!

Hip Grandma said...

memories should not be deleted if you ask me.the good ones have an eternal flavor and the bad ones help us to learn from the experience and warn others in our own way.they are lkie bitter pills that the doctor prescribes.more over we very often realize later that we were wrong.let memories stay that's all i can say.nice reading your piece.will come back for more.

Ardra said...

Thank u Ano, api, aria,amarula, anumita, priyam, sunshine, usha, ketki, Hipgranma!

Reading each of your comments was insightful in different ways- so many perspectives-

willowtree said...

I enjoyed watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind very much. Your last question really made me think though, because I am going through some would be delete-able moments right now, but quick as a flash it came to me.
If you have a mug of hot cocoa or tea, the way to make it sweeter is to add a pinch of salt- not sugar.
It doesnt make sense to the ear, but the salt in the cup appeals to a different set of tastebuds.
The cocoa is fuller, sweeter and more delicious in the end.
We shouldnt delete unpleasant memories- they are all a part of our very being.

MotoRama said...

There is another movie called "50 First Dates"! Despite Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore....the movie sees each day through the eyes of someone with "Daily Amnesia"!While we might argue of emptiness without memory, the capacity for new ones will always make us part of new layer of impressions!Awesome post!