A feeling of nostalgia seems to have taken over me. While flipping through the pages of my class XI English textbook called “Snapshots”, I came across a chapter that has inspired me quite significantly with its simplistic storytelling. A striking feature of this story is the sheer ease with which the author has portrayed a multitude of emotions, right from betrayal to melancholy, and everything in between. The story by Marga Minco, a Dutch journalist, reiterates the fact that dwelling in the past only ends up adding to the emotional turmoil a person might be going through in his/her life.
The story further brings to light that as soon as we accept something and move on in life, the better we’re bound to feel. Accepting something not only makes us feel better emotionally, it also helps us to concentrate on the opportunities that might come our way in the not-so-distant future.
“The Address” by Marga Minco narrates the story of a lady (possibly the author herself), who, after losing her entire family in the Holocaust, returns to ‘the address’ in order to collect all her family’s possessions that the author’s mother had left with Mrs Dorling, a non-Jewish lady, before leaving her homeland.
After the war was over, the author went to Mrs Dorling’s house to collect all her past possessions, but to her surprise, Mrs Dorling refused to recognize her. In a second attempt, the author rings the doorbell of Mrs Dorling’s house, only to be welcomed by her daughter. She offered her a cup of tea and asked her to wait for Mrs Dorling. As the author observed the room, she saw the cups and other utensils her mother had left with Mrs Dorling. She also came across the tablecloth with burn marks on it. She left the house without waiting for Mrs Dorling to return.
‘The Address’ by Marga Minco throws light on a multitude of human emotions. On her first visit to 46, Marconi Street (Mrs Dorling’s house), the author was given a cold shoulder by Mrs Dorling. This act of Mrs Dorling is enough to tell us that the author’s mother was betrayed by Mrs Dorling.
The author, on the other hand, was being overpowered by emotional turmoil and sadness after Mrs Dorling hadn’t recognized her. After being treated unpleasantly by Mrs Dorling on her very first visit to the house, the author developed an awful impression of Mrs Dorling. To her, she was a thief who had refused to recognize her as she didn’t want to return the possessions that the author’s mother had left behind.
On her second visit, the author was welcomed by Mrs Dorling’s daughter, who, unlike her mother, asked the author to come in and even offered her a cup of tea. The author, while running her eyes around the house, saw a few things her mother had left with Mrs Dorling. She also observed that Mrs Dorling’s daughter loves those possessions quite dearly and is proud of possessing them. In the end, the author decided against taking her possessions along as she felt that all these possessions would remind her of her family members who had died during the course of the war.
The story clearly brings to light the fact that holding onto the past can be an extremely painful exercise. It goes without saying that forgetting the moments and the experiences that torment you can be a really daunting task, but once you accept your past wholeheartedly, you tend to get a big weight off your back. The author, despite being attached to memories of her past, had the courage to leave them behind in order to make a fresh beginning.
“The Address” by Marga Minco is indeed an inspiring story which sheds an adequate amount of light on the importance of letting things go. It further reiterates that both past and future are illusions, and all we have with us is the present.