> classes > experimental writing, spring 2014

Young, We Can Act Uncharacteristically

by Shilpa Agrawal

Exploring Constrained Memory

Since I was very young, I have been extremely intrigued by memory. It has serve as an important part of my life all through growing up - from when I was very young until the day I left for college, I would ask my dad to tell me bedtime stories which were always recounting memories from my childhood or his childhood. I believe that the memories we choose to keep stored within our minds have hidden deep within them everything we can hope to learn about a person. When we are asked to recall through constraints, we encounter the deepest shelves of our memory that show what we surpress or who we are. This project explores maturity of thoughts and growth through memory, and recalls the important stories or life-lessons my father has imparted on me through his last 20 years of telling me bedtime stories.


The project takes explores maturity through vocabulary and a constraint on word lengths. The number of years that I am in each section defines the maximum length of words in that section, and the length of at least one word in each line. Each section also includes a quote from my father that he said to me during a bedtime story. The project unearths that there is a huge correlation between word lengths and maturity of thoughts, and through the years the project will explore the memories that have shaped me and remain with me. Furthermore, it shows the important effect my father has had on my memories and the life-lessons that have stuck with me each year and that have shaped me.