Suddenly, as a particular song from my pre-teen days began to play, I found tears gushing down my cheeks. Simultaneously, there was an explosion of memories of my childhood, occurring not serially but all at the same time.
They were memories of people, my special friend’s mother’s smiling face, as well his father’s rather stern face. There were memories of smell: curries being cooked in the neighbouring houses; the smell of leather at the shoemaker’s shop near our apartment; the smell of the cologne they used in thebarber’s shop after shaving a client; the smell from the rolls of new materials in the tailors’ shops; and the smell of spices in the nearby grocer’s store.
There were sounds, too: the sound of scissors cutting material, a new leather sole being nailed to a shoe to give it another lease of life; the scraping of the beard as the barber wielded his cutthroat; the sound of hard peas or lentils scooped into a tray for weighing, and a drip of a sound as more were slowly added to get to the correct weight.