Not again!


You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.”
Cormac McCarthy, The Road

“The only thing faster than the speed of thought is the speed of forgetfulness.”
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

It happened again – ending up in one more embarrassing episode.

Before that, over to some flash back. Once I was introducing a new teacher to our staff. I had already started from one end when I caught sight of my friend, one of the senior teachers, sitting at the other end, to realize with horror that I could not recollect her name! I had two options before me – either avoid her or ask her name secretly. The consequences of both would have strained our relationship. I frequently glanced at her as I nervously performed my duty, giving myself enough time to rake through my brain. Thank God, by the time I reached her, the name struck me and I heaved a sigh of relief.
That was eight years back. Now my system is older and thereby slower.

 The latest setting is the dentist’s office. The doctor was concluding the third session discussing the fate of my teeth. There came the fatal question. ‘Which toothpaste do you use?’

BOOM! System error!

In the next moment my screen went blank, as if under the ambush of some unknown bug. What is the name of the toothpaste I use every day?!!

Desperately I enabled my search engines, though, as it always happens during emergency situations, the operation was annoyingly slow. I could visualize everything – the tube of toothpaste among my toiletries, the colours on it, the racks which displayed that brand at the supermarket, its ads on TV, the gift hamper of the same product we got recently… but strangely everywhere its name seemed blurred. What a catastrophe!

I prayed for a miracle - let the phone ring, or let someone knock at the door, or at least erase the question from her! 

The doctor might have read my thoughts before she asked, ‘Is it the name of your toothpaste that you are trying to recall?’ Sluggishly I nodded.

I could hear my heart pounding surmising her thoughts – ‘Is this patient illiterate? May be she brushes rarely. No wonder her teeth are infected.’

 ‘You do brush every morning, eh?’ What can be more humiliating to a person who prides herself in the amount of time spent daily on dental hygiene? Even though I said I do, from her mischievous smile I inferred that she hadn’t swallowed my word as such. You can rightly forget the name of any other product but that of your toothpaste, the first branded thing you take into your hands on any day.

The revelation that should have dawned on me heartlessly switched sides and unveiled itself to her. ‘Is that C*****?’ Exactly! Incredible! Oh Memory, this is not fair.

Short term memory loss has vexed me many a time during the exams. Straining  my memory only worsened the condition. And once out of the exam hall, the misted answers would easily surface, but in vain!

But dear Memory, the current event is defamatory. Well, I will always bear this in mind, if you are generous enough.

I absolutely don’t believe in anything. Full stop. Including luck.
Al Alvarez

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27 responses to “Not again!

  1. Yes very often this happens to me too.

  2. what an embarrassing moment it must have been Bindu :) I can understand how you must have felt, for I too go through this forgetfulness. One of my not so tactful colleague even points out regularly that I was getting old and need to eat blue berries or something to improve my memory.
    I have weirdly enough forgot people’s names and words – but so far not had gotten into any seriously embarrassing situation … :D

  3. LOL. When it happens in class then you have catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, and entertainment of box office value. Trust me. Been there :D!

    But yes. How uncannily and eerily familiar is this scenario. I’ve been advised to do Sudoku. but dont have the patience for it :D :D

    You have company. If that is any consolation! Happy Friendship Day :)

    • Even if it happens in the class we can somehow manage, I feel. Veenathu vidya akkum. :) Have to survive.
      SUDOKU? Sure you were advised by an expert? Then listen to my story. For more than a month I have been regularly doing it (newspaper). Now I can do even the toughest ones. And this incident took place last week. So what does that mean? ;) OMG!!
      Thank you so much, Usha! Friendship Day wishes to you too :D

  4. :) this reminded me , I had bought a power washer, when you switch it on it make a sudden noise as water rushes out .. and then you have to press the button for the water to rush out .. and I forgot to do that , I would switch it on , it made the noise and then nothing happened ..

    I called a friend and he could not explain anything , I spent TWO DAYS and then when I pressed that button I felt to DUMB..

    I too have a permanent short temr-long term memory loss always :)

    take care you are FINE …

    • So it happens not just to me. If it happens when we are alone or with our friends it is ok, won’t be so embarrassing.
      I am thinking of sending this post to the doctor. :D
      Just imagine one forgetting one’s name or sth important like that! God save us all.
      Thank you Bikram for that soothing comment. :)

  5. Bindu your post is a solace for me too. In office this has happened to me also and it was really embarassing. They may think that I don’t care about my colleagues or I am trying to be a boss.

  6. It was really a funny incident. It happens to all.Nowadays short term memory loss has become common in all people, specially in adults. my mom also has faced such funny circumstances due to her short term memory loss

  7. We have all experienced this. Sometimes to much humiliation and other times with less strains upon our pride. But you are right, straining the memory only worsened the condition. A good trick, as most people know, is to think about something totally different, and alas, out nothing appears the recollection. As for toothpaste I don’t know – and I don’t care – what brand I use. It may change from one time to another. So I wouldn’t be able to give my dentist a clear answer should he ever care to ask.

    • The brand of the toothpaste does not bother me too. But I was just shocked how I could forget something so familiar.
      Yes, that is a good trick, which did not come to my aid. Thank you for that wonderful comment.

  8. Lovely entry Bindu! :) Also the quotations go so well with the piece. :)

  9. Good one and interesting too! Thanks Bindu. :)

  10. You are not alone Bindu! Have no fear, it catches up with all of us sooner or later. :-)

  11. What is the name of your toothpaste?

  12. Welcome back Bindu!

    I’m so glad to hear you had a fabulous vacation. There’s nothing like a vacation to renew or bodies and our minds.

    Best,
    Nancy

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