Walk Down Memory Alley

Ashley Trejo - India


December 2, 2018

There is a little game I enjoy playing; its called “Let’s see how far back
we can remember.” A dumb little game that I like to play once in a while,
but over the years the game has become more of a way for me to reminisce on
old experiences and relive them. Thankfully, India has gifted me many more
memories to use for my future reminiscences.

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Week One, India. The idea in my mind was “exploration” and I wanted to
truly embody it by exploring my neighborhood in hopes of becoming familiar
with my new environment. By foot. This detail is crucial as I had not yet
had the ability to with the Indian traffic. I had to check left, right, up,
down, and sideways —multiple times — to be sure that I would not be met
with a rickshaw, car, or motorcycle! Once I had been able to successfully
cross streets, I began to look around, and what I saw was breathtaking. As
I turned corners and walked down alleyways, I saw people walking around,
buying produce at local stands, animals around the trash and walking along
the roads. Even though I had seen this happen in my own town, the other
places I had been, there was a “newness” to it. Soon enough it became
apparent that I was not from around there as the stares began piling up as
I continued aimlessly roaming around. I was very content being lost. Little
did I know that the little alleyways would take me to more little alleys
that would lead to a dead end. As I looked around my surroundings, I
realized that I had collected a few friends along the way. There were
approximately 20 small children around me who were all talking at once and
shouting “Didi” to get my attention. The commotion brought out adults and
then they began to ask me questions in Hindi, to which I had no way of
understanding. I decided to return the way I had come from. By that point,
I was fairly overwhelmed, sweaty, and tired; the idea of exploring seemed
good in my mind but my body had other thoughts. Now, looking back, getting
“lost” was an adventure and being able to experience the “newness” of
everyday things was magic. I find that every moment we live through has a
touch of that magic; a touch something that we cannot find in any other
experience because it is so unique to each one. It’s this magic that has
the tendency to lessen as time goes on. Sure, we take pictures and look
back at them every so often, but it seems that everything we do, in the
hopes of remembering these moments, is futile. I constantly wish that there
was a way to capture the moments the way I lived them- the emotions, the
smells, the sounds. Time has a way of taking these details and twisting
them around.
While time won’t do the moments justice, they are apart of me and so is the
magic they carried when they happened. I do not know the next time I will
get “lost” or the next time I have to relearn traffic but knowing India
there will be more surprises in store. There will be more time to
experience and even more time to look back at these moments throughout the
course of my life. Even when the memories are a little dusty, that will be
alright.

Ashley Trejo