"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)


This week, in “The Hindu” newspaper, Pranay Gupte wrote of a reunion he attended.

It reminded me of a similar episode in my life. The feelings of estrangement that such events induce are probably inevitable.

Pranay Gupte finished his piece by saying:

“The past is not prologue.

When the past is gone, it is gone; no amount of imagery can truly reconstruct it.

There is no way I can translate my regret into something more meaningful. My past was lived in a different time, and although it will linger in my mind. I don’t think I will revisit it through another punishing journey. With every word I write, that past recedes, it moves away beyond my grasp. Perhaps just as well.”


Revisiting the past is like turning to capture your shadow.

The image is immediately distorted. What we see, although attached to us, lacks full dimensions. It almost seems to mock us.

We are told “the unexamined life is not worth living“, but what we look at is a strange affair: a chimera. It should not be fully trusted.

The past cannot be viewed with innocent or unbiased eyes.

Its full truth is forever barred to us.

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”   L. P. Hartley.



One response

  1. Jolyon

    “Its full truth is forever barred to us.”

    For the time-being, maybe, but not quite forever…

    June 19, 2010 at 6:43 pm

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