Dear Diary Days
Back when I was in school, like any other kid from the older decades, I used to keep a diary. It was not one of those log-book type diaries that I’d put entries in every day. Just some fragments of what was going inside my head stored in one place for the sake of storing only. I wasn’t even very regular with it. Often I’d go for weeks without making a single entry in it. And the entries I did put in, were not even very detailed, but more like mere fragments. Details of places, people & incidents, meaningless confessions & explanations to perhaps to my own self to see in the future. Seemingly pointless to anybody else; my entries were often irrelevant to their previous ones. Because of this arranged yet hasty habit of mine, I always preferred the non-dated ones. But I was used to writing down the most highlighted or vivid part of what I had in mind. Now when I look at them, I see how I’ve changed over the years. How I matured, how I grew out of things I was once so intensely into, & grew interest for things I never even cared about before. Switching from one point of view to the exact polar opposite one of it. Photographs are proof of the physical growth of a person, but only their written words arranged chronologically really testify how much they’ve grown on the inside. Time & the human mind together brew the most interesting potion(what it is? I didn’t get the meaning of the line) there is.
Now when I look around, I don’t quite see much of that tendency of putting pen on the paper (most likely anything) in younger generation. Some of them still write (or type) of course, but the number has went down by the days. And that tendency bothers me. I always thought people liked remembering things. Making memories, storing them, getting nostalgic over little things, these were the habits I adore. How can it all just grow out of fashion? There must be some explanation to it. Then I looked closer; following the age-old habit of diary-writing, through the tracks of time. I considered how it changed us, & how we changed it. And I saw that technology played a vital role in our ways of keeping memories & secrets. Making everything practically more secure & permanent, but seemingly cold & artificial. I realized that technology painted everything with its own colors, which apparently banished the physical form of diary, but on the other hand kept the idea of keeping a diary intact. I found out that kids if till this day have kept diaries, only the looks of them changed. Instead of handwritten words scribbled on lined pages of leather-bound books, diaries were now being kept in all sorts of other forms. Pictures, doodles, selfies, conversations, messengers, & even recorded sounds & videos. The main purpose of keeping a diary was to keep track of past; whichever the form may be; they are doing it. And that’s what it matters.
Being the critic here, I myself am not totally uninvolved in giving new looks to this old habit. While writing this article I just went through my cellphone to see if I can find traces of my old self in it anywhere. And I found that I have been storing some text messages that I’ll be no longer needing, from almost half a decade ago. And it’s not like I didn’t delete them & later forgot about them. Rather I even deleted some other things to free my phone’s memory but kept those particular messages unscathed. Just like people kept old letters back in the days. I don’t exactly remember when & why I stopped literally writing in a diary, but I’m pretty sure it happened some time around when cellphones & computers came up.
Thing is, it doesn’t matter in what form one keep his/her memory. It doesn’t matter what he/she stores in it. What matter is, whether one is keeping connections with their past selves. Because only then can one be true to themselves about what they’ve been through, & what that had made out of them. I think every speck of memory, confession, explanation ever made to no one in particular, but just made by someone with or without the plan of any future use, can be a diary. A diary is the only place where one can be truthfully fearless to be fearlessly truthful to themselves. Without the fear of being judged or ridiculed holding you back, who knows, the battles you’re fighting may one day make another Anne Frank out of you that everyone will adore. They say, you can’t find yourself if you don’t lose yourself. I’ll add a vice versa to that.
So, dear diary, I hope you still exist in all the coming periods of time, adapting to whatever form your keepers choose to keep you. Hope you never grow out of fashion. And never fail to remind the generations of their ‘dear diary’ days.