#Whamandme #teenagememories

Written on 28th December, 2016

Two days  back I woke up to the sad news of George Michael passing away. With a 15 month old hyper active toddler my days now seem to pass like a movie in fast forward mode on a daily repeat mode. But this news took me back to the lane of nostalgia. Born and brought up in a small town of Bengal, the first exposure to cable tv was when my dad despite all advice against it,decided to get the connection early on. I was in class 5 then and although the channels would work only post 2 pm and show a lot of Dara Singh s movies,I didn’t spare a chance to show off my newly acquired possession.

The convent schooling got us exposed to the world of foreign authors and some English music but few yrs down the line, it was the newly launched MTV India that got me hooked onto English classics. It was one such winter evening that I was watching Shehnaz Treasureywala read a request letter from a viewer asking for “Last Christmas” by Wham. Barely in my teens, seeing a lot of classmates getting hooked up, getting introduced to the world of romance through literature, this song touched the right chord in my heart. Every day I would keep watching the show hoping some other viewer will request for this song. Some days I even attempted to ring up the no to place a request. Unfortunately it never went through. Such was my craze for Wham and Last Christmas. The next few months were relentlessly spent in trying to get this cassette by Wham so that I could play the song as and when I wished to. The local cassette shop owner went from being amused to irritated to sympathetic with my weekly visits to his shop inquiring if he managed get his hands on it. Finally after couple of months of my incessant nagging, he bought it from Kolkata and though I paid him an extra twenty, I was on seventh heaven. For all the trips, Ma would accompany me to the shop everytime and though she never understood my childish infatuation with Wham, she never discouraged. That year on my result day, I was gifted a poster of George Michael by my parents. I was way too surprised to even show any reaction.I don’t know how they managed to get the same but it happily adorned my room wall just beside the poster of Shane Warne for years together.

2011 April – Baba decided to repaint the house before my wedding scheduled in june. The posters had to be taken down. I had outgrown my love for posters and cassettes but Ma preserved every memory of mine in that house. She had neatly kept it all stacked in a box. She had been doing it ever since I left home for higher studies in ’99.
Nov 2011 was when I lost her to an undiagnosed disease. I never opened those boxes lest they bring out moment and memories that challenge my ability to bear the ache of losing your loved one. Afterall, people admired me for how strong an individual I was and what a brave show I had put up as I faced personal loss.

Mid 2016- Tanmoy and I decided on returning back for good to Kolkata. Baba was growing old, my in laws were ageing,Gogol was growing up and we wanted the grandchild to be brought up amidst the love and affection of his paternal grandparents and maternal grandpa. Everything had fallen into a pattern and we all settled in our new roles well.

Dec 2016- Hubby and I just got back from a vacation with Gogol when I read the news of this indeed being the last Christmas for George Michael on the net. Suddenly the bottled up memories all started flowing back.

28th Dec 2016-As I typed out this post with a cranky, unwell toddler sleeping in my lap,I realised that just like Ma I am also neatly stacking a significant part of my childhood in the memory box of my brain, unsure if I will return to it ever!

Rest in Peace George Michael. Thank you for being a significant part of my teenage years.

Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? An erstwhile banker turned blogger/writer/author. Any qualifications? A Post-Graduate degree in Chemistry followed by a second Post-Graduate Diploma in Management. I completed a one-year MFA in creative writing course from the Writer's Village University, U.S. in Dec 2020. Though I must admit that I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots. Have I done any real work? If two years in market research, six years in banking as a branch head, three-plus years of blogging, writing, and publishing a book can be considered as real work, then yes! Where do I live? After spending life like a nomad for sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Books, coffee, travel, food, and my five-year-old son. What is this blog about? Through Sonia's musings, I intend to explore writing in various genres, create social awareness, spread laughter, and give words to emotions. Anything for readers? You can check out my book 'Deal of Death' on Amazon Kindle. If you like fast-paced thrillers, this Detective fiction introducing the woman sleuth, Raya Ray could turn out to be your perfect weekend read.

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