As a kid, I had lived in this city years ago with my family. I used to play in these streets & go to the school located at the corner of street. My best friend lived next door & we used to walk to the school together. We shared same interests & followed each other whole day. Neighbours called us the mischeif-duo. We had explored this area together. Were lost so many times and yet found new roads.
I remember her voice clearly as if it was yesterday when I had last talked to her. Her habit of making faces at people is still fresh in my mind. And, I laugh every time I recall stories of her silly fights with her elder brother. He was so notorious or rather a hooligan as our teachers used to say.
As fate would have it, I am revisiting this city after 20 years for my cousin’s marriage. On reaching the venue, I recognize the similar shops in the side lanes. I plan to visit my childhood home located not too far from here. I am excited at the prospect of meeting my childhood friend & visiting my school.
To my amazement nothing has changed & I can spot my friend just outside her home. I shout her name and then she looks back. I wave and move towards her. But, there is no sign of recognition on her face!
Suddenly, I hear a familiar voice calling out my name. It’s my elder sister who has followed me till here from venue. She catches her breath & with a confused look asks, “Where exactly are you going? And, why did you leave the venue alone in this new city?”
I respond with amused looks,”Don’t you remember our home? We have lived here for five long years.”
Nothing could have prepared me for the reply that my sister gave, “But,we have never lived in this city and are visiting it for first time.”
I was surprised & confirmed it with my other family members. Only after assurance from my father I realized that I have never lived in this city as a child. The memories itched in my mind are figment of my childhood imagination. The familiar sights & sounds are actually unfamiliar to me.
How is it possible? How could I feel so connected to this place and what about the girl I saw? Is it my past life or a parallel universe? Or is it deja vu – familiar yet unfamiliar?
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