Thursday, September 08, 2005

Forgive and Forget....I Forget, You Forgive.

I think I have recently been diagnosed with some deadly disease. What do they call it in medical parlance? Senile Dementia? Yes, that's the word. I keep forgetting things that I wouldn't even dream of.

Last week, I met a junior from my school. She was a junior in college as well, and that means it's barely been 2 years since we lost touch. Given the way she screamed my name in her shrill voice, I'm sure all the auto wallahs and pan wallahs and pedestrians and bus drivers in Ballygunge already know my name. We smiled, hugged, talked for 20 minutes. And all the while, I kept wondering what was her name. I thought I could escape unscathed, until we exchanged phone numbers. While she typed and saved my name effortlessly, I kept wondering what should I name her. So when I tried to act smart and asked her...

"So what was your surname?",

all she gave me was her surname. Till date, her name has been saved as ????? [Surname] in my mobile.

Sometime back, dad came home with a friend of his.

"Hi dear, remember me?"

"Of course Uncle, dad often speaks about you.", I grinned as wide as a monkey.

But just between you and me, I had no clue about who he was. Of course I had seen him before, and since he talked to me as if he has changed my diapers when I was a kid, it was only natural for me to pretend as if he is that only uncle my dad lost in touch with in the last Kumbh Mela. Later on, when I told this to mom, she acted as if she had seen a ghost. For not only had he come to our place with his entire family, but he had also given me a ride to college on one occasion. Just imagine, me sitting in a man's car and then not even recognising him one year down the line.

The problem gets worse during Durga Pujas and weddings, when the entire community gets together for the celebrations. I see faces smiling at me and I smile back, still clueless about who they are. And they shock me again and again with their accurate knowledge about my current whereabouts.

To add insult to the injury, I ask my sister, "Who is this lady smiling at me?".

And my sister starts like a record player of the 60s, "Ah, don't you remember Mukherjee Aunty? Her husband works in the Telephone Department. Her son is a real hunk and her daughter is having an affair with XYZ guy who lives in ABC Apartments. They drive a blue car..........."

Well, I never remembered my sister getting a full time job at the FBI, but since she already knows so much, that must be where she is working these days.

"Okay, I'll start socialising and by this time the next year, I'll know all the Mukherjees and Banerjees and Chatterjees by name, their husband's professions, the name of their native village, the name of their maids, their telephone numbers, email ids, everything", that is what I keep telling myself every year, but the next year, it seems that the number of unknown faces smiling at me just doubles.

So when somebody smiles now, I stick to safer pleasantries.

If it is a kid, "Hi, how are you doing in school?"(A kid has to be in school inevitably).

If it is some uncle, "Hi, how is aunty?" and vice versa.(assuming most uncles come with aunties).

But people aren't fools. No wonder they call me ABC's sis or PQR's daughter who sticks a book under her nose all day. That is my identity in our locality till date, and I have no wish to extricate them out of their false notions.

And I have already forgotten the names of my school teachers and classmates. I have been to 3 schools in 14 years, but that is no excuse I guess.

And how can I forget birthdays? I mean how can I not forget remembering birthdays? A very close friend of mine emailed me with the last line saying..."In case you have forgotten, my b'day was 4 days back." Probably it was too late to send even a belated b'day card.

Another classmate whose b'day I thought was on the 2nd week of March (it was on 2nd March actually) hasn't forgiven me till date. Not only did she not wish me on my b'day, she even went to the extent of telling me later..... "Hey, how was the b'day card I mailed you?" The thing is, I received no birthday card.

What else, I called up a friend early morning to wish her, and she giggles back at me, informing me that "mera b'day to parso hai, but thanks for being the first one to wish me."

And there was a time when I remembered everybody's b'day... Kajol's b'day, SRK's b'day, my mausi's nanad's b'day, my project partner's boyfriend's b'day, our neighbour's pet's b'day, our doodh wallah's b'day. I wonder when did those ever active grey cells started degenerating and everything in life turned into a shade of grey. And you know what? I still drink Complan (Milo actually) and practise mental maths and eat fruits and do not indulge in alcohol and am even willing to drink karele ka juice blended with neem leaves. Anything to save those grey memory cells and get rid of this "scatterbrain" tag.

So friends, please empathize. I did not purposefully forget your birthday to insult you. I forgot, because I forgot. I am still recovering from learning 80 odd chapters for my masters and some 3,000 odd words for my GRE. I have responsibilities weighing down heavily on my shoulders. How much more can this brain take? Given the large number of people I know, every day would be someone's birthday. 

I turn to you in supplication, earnestly in need of your empathy.

And that reminds me, today is a close friend's b'day, and YES, I did wish her early morning (after my sister left me a note, reminding me of it).



hawai jahaaj said...

Hi..remember me ?
abhinav...abhi...iim c..huh..heloo...anyways , koee baat nahi.

Now when u do get onto the plane to USA , REMEMBER its a plane.dont ask the hostess for a ticket to US.and REMEMBER its a plane , so you dont need to run and grab a seat , they will be booked already.and REMEMBER its a plane , so you dont need to tell the pilot "bhaiyya , USA ke station par rok dena , mujhe utarna hai".ok.and REMEMBER its a pilot , not driver.

Chalo , now jao....Offo..fir bhool gayi see the red cross at the right top of this window ? use click karne se window close hogee.

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Baap re... things are really heating up!! Sunshine, your place, your blog, etc. I know, lekin aisa hai ke agar aap dono ne aise hi jaari rakkha to subse zyaada maza lootenge mere jaise kucch log jo aap dono ki blogs pe regularly jaate hai


By the way, this post was really hilarious... and it really does happen --- you pass by someone in the street someone and then you discover that that the person was someone you knew all the time, or at least were supposed to know.

abhinav said...

He he , hey sudipta , india mein gareebo and mallika ke paas waise hee kapde kamm hai ,and tu aur kapda white flag mein waste karr raha hain.arre bhai , chill , there is no bad blood between me and sunshine.( grrrr...main tera khoon peee jaunga shoeshine :P).shes a friend.and thanx to you fr that.:)

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Anytime, Abhinav... baaki ki khabar main offline leta hoon teri

sunshine said...

abhinav....why the long list of instructions? Did you do all this on your first flight?

sudipta....he he.... happens buddy, bade bade deshon mein aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hai. Regd. munnu, tum chinta na karo. I agreed that he is right about the plane vs. train thing, and he promised to pay my fare for the US trip. Kyun munnu beta?