Recently on Twitter, a virtual friend started a thread of things which induce nostalgia. Songs which were a part of growing up years, foods which took us back to the years when only taste (and not calories) counted. As I eagerly participated in the thread, the floodgate of memories opened, threatening to drown me in nostalgia.

Whiff of a perfume reminds of a hug from a dear friend, offering wordless support, while the aroma of tadka becomes synonymous with the comfort of mother’s cooking and safety of home. The pungent smell of crushed neem flowers brings back memories of hot Rajasthan summers and carefree days of college and strains of Dev Anand songs brings back the memories of drowsy summer afternoons and forgotten childhood friends. The soundtrack of Top Gun is forever associated with the heady, early days of romance. Strains of ghazals bringing back memories of impromptu singing sessions during family vacations. The tanginess of the chutneys of aloo tikki bring thoughts of simpler times when that was the only outside food allowed. The sweet-sour taste jostles with the memories of the sweetness of the halwa made without fail for each birthday. The sight of a rosebud unfolding makes the memory of the garden lost, sharper. Sepia tinged, self-consciously posed photographs evoke memories of people, now lost forever. A pressed dried flower in the book evokes memories of simpler times and simpler pleasures.

What is it about nostalgia which draws us back? If you go through my blog, quite a few of my posts have the common theme of reminiscing. Does it mean I enjoy looking back at the past more? The answer to the question is not straightforward. The future is unknown, uncertain. But the past is filled with memories, sweet memories, comforting memories, memories of loved ones who are no more with us, but still in our hearts. It is these memories, which in our subconscious mind, shapes our thoughts and emotions. Our senses play an important role in triggering nostalgia. We find safety in comfort food or a favourite song when our senses and memories intertwine, to remind us of happier times. Nostalgia takes us to a place where we felt safer, more content.

Life cannot be spent looking back, for us to succeed, we must forge ahead. But, once in a while, indulging in nostalgia warms our hearts, bringing a smile on our face.

If you would like to indulge in nostalgia with me you can read a few of my older posts The Gentle Breeze , Rain In The Hills , A Fading Art, reminiscing.

Picture by Alena Ganzhela,

2 thoughts on “Nostalgia

  1. The blog on Nostalgia by Harshita is excellent. It describes the Nostalgia in an effective manner.
    Reader of blog is able to understand the complex nature of vital psychological state of mind, leading to influence the other activities related to human life.
    It is thus the prerogative / choice of individual to consider it as positive or negative attitude.

    Liked by 1 person

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