Memory of an elephant
By Priyangwada Perera Ceylon Today Features
Dinith was thrilled to have his grandparents at home. He was undoubtedly the best friend of his grandparents. During curfew and lockdowns, he spoke to them basically every night. The more he knew he had to do with his grandparents, the more eager he became to see them. Similarly, the grandparents also missed him but being adults, they understood the situation better. They consoled Dinith saying things will be better in no time. He had to wait for so long but finally, things were fine.
So, the grandma, grandpa and the grandson were together. “Oh, one happy family we make, grandpa,” chirped Dinith.
“Now, Dinith, since we have met after so long, how about telling me something about the class bully you have?” asked his grandpa.
Dinith paused. His eyes widened. Grandpa looked at him and laughed. “My child, what is wrong? Your eyes hit the roof of your head.”
But Dinith did not laugh. He kept staring at his Grandpa. This startled his Grandma. “Dinith stop staring like that. My gosh, at this rate your eyes will get stuck there permanently,” she shouted. Dinith shook his head slowly and said, “Grandma, please don’t shout like that. Just tell me whether you heard what Grandpa said. He remembered my school bully from childhood. I must have been in Grade 1, then. Wow, Grandpa. I cannot believe that you still remember all that. I had forgotten it completely.” Grandma laughed out loud, seeing how amused the little boy was. This was the very reason the Grandparents loved having this little boy with them.
Looking at Dinith with her soft, kind eyes, Grandma said, “Dinith, your Grandpa remembers so many things. He has the memory of an elephant.”
Dinith had just stopped being awed at his Grandpa’s memory. What was his Grandma saying now? Dinith started laughing again.
Both the Grandparents could not understand what made Dinith laugh so much, yet again. “Why do you do this to me, Grandma? You said Grandpa has the memory of an elephant? Oh dear, what do you mean by that? Is it all because of what I said? Do you mean to say that he has a big memory capacity, since the elephant is huge?”, Dinith was giggling hard as he asked all these questions. He could not help imagining his Grandpa with a huge brain.
Almost as if Grandpa read his mind, he addressed Dinith. “Dinith I know the reason you are laughing so hard is because you saw me with a huge brain of an elephant. But that is not what it means to say ‘I have an elephant’s memory’.”
Dinith was surprised again. He waited for his Grandpa to complete. “Dinith, to say that I have the ‘Memory of an Elephant does not refer to the size of my brain. It means the memory. Elephant’s are known for their memory power. They remember things. If you hurt an elephant, they are believed to remember it for a long time. That is why it is said that an elephant never forgets.”
Now, this was news to Dinith. “Oh really? I never knew that. If that is the meaning, then it is absolutely true. Grandpa really has the memory of an elephant. So, there couldn’t have been a better way to sum it up,” Dinith laughed again.
“Give your elephant’s memory to me, Grandpa. I really can do with such a memory,” he came running to his Grandpa who hugged Dinith.