They say that your memories do not start till around the age of four. My earliest memory is slightly before that age. My first memory is of when I was three. It is a vivid memory which I can recall even today.
My dad is a food scientist. He worked with Central government in India in food technology. The technology for so many of the packaged and export grade food that we see today, was developed by my dad and his colleagues in their laboratory.
His was not a travelling job but from time to time he did travel to various laboratories in the country. My first memory surrounds that. Dad, I believe, had gone to Shimla for work for around 10 days which was a big deal for a little girl. He used to travel by jeep, so when I heard this noise outside of his vehicle, I rushed out to meet my dad. It was an autumn evening and it was dusk and slightly cool.
When I reached out, I saw a man with long hair and dark brown beard. I let out a cry and rushed back inside to my mom. I did not recognise my dad and refused to go in his arms till he shaved. That is my first memory and after 40 years still clearly etched in my mind.
The other clear memory I have is of my younger sister as a baby. It is around the same time as the one above. I was fascinated and excited at having a baby in the house. I am not sure if I understood the concept of being a big sister but was just happy of someone smaller than me in the house.
My memory is of me trying to pick up my sister to play with her and I was about to drop her when mom came rushing to prevent it. In my wisdom, I thought she was a little doll that I could play with. After that incident, I was not left alone with the baby for too long.
It is funny how our brain preserves the most strange things as memories. The workings of the brain always fascinate me. What is your earliest memory?