|Saigon circa 1963|
The picture on the left says nothing per se. Were youth find lying on the street you would at best say it is a girl and it must be old because of the texture and colour of the paper it is printed on. If you find it amongst my things and look hard enough - provided you know me - you may say it is Anou when she must have been young. The rest of the picture is neutral: it could have been taken anywhere in the world. When I look at it I know where it was taken: Saigon - now Ho Chi Minh Ville, in 1963, on the terrace of our home which was one of 7 villas that housed the International Commission for Supervision and Control of the UN of which my father was Chairman. But when I see this picture a flood of long forgotten memories come to mind. In a land where security was tight and you were not allowed to go out as you wished, this terrace was my sanctuary, my alone space. I remember my little red scooter that I use to drive round and round the terrace for hours and end. What no one knows is the daydreaming that happened as I whirled like a dervish. I too on many imaginary avatars, depending on the book I was reading or the fantasy of the moment. I could be a Navajo girl, an air hostess, an astronaut, a desert princess, one of the Famous five, just anything anything an 11 year old can imagine herself to be. As I turned endlessly I lived these stories as if they were real. Only only children create their own imaginary world. I somehow still do. Could not face the world without it.
|Ankara circa 68|
So our memories die with us, unless you are famous and have written an autobiography or been written about. But there too you reveal only what you chose to and not every tiny memory that is the sum of who you are. I guess a part of us only remains. We take the rest with us when we breathe our last.