What does a Journal Mean To Me? by Indu Balakrishnan

Earlier I talked about a smart life and how if you went to bed with a smile on your face, you have figured it out. Sometimes, when I am alone, I go to my photo albums and just smile. Fun happy memories. Restaurants I visited. Trips I made. The crazy poses kids and I do for the camera. And then sometimes, I go really back in time to my school and college days. I take a look at the autograph books that my friends have signed. It brings back some wonderful memories indeed. 

I would like to call these memories my journal. They are a collection of everything that has happened in my life that makes me the me that I am today. Good and bad. I would not like to restrict a journal to a dear-diary entry. Every physical and emotional memory that I have stored in my cupboard, hard drive and heart can be put under the umbrella of a journal, according to me. 

And my memories are not just restricted to photographs. I have the teddy bear my friend gave me when I was in Class Ten. My kids play with it today. Now, do not ask me why a 15 year old would want a teddy. Probably because I did not grow up playing with dolls. Probably because I played more cricket and kabaddi than with Barbie and Ken. I never really asked her why. But that doll – her name is Bobby by the way – is very much a big part of my memory. 

There are other memories that I ponder over when I lie in bed trying to sleep. I am yet to learn the art of switching on a button and sleeping off in five. So, I end up going back in time (sometimes 24 hours and sometimes 24 years) and think about anything and everything that comes to my head. I even have conversations in my head. “Wow Indu I can’t believe you said that”. Or cringe even. There are moments of pride and then some of embarrassment. But these thoughts are read from the journal that is in my head. 

These thoughts and emotions keep me going. They help me reflect on not only what I should have done, but what I can do as well. I have had my Eureka moments when I have figured out something. It does not happen very often, but I do remember scaring my kids by jumping out of the bed to write it down. More often than not, it’s work related. But hey, it happened to Archimedes too. 

Everyone should keep a journal. It can be in any shape and form. A gift from a friend or a photo with her. It does not matter. Journals are anything that help you understand yourselves by enabling you go back in time to reflect on them. And by a tad stretch of my imagination, this is my definition. 

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