My legacy: words I weave into emotions.
Let me first clarify by saying I am not forgetful. No way. There are only tattoos of various incidents, people and places inside my heart and mind. Certainly not those painted tattoos children get done at birthday parties which fade over time. And even if there are moist, faded imprints, there are of inane, inconsequential stuff.
But having travelled over to more than 10 countries, something really weird dawned over me. I tend to always leave behind things which belong to me. It’s not really on purpose, just something that naturally happens. And I do not have one but many incidents to substantiate my thoughts.
I recently went to Berlin, Germany. And the hostel where I was staying( I was on an exchange trip) I left behind a typical souvenir bag which had ‘Berlin’ written all over it. Oh, how much I howled and cried about that. It was the only thing which reminded me of Berlin and due to my unaware inattentive self, I lost it.
During my stay in Abu Dhabi, I again left my favorite neckpiece which had my initials ‘KB’ written on it. It was one of my prized possessions given to me by my best friend.
On yet another occasion, while travelling to Udaipur, India I was carrying one of my novels (I guess it was a Christie) so that the 8 hour long car ride was not filled with boredom. And, WOAH. I left it yet again at a ‘dhaba’ (A place to eat)..much to my disdain.
Again, I am not forgetful. I am not absentminded. But why was this happening to me?
Well, never would I have thought that travelling would give me such a huge lesson in life.
Human civilization tends to immortalize itself. Whether it was the Egyptians, who built the pyramids or Shakespeare, who wrote a poem about immortalization. Be it kings and emperors, who are known for their territories which made them prosperous, or parents, who only want their children to remember them.
We all are trying to create our legacies here.
We are trying to do something to be remembered by. To be embraced. To not be forgotten.
This is why we always leave parts of ourselves in others. Mothers and fathers leave their traces in the DNA of their children. Lovers leave some possession or their stories and experiences in each other. Whenever we shift houses there is some streak of pen on the wall or a new wallpaper you put or those stray marks of tape on the wall. When you share your novels with others, there are always lines marked, thoughts written, pages folded. In schools, we write our initials on the furniture (Yes, don’t you lie) or try to act cool by writing expletives using a whitener. You leave an impression of a story waiting to be told.
When I travelled, I left my ‘best’ pieces everywhere I went. I left stories waiting to be told all around the globe. And that is what we as humans all wish to do. We all are storytellers waiting to open up.
So go ahead, make sure you leave something of your own somewhere, in somebody.
The things you would do for yourself would be gone when you are gone. But the things that you do for others would stay in the world, for them. That will remain as your legacy.