Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
Child hood memories.. This is one thing that makes us who we are. It brings a smile when we are sad, brings us back to the right path if we are lost. But being a 80’s child I don’t have much option to see them again. Cameras were luxury those days, no option to store those somewhere. Photos were black and white and most of them are gone with wind now. If I want to hear about my childhood I mostly relay on the stories that my family keeps sharing. But being a techie and a digital age father with all the options and technical privilege I have, I decided to gift my boy his entire child hood as a gift. A memory lane where he can take a walk in his later years. Things he can share with his children, rather than telling them this is what he used to do, he actually can show them the moment what he did and how he did. Below are my 5 favorite things that I do to store his life as a gift.
1. Email ID: This is one of the very first thing I did for my boy when he was a year old and its my personal favorite. It gives me a chance to talk to my boy, an option to share my thoughts & feelings. There are many things I want to talk to him. Sometimes a Thank you, when he filled my heart with joy or a simple sorry if I have been not at my best for some reason. But every time I can’t talk to him in my words as of now. He is too small to understand. So I drop him a small note. I talk to him through this. Not only this, I also use this to preserve those special moments, be it very first day when he called me Babu or he complained about something or he did something which he has not done before. Every first thing of him I attach a picture if available and drop him couple of lines. This way I can tell him how he became what he is now. I don’t know what he will become tomorrow, but some day when he will go through this he can relate it back. As of today I have the mail id and password, but once he is in that stage to understand I plan to give him this as a gift.
2. Video Log: This is me and my wife both do together for him. A mode of communication from both of us. Sometimes we record our crazy talks and store for him. Rather than telling him after some years we can show him these videos and he can actually feel the warmth of that moment when we recorded it. We both talk to him through this.
3. Photo Collection: I believe we all must be doing it for sure. But the best way I have found to store these on cloud. Now a day its digital. But storing these photos locally is a challenge. Laptop hard drives get out dated and there are chances of crashing also. I faced this issue when my personal laptop got stolen. I lost almost the all the photos that I took in the very first year. Smart phone has a limited memory and have to delete or take back up in a separate location regularly. So for me now the best solution is Google Cloud. Like google there are many service providers, Microsoft, Amazon and many more. They offer free service for a certain limit later you can buy storage for a minimal amount and its safe, secured and can be accessed from anywhere. May be not everyone will agree to this and may get concerned about online security but getting the service from a reputed provider is always safe. At least I have not faced any issue till now.
4. Reference Pictures: My mom always keeps me telling how I learned to speak, what and how I used to call her. Sometimes I feel that thirst to know how I grew up, how I got to know the world, but I don’t have any reference. So I have created another picture library where I store these for my boy. What I do, when he starts addressing something in his own words I take a picture of that thing and use a picture editor to write on it what he called it. Like he used to say “Ani” for Honey, “Amkim” for Ice cream. He had a toy rabbit and used to call it “babait”. I call it “Omm’s World”. Just an attempt to gift him his own personal world when he will grow up and join us in this real world.
5. Music Videos: What is that one thing out of everything that creates a wave of memories filled with fun, laugh and happiness when you think about that. We all have something or else right? Then how about doing the same with a twist, which is fun too. I selected a song (Tu Mera Dil, Tu Meri Jaan from Akele Hum Akele Tum Movie) and created a short video with the song in the background. Videos I collected from my collection, where we both having fun, doing naughty things, dancing like crazy. Spent 10/15 mins and created the video. I did it for fun but after so many days I feel its not just a song any more. It’s a part of our life, a theme song for me and my son. He just loves this. He knows the song better than me. He is just 3 years old, but somehow this song gives him a feeling I am with him. He sings it when he is afraid or I am upset or he wants to express something but does not have any words. A bond it has created, which we both feel by heart. And yes I have created one for him Mom too. Its easy to do and does not take that much of technical expertise. You can go to online App stores and you can find a lot of free video editors which are easy to use.
But sometimes when I sit back and browse through these memories, I feel more connected. I don’t know how Omm will treat these things when I hand it over to him after 10 / 15 years. But for sure, when I will read though the mails that sent, video that I created or the pics that we took together, I will know, rather I will remember how much I love him. Once a child grows older, there will be a gap between him and the parents. I feel that too with my father. To be honest, I know how much he loves me, how much he cares for me. But being a very reserved person he never expressed himself to me, neither I being his shadow I never spoke to him with my heart out. Sometime I want to tell him “papa, I love you”, but something stops me. Being in a joint family and my father being the head, I never had a very open or comfortable relationship where I can express myself fully. But I don’t want this thing to happen to my son. I want to say I am with him always. If any day I am upset with him or I we develop differences between us, I will again go through these memories and hopefully it will me realize, we both are part of each other.