My Earliest Memory
Healing - Personal Stories -  My 66-day Journey of Healing Through Writing and Sharing

My Earliest Memory

This picture is not my earliest memory! It was taken when I was probably about one year old and I have no memory of it, but I thought it would give you an idea of what I looked like when I was a toddler. Also I love to use it to pretend that I could read before I could walk!

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I’ve shared the story of my birth in an earlier post. But this is just a short recap to connect the two posts. I was born in August 1965 in Hyderabad where my Mum went for her confinement – since both sets of grandparents lived there. I was baptized a week later. A few days later, we went back to Pune, where my Dad was posted and he set off for the Indo-Pak War. Mum bravely managed the three of us alone – choosing to stay there and not with our grandparents.

After Dad got back, he was posted to Hyderabad and we lived with his parents. It was a big house and some of his many siblings lived there too.

At my Dad’s brother’s wedding in 1967 – I was the flower girl!

Apparently, when Dad’s posting came through to Meerut in 1968 and we could join him, I went around excitedly telling everyone that I was going to Meerut. We travelled in a special train meant only for his battalion and from what my parents and brothers tell me, they had loads of fun. Dad was commanding that Battalion and many of the young officers were not married and apparently spent the journey amusing us all. Sadly, I have no memory of this!

When we did arrive in Meerut, Mum said that I burst out crying, saying I wanted to go to Meerut. I’m not sure what I imagined it would be. When she told me that we were there already, I told her I wanted to go home – where my grandparents and others were!

Soon after we moved, Dad went off on an exercise and my brothers got chicken pox. Mum had to isolate them and also stop all the domestic staff from coming to work. In a new place and with no familiar faces, I clung to my mother. She told me that I would be very insecure even when she went to the washroom. It was when I began a habit of clinging on to her ears when I slept. A self soothing habit, which continued. (Yes, my husband is a victim of this sometimes!)

My Earliest Memory

My earliest memory is of one morning in Meerut where I woke up to find that I was the only one left at home – my parents and brothers had gone for a hang-gliding show or something similar . I was well taken care of by one of Dad’s orderlies though and I remember that I had my breakfast and some of his as well! Funnily enough I don’t remember being upset about being left behind. It is actually a pleasant memory!

Visiting the same uncle’s (from the earlier pic) home in New Delhi – early 1968

My next memory is not such a pleasant one. It was Holi, the festival of colours and the doorbell rang – my parents didn’t answer it immediately. I then remember several young officers from my Dad’s battalion peering through the window, their faces painted. It was the scariest sight I had seen. They then came in and must have put colour on my Dad. My parents got busy entertaining them and didn’t realize that I was hiding under the bed in fear!

It shows how sensitive I was that for several years after that, I would get a fever in anticipation of the Holi festival. Thankfully, my parents made the connection quite early and shielded me by going away from our house for Holi, to some place where they knew no one would come by to throw colours.

As much as all the moves and ‘insecurity’ of my childhood made me resilient and adaptive, I have realized how it created anxiety within me and that’s something I’m working on in my healing journey.

This is Day 27 of My 66-day Journey of Healing Through Writing and Sharing. As I mentioned in my post , I might be reposting some posts that I wrote a few years ago – mostly personal stories or those shared with me by others which talk about emotional pain and dealing with it.


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An inspirational writer, a creativity and writing trainer/coach, I write about life, gratitude, healing, wellness, relationships at Everyday Gyaan. I offer training/coaching to anyone looking to explore their creativity and heal through writing via The Frangipani Creative, located in Secunderabad, India. You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for my weekly newsletter, Bytes of Gyaan, on Substack.

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