Nostalgia is a funny thing. While on one hand it warms you up like a baby human wrapped in its security blanket, like a burrito fresh off the oven, on the other hand it sends chill down your spine like you’ve been stripped off of your survival mechanisms in the coldest, deserted island of the Artic. Nostalgia for me is the very epitome of the teachings wherein I have learnt the coexistence of hate and love simultaneously. It has taught me that these very two, seemingly radical but not entirely absolute emotions can coexist within and with one another in a larger constellation of emotionscape (a word that I just created, based on the scape theory of Arjun Appadurai, whom I have been in love with but only after Judith Butler and Micheal Foucault). The synchronicity of love and hate in the emotionscpace is confusing but revealing too, at the same time. It forms an intricate yet divisive part of larger sequence of memories.
Nostalgia functions as a ‘whole’ emotion which is greater than the sum of its parts, relegating no agency to the fragmented and divided memories. But at the same time, it also manages to book itself in the scape of particularity than of universality wherein the sum of the parts of each memory, of each nostalgia becomes greater than the whole. Suddenly, the Sociologist in me is thinking, confused – am i a Functionalist? I think the functionalists would argue, this way! Oh my! Well, larger critical theories still has my heart.
Not to stray from the topic.
Nevertheless, formatively speaking in either of the scenario, when nostalgia hits, it portrays an aura of waves lashing through the broken floodgates. Now, when this happens, the only inconsequential consequence is to wait and see the form it shapes into – whether in the form of a warm fuzzy blanket or in the form of a freezing ice prick pricking throughout the body. Nonetheless, the flash of memories that accompanies it, bears the agency of being either divisive or fusional and very seldom does both the agencies come colliding into a single frame of nostalgia, at the same time.
But I am always faced with a graver question: Do we have control over what floods in and what gets distilled? Or does opening of them flood gates we open memories of all sorts, in all spheres, with all intensities and leave no agency for distilling?
I need to know, because writing my memoir has become all the more difficult, rendering me into fits of depression, now and then, almost everyday!