I am privileged in my upbringing. We grew up in a household that thrived on paying for experiences; the bigger car was always shortchanged for a holiday to a new country. On each of our holidays, we always had a little big budget, my sister and I could spend that money on any one thing we wanted to take home.
When on holiday in London, Kurt Cobain had died. I was much too young, and far too naive to have discovered Kurt Cobain and yet deeply affected by a cousin’s morbidity, and unstoppable tears. There was no more Nirvana. In tribute, I decided to spend my 40 quid on baggy, hanging rasta jeans, the kind punk stars wore with hand-me down tees cut up to show belly. I had little use for them back in Bombay, ounces of denim could hardly handle her humidity. Over time, I lost those jeans, but not the memory.
When in Chicago, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a hundred-dollars than an American Girl doll. I was fascinated by the artistry, the legacy. The attention to detail. Several years and a broken doll-limb later, I still remember her. Her intrinsic features, not the name I gave her though.
Years have passed and I chuckle at the memory; what I would do have a little big budget now, and how much better I would use it!
But, it has been a privilege. To have been able to make those little, big choices growing up. To have been been able to explore and bring back a culture quite unlike my own.
My own heart-shaped-box of memories.