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My Earliest Memory

This picture was taken when I was probably about one year old and I have no memory of it, but I thought it would give you an idea of what I looked like when I was a toddler.

corinnelifeless

I was born in August 1965 in Hyderabad where my Mum went for her confinement – since both sets of grandparents lived there. I was baptized a week later and given my name which was apparently planned a long while before by my Dad. He had to wait to give it to me because my two brothers were older than me! A few days later, we went back to Pune, where my Dad was posted and he set off for the Indo-Pak War. Mum bravely managed the three of us alone – choosing to stay there and not with our grandparents.

After Dad got back, he was posted to Hyderabad and we lived with his parents. It was a big house and some of his many siblings lived there too. Apparently, when Dad’s posting came through to Meerut in 1968 and we could join him, I went around excitedly telling everyone that I was going to Meerut. We travelled in a special train meant only for his battalion and from what my parents and brothers tell me, they had loads of fun. Dad was commanding that Battalion and many of the young officers were not married and apparently spent the journey amusing us all. Sadly, I have no memory of this!

When we did arrive in Meerut, Mum said that I burst out crying, saying I wanted to go to Meerut. I’m not sure what I imagined it would be. When she told me that we were there already, I told her I wanted to go home….where my grandparents and others were! Confused kid, huh?

My earliest memory is of one morning in Meerut where I woke up to find that I was the only one left at home – my parents and brothers had gone for some hang-gliding show….not exactly sure of that. I was well taken care of by one of Dad’s orderlies though and I remember that I had my breakfast and some of his as well! Funnily enough I don’t remember being upset about being left behind. Self-sufficient?

myearliestmemory

My next memory is not such a pleasant one. It was Holi, the festival of colours and the doorbell rang – my parents didn’t answer it immediately. I then remember several young officers from my Dad’s battalion peering through the window, their faces painted. It was the scariest sight I had seen. They then came in and must have put colour on my Dad. My parents got busy entertaining them and didn’t realize that I was hiding under the bed. For several years after that, I would get a fever in anticipation of the Holi festival. Thankfully, my parents made the connection quite early and shielded me by going to someone else’s house for Holi – where they knew no one would come by to throw colours. Sensitive child?

I could go on with my crazy memories but I have to stop now

Do you know what happened on the day you were born? What is your earliest memory?

33 Comments

  1. Parul Thakur Parul Thakur May 14, 2016

    Enjoyed reading your post and that picture is so cute. I remember a lot of things and a lot I think could be just my imagination 😉 I remember my brother chasing my uncle with a bamboo stick cos he was trying to put color on my Mum and was saying “Nahi Bhaiya Nahi”. My little 4 year old brother thought it’s time to teach uncle a lesson 😛 😀
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  2. Angela Angela February 14, 2014

    What wonderful memories, Corinne. What a cutie, too! That’s a beautiful picture. Enjoyed reading this bit of your childhood. Makes me a bit nostalgic of my own. Thanks…Blessings to you.

  3. latha latha February 4, 2014

    You childhood smile is innocent where as your smile now carries more wisdom 🙂 Loved reading all your memories…thanks for taking us there…we leos always have tons of nostalgia, don’t we? A very sweet post..

  4. Jeevan Jacob John Jeevan Jacob John February 4, 2014

    Oh, wow. Earliest memory…I have no idea (how do you guys remember all this?).

    Right now….the ones I think of as my earliest memory are photographs (things my parents told me…so, I don’t necessarily remember the situation, I just remember my parents telling me about it later on).

    So, I am kind of confused on what my earliest memory. But, it’s certainly worth thinking about 😀

    Oh, so you lived in Hyderabad, huh? I was there for a few years. Well, I can’t say I was…it was in 1996-97 (3 or 4 years old)…I was very young and I probably didn’t have a sense of self yet.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing your experience, Corinne 🙂
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  5. Pixie Pixie February 4, 2014

    You were such a cutiepie as a kid!! And that beautiful smile has just become even more beautiful! <3
    I still don't like Holi.. :-/
    And yea, I can imagine you as a very self-sufficient kiddo!! 🙂
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  6. nabanita nabanita February 3, 2014

    you were so cute! I can’t seem to get enough of you 🙂

  7. Bhavya Bhavya February 3, 2014

    You look so adorably cuddly in that picture Corinne! 🙂 🙂
    And what a wonderful journey it has been, a nostalgic walk down memory lane for all of us 🙂
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  8. Geeta Nair Geeta Nair February 3, 2014

    What a cute smile you had Corinne even as a kid. Loved the snap. Thanks for sharing it as well as the memory.
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  9. Shiva Shiva February 2, 2014

    OMG that smile …it is a killer even today … You and scared ..two words I cant imagine together … but you and self sufficient …totally made for each other kind of words
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  10. Meena Menon Meena Menon February 2, 2014

    Cory, I somehow could imagine a young you polished off that poor Jr ka Breakie :-p But the scared you… now thts not something i would identify with u
    Meena Menon recently posted..My Earliest MemoryMy Profile

  11. Kalpana Solsi Kalpana Solsi February 2, 2014

    I too had an unpleasant memory of Holi. Many of our neighborhood ladies came with coloured water and poured over my mom despite her pleading that the ladies of our community did not play Holi. Seeing my mom’s lovely saree stained with various colours my bro and me started to cry.My mom being fully drenched and with two howling kids did not know how to react t the situation. I do not enjoy Holi.
    Your pic clicked when you were an year old is cute.

  12. Richa Singh Richa Singh February 2, 2014

    Very interesting connects. And somehow a lot of things you have mentioned cannot be co-related to present day cutie pie. But being an army brat (yes I will call you a brat :D) I am sure the experiences of going from one place to another must have made you who you are today. No?
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  13. Maggie Maggie February 2, 2014

    Proper Army brat, huh? I love your kid picture! It’s so cute! Confession : I was terrified of Holi too! Then I met really nice people who made holi fun! 😀
    Maggie recently posted..My Earliest MemoryMy Profile

  14. usha menon usha menon February 2, 2014

    Corinne you look sooo cute in your childhood photo.Your smile is as endearing now as it was as a small baby. You are even younger than my daughter (she was born in 1964). Your fear of Holi and other experiences make interesting reading. Thanks for sharing .
    usha menon recently posted..She was most beautiful.My Profile

  15. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando February 2, 2014

    Oh, what a beautiful baby you were! 🙂 And, your stories are so awesome today, Corinne. Thanks for letting us peek into your earliest memories.
    Love and blessings!
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  16. Obsessivemom Obsessivemom February 2, 2014

    Aww you don’t like holi! But I do get where you come from. The sight of painted faces can be scary for a little girl. I hated it all till I had kids. Now we have a blast each year. Your father was in the IndoPak war.. Wow! What brave parents you have ….. How hard it must have been for your mum.

  17. Dorothy Johnson Dorothy Johnson February 1, 2014

    You were a beautiful baby! You and my daughter were born the same year. I’m struck by how different our upbringings can be. Yours and my husband’s, military; mine, living most of my childhood in the same house. I still feel emotionally close to cousins who lived down the street until I was about six. When they moved across country, I remember missing them badly. As children do, while they were with us, we flowed from one household to the other with great comfort. (In my writing practice today, I wrote about my early years, too.) I think my earliest memory is of my grandmother reading to me. I wasn’t quite four when she died. It’s just a snapshot in my mind.

  18. Vidya Sury Vidya Sury February 1, 2014

    What a bright little thing you are! I love all your childhood photos, Corinne!

    Holi – ugh. Not a festival I enjoy!

    Loved your memories. Especially the wanting to go to Meerut one! I love how we built up our own perception and visual of certain things!
    Vidya Sury recently posted..My Earliest MemoryMy Profile

  19. Danny Simon Danny Simon February 1, 2014

    Nice!
    Guess we all have those memories we’ve been scared. And years later, we look at it and laugh… and the truth is those were the things that shaped us into what we’ve become today!
    Well written!
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  20. Sridevi Datta Sridevi Datta February 1, 2014

    Awww you were such a delightful child Corry that smile radiating the same warmth as of now .I can imagine your fear when you had seen a battalion of painted faces and self sufficient ? It all starts right then isn’t it ? 🙂 🙂
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  21. Sulekha ( Sulekha ( February 1, 2014

    You are sensitive, strong, self-sufficient and honest about sharing your true feelings, which is great. WYSIWYG, is apt for you, loved your memories. I avoid playing Holi too, ever since someone put paint mixed with colour in my hair.

  22. Aditi Aditi February 1, 2014

    Self sufficient… A sign shown at such a young age, Wow Corinne :)…had it been anyone else ( meaning me) surely they would have cried till they choked…;)
    N holi I fear…still do! Huge dislike for the insanity that brews along with this festival!
    Aditi recently posted..My Earliest MemoryMy Profile

  23. Psych Babbler Psych Babbler February 1, 2014

    Aww…that’s such a cute picture! Not surprised you were nervous about holi…it’s a festival I’ve never understood {along with the loud fireworks at Diwali!} Never really enjoyed holi myself. Thanks for sharing such lovely memories…
    Psych Babbler recently posted..My Earliest MemoryMy Profile

  24. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg February 1, 2014

    You looked so cute as a baby!! I used to love Holi as a kid and we have had some amazing time during Holi. But I hate it now-a-days. Lovely memories of your childhood! ♥
    Shilpa Garg recently posted..My Earliest MemoryMy Profile

  25. Sheethal Sheethal February 1, 2014

    You were such a cute child, Corinne! We don’t have Holi in South, but when in college we celebrated every fest of India…. and should say I did enjoy Holi… 😉
    Sheethal recently posted..My Earliest Memory…My Profile

  26. Rainbow Hues Rainbow Hues February 1, 2014

    Such a cute child ypu were Corinne….

    Well I loved holi… I still do… at pur quarters we used to have a whole lot of dhammal woth dhol and all that jazz. .. lovely memories…
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  27. Jyothi Nair Jyothi Nair February 1, 2014

    A Military lifestyle, I have heard, is quite different from civilian ones. It has always fascinated me. I have heard of them going to special schools and living in special quarters. Holi coloured faces can be scary. I stay indoors during Holi too. 😀
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  28. Kathy Combs ( Kathy Combs ( February 1, 2014

    You were so cute as toddler!! I can’t say I blame you. What you described of people showing up throwing color would have terrified any little kid. So fun to read stories of your childhood! ♥
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  29. Suzy Suzy February 1, 2014

    I hated Holi as well – throwing colour and looking like a messed up rainbow was just not my cup of tea. You look very cute Corinne and the smile hasn’t changed! Thanks for sharing.
    Suzy recently posted..My Earliest MemoryMy Profile

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