Before I take you forward, to 2009, I wanted to take you back a bit.
In the photograph above, from left to right : Bharat ( the one I refer to as “B” in most of my posts ), Akanksha( my sister ), me and Amit( B’s brother ) barely visible. We are playing Mario.
Akanksha and I had dabbled a bit in video games like Space Invaders. Mario at the boys’ place, was a whole different level of video game for us & we were intrigued. But there were only two controllers. The younger ones were easy to bully and B and I would hoard the controllers. “Khelne do na!” is a refrain we heard often from Akanksha – this is according to what B recalls. The boys are, to this date, obsessed with video games. Axe and I , not at all.
I was in Class 8 I think – I’m not sure which month of 1993 this was. We used to live in Noida. As did the Joshis. The four of us would pile onto the lime yellow Bajaj Chetak, which my Dad would then drive to the Joshi’s home. I don’t recall if B and I had any feelings for each other but I like to believe that there had to be something.
Chinnu aunty ( now Mom – she’s my mother-in-law ), used to make one mean macaroni and cheese. I used to raid Rajan Uncle’s music cassette collection. He had built an extensive collection and I was allowed to take 2-3 tapes at a time, which I would then copy onto my own tapes at home. I still have the entire audio cassette collection that I copied from my now father-in-laws tapes back then.
We used to have a dog too : Rana. After he passed away, Mom refused to allow us to bring any more pets into the house. Rana is buried under what is now probably some modern residential or commercial skyscraper.
B and I have known each other for 27 years. We fell off the radar & were rarely in touch. We would hear about each other from family and friends. Then when I was getting married in 2004, B emailed me for the first time – to congratulate me. He tried to call me also but for some reason, I never picked up.
We lost touch again. Then just before my divorce, I saw him in 2006, when he introduced me to The Malazan Book of The Fallen by Steven Erikson. And that was when it all began.
I had been planning to do a series of small pieces accompanied with photographs from each year of my life and publish them till the final post on my birthday. But due to the SARS-CoV-2 Lockdown, I’m not sure I will be celebrating my birthday anyway. So, I decided that I would start from photographs from around the time I started working. Previous years can be seen here : 1993, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Photographs prior to these years will need to be scanned and I do not have access to those albums right now. I might get around to scanning eventually. I turn 40 years old in 2020.