XLV. Triggering a Memory is not Reliving an Experience-

I am so mentally unburdened, so extremely hungry for food and hungry for every second to pass by only after I have lived that second in its entirety. I no longer hope that the next day arrives quickly despite the fact that I would end up sleeping at 3 AM so that the days would blur into each other.

I just ate a square gold-foiled “choco-nut” sweet made only in Gopal’s, a continental-Indian cafe and sweet shoppe scattering Punjab, India. My dad brought them back after I had them for the first time two years ago, when I had traveled to India after sixteen years.

I opened the foil with my handy Epi-Pen by my side after my recent reactions to certain nut-products.

Suddenly memories of my sensationalized trip to the Punjab flooded back to me; how on my first day reaching Chandigarh I slept after not sleeping for over twenty-four hours, I wore a kurta and salwar, let down my dark curly tresses sit atop my shoulders, looked at myself in the Indian-artistry that was a mirror hanging in a wood-panneled alcove. I felt so in my element, in my place - I felt beautiful.

The crumbs are in the bowl in front of me, on the plastic covered - table-cloth covered- wooden dining table, and I feel disgusting.

I have been been binge-eating for the past three days, coming home after deprivation from nourishment and flavor, eating either a bland salad or veggie burger for the past four years.

I remembered something, but I did not relive it. How can I? The next foreseeable trip to India is before my marriage.

I move the bowl out of my line sight though I meant to pick it up dispose of the crumbs, and leave the bowl in the sink.

I move the laptop, one of two, both broken then, and revived now, in front of me.

I continue with the automatics: You know, check the Facebook in one tab and then then the e-mail in the other tab. Afterwards, you feel bad for checking Facebook first, and so you either close out of the internet so you can start afresh or switch the tabs so that your e-mail is the farthest left tab.

With my integrity in tact I have checked my e-mail and then thumb through the pictures recently uploaded from all the events I would not have gone to even if I were to have stayed on campus, these final days as a college student.

I see faces then. Faces who I know are my friends and who I plan on inviting to my wedding.

Suddenly my eyes were welling up with tears. I am sure that they were not completely derived from an emotional reaction.

It was strange though.

Part of the tears most certainly sprung from eye strain, staring endlessly at my monitor with only sparse blinking.

I knew that I would not miss anything from college - I know that I really do not miss the drastic loss in weight. I do not miss the dry scaly skin from lack of nourishment nor do I miss the feeling of my ribs touching the sorry excuse of a mattress.

I would not miss the pangs of guilt that my stomach felt when I had to pay $25 for ten PennCards - I don’t care if you still have your first one, it is still Penn’s fault. Why would I deliberately lose my PennCard? Get a freaken clue -

However, the other part of the tears welled up from knowing that despite me not venturing out with these persons who I consider my closest friends, we understand each other and we have understood each other beyond the socializing scene, and I am going to miss being in as frequent contact with them as I had been previously.

I was remembering, but I was not reliving.

I do not want to relive the aches and pains of a worn down body. I do not want to relive that day in Freshman year when I could not imagine staying in the place where I was physically deteriorating.

Pearls - I always thought pearls and not diamonds, gold, or silver, suited me. The only pearls I owned were studs and they broke earlier this year as the pearl rolled away from the golden scaffolding that held it in place.

Yet another Penn-related fall-out… literally.

I came back home to find newly returned pearls.

I had just arrived home- yes, the home-coming post-college. We were going to Gurudwara and since I was going to where the remnants and artifacts of spirituality are housed, I naturally went to get ready.

Applying a tinted lip gloss, pearls, and draping a simple Punjabi dupatta over my shoulders, partially exposing my Penn crew-neck and gray harem-inspired pants, I looked in the mirror -

Flashback: A Sunday morning and I am wearing Indian attire that transcends the dancing scene and makes its way into Gurudwara- the routine. It feels so natural, being in New York but wearing Salwar Kameez

Not anymore - It doesn’t feel natural. I look in the mirror and I see a mature face: A chiseled jaw line and somewhat hazy eyes. I see a side bun that rests atop my right shoulder elegantly. My hair is rolled along side my head creating a lady-like affect. My hair is incredibly thinner than before but somehow suits this mature Reshmi.

I feel aged, I feel like I am going to Gurudwara not as a routine task but as a necessary task - to soul search, to give thanks, to connect and converse with something that is wrongfully characterized as intangible and/or abstract.`

Remembering is not reliving -