If Memory Were A Floppy
Life would have been happy.
If memory were a floppy,
I would retain all the files
with pleasant memories
of happy birthdays celebrated.
And the glorious prize days.
I would keep the tender thrill
of first love or success that
came at last after hard toil
and long tedious waiting.
I'd delete with a click the unhappy files
of family mishaps, defeats and betrayals;
the withering of love, and estrangement
of dear ones. The loneliness and ennui would cease.
I'd click 'yes' to the query:
"Are you sure you want to delete these files?"
and never visit the psychiatrist,
or the temples and churches
in quest of peace that would have been
my skin (or breath) in a world not torn apart.
I 'd replace the files of trauma and
bruises caused by riots and war.
If memory were a hard disk,
I 'd cram it with facts and images
and sweet thoughts like Wordsworth
and relive the best and delete the rest.
As the hard disk has its virus,
our memory has Alzheimer's.
To be really alive with zeal,
we need to switch off and on at will.
c2001 Swapan Banarjee
Swapan Kumar Banerjee was born and educated in Calcutta (now Kolkata),* a centre of learning and culture in India. After completing his B.A. in English, he earned an M.A. (English) from Calcutta University. He studied French at Alliance Francaise de Calcutta and secured the first place. Since 1986 he has been teaching English language and literature at Narasinha Dutt College, Howrah, under Calcutta University. During his teaching career he has carried on research under an Oxford scholar. He submitted his thesis on The Role of the New Woman in the plays of Shaw, Granville Barker and Galsworthy which was awarded the PH.D by Jadavpur University in 1999. He is a Senior Lecturer and on his way to Reader's Grade. His hobbies include chess, music and creative writing.
* Calcutta/kolkata: Calcutta was the capital of British India. After independence in 1947 the new Indian Government shifted the capital to New Delhi. But Calcutta coninued its anglicized name until the recent change. It took our city administrator 53 year to shake off the colonnial hangover. To the world outside it is still known as Calcutta. Job Charnock, an agent of the English East India Company, is supposed to have introduced the name CALCUTTA in 1690. Even the name INDIA is the creation of the British. We call it Bharatbarsha.