I find bookmarks very handy and I use them extensively. My bookmark toolbar is filled with links and folders. From ‘Reading list’ to ‘Data Science notes’, I often refer to many useful folders in the toolbar. One-click and you’re there. So convenient! Now, these bookmarks are not only there in our browsers. They have an active presence in our daily life. I will talk about a few of them.
Songs are essentially one of the most prominent bookmarks of life. The FIFA world cup (2022) was going on a few days back and someone was playing the world cup classic song ‘Wavin’ Flag’. Almost instantaneously and involuntarily when I heard the song, my mind went back to 2010. I was in 9th standard, and during the world cup, I had just gulped a 1 rupee coin. It all flashed in front of me. Felt like it happened yesterday.
A good friend of mine (who is also a good pen pal) had sent me an old song by an Indian band called Raeth in 2018/2019. This song used to be the quintessential breakup song for the generation before ours. It is called ‘Bhula do’. Now, I would listen to my maternal uncle (who is 10 years older than me) play this song and many other Bengali rock songs while growing up. Later I had totally forgotten about this song and others. Then my friend one day sent this masterpiece, and since then I have restarted listening to not only this one but all those Bengali rock and pop songs that I used to listen to when I was a child. I haven’t stopped since. Here is the song, in case anyone wants to give it a try:
I can go on about songs for an hour or two. But let’s move on to something else: scent. It is hard to write about them like that. Probably Gulzar, Jaun Elia or Pablo Neruda can, but it is a tough job for me. But they follow the association rule very strongly. You come across a random fragrance and you suddenly remember the last time when you were touched by it. The scent doesn’t have to be of a person but it can be of various things. And boy oh boy, they trigger the past memories very quickly and abruptly.
Yesterday, after the office, I found another bookmark. Scent or songs are something that knowingly or unknowingly I have always acknowledged but this is something that I have never ever thought of: Facebook. There was a time, before its timely (?) death when Facebook used to be the centre of everything! Cheesy long romantic posts, school-college dramas, football-related brawls, trolling – it had everything.
I was going through my own timeline and randomly searched some of my friends’ names there. And man! It felt like we had shared almost everything that we used to do on Facebook. FB has a great feature where it gives a throwback ‘On this day’, they are also pretty good when it comes to bookmarks. I often cringe seeing my post and often smile. But that’s what it is, a great feature. It also serves as a great reminder of how much life has changed. There were so many people with whom I used to interact a lot, but now I have no idea about their whereabouts. Even some of my college mates are there on that list. Especially two of them. Since leaving the college, I have made several attempts to reconnect with them, but it has been totally futile.
This is the property of these bookmarks I guess. They trigger old memories. But not all of them bring happiness.