Lest I Forget....


It’s been nearly 1 ½ years of writing my blog.  After all these months of countless views exchanged, arguments, criticism and praise, you my readers, almost feel like a family.  And since family members are bonafide sounding boards for endless litanies, it’s time I started airing skeletons from my closet.  

So let me start with a confession.  It’s about my hidden talent - a faculty so special that I take pains to hide it.  

I have trouble remembering things - thanks to my random, temperamental memory that loves taking long vacations.  And poor me is left all alone to grapple with the trickiest of situations.  

If you see me at a gathering, you will observe that I smile a lot of.  So much that you can shake hands with my molars, incisors, canines.  But what you don’t know, at that very moment my head is busy struggling with a thousand question marks and not a single answer – who is he... why is he smiling at me, do I know him... OMG he even knows my name....do I have a stalker?  Till it turns out that he is the chap I tried to kill with a pencil in school.  I was all of six dammit! How am I expected to remember all the random kids I tried to annihilate? But I bare my teeth for his sake ...Of course you are Amit, man look at you! 

I smile to hide the pain of a chasm wider than the Grand Canyon residing inside my head.  I smile to make others happy.   

Imagine you are surfing channels on television. You finally come across a movie that looks promising.  You sigh in relief and sink back on the cushions, till the actress with a long nose and red hair appears on the screen.  Of course you have watched her movies, so many of them.  What was her name again? When you knock upstairs for an answer, you discover that your damn memory has taken a break.  You feel distressed, your eyebrows are knit in concentration – don’t disturb me, I am thinking for Chrissake!  You call up your family, friends and foes but to no avail.  You can’t take it anymore.   You reach out for your mobile and google the movie – ahhh relief.   Thank god, someone still has the answers.

I have often thought of writing a mushy love letter to Google - What am I without you?... Just an incomplete sentence…you are my full-stop…you are my chicken fry...my fish fry...Damn I am getting emotional. 

I am convinced, when God was programming me, he was not paying enough attention.  Why else would he burden me with recollections of events that happened over three decades back and make me forget stuff that I really need to remember?  For some insane reason, I can still recollect what I ate for my 3rd birthday but can’t remember where I kept those keys, my mobile or the wallet!  I keep scurrying around the house like a demented mouse till I finally mange to locate the damn thing.  Sometimes it takes days, sometimes months. There are times I never find it but I never give up hope.  You can call me muddle-head, fuddy-duddy but you can never call me hopeless.

Actually my faulty brain has this strange capability of storing only those recollections which evoke emotions - so I rarely forget the hurt, the pain, the fear or the ecstatic moments of my life.  But I can’t, for the life in me, remember dates, phone numbers, statistics and names of things animate and inanimate.

A gym mate was sweet enough to call me up on my birthday to wish me...Hey Purba, this is Neelam...Complete silence on the other end, followed by a nervous laugh...Purba this Neelam from the gym!  Do you realize how embarrassing it is for me!  She was miffed with me for weeks.  I now store names with a suffix – Arvind-magazine...Swati-dance....Ruchira-mother...Ok now I am exaggerating.

I can’t sing for the fear of being asked to shut-up.  Since I couldn’t be bothered with trivial things such as lyrics, I never progress beyond the first two lines and end up sounding like a stuck record.  And whenever I venture into the land of unknown, I end up twisting the lyrics into a mangled mess.  Thank god the lyricist can’t hear me sing – if he does, he will commit harakiri! 

Ever since I’ve started writing, my condition has worsened.  Just when I am about to sleep, my imagination goes on an overdrive and I come up with the smartest lines to write.  I memorize it well before dozing off.  But when I wake up in the morning, I discover to my horror that my mind has been wiped clean like my dining table glass top.  Try as I might I can’t remember those friggin lines! The husband is now quite used to me stumbling in the dark, crashing against table corners, toppling table lamps, desperately looking for a notepad to scribble on.  I am seriously contemplating hanging a little whiteboard right above my pillow or maybe I should sleep with a foolscap sheet pinned on my night dress.  I have broken enough table lamps.

I read somewhere that since we have too many long-term memories crammed into our heads, it makes it hard for us to filter new information and process short-term memories.   So the fault doesn’t lie with me, but my zillion memories that I am unable to let go of.   Basically I need to spring clean my storage area.  But how exactly I am supposed to do that? Should I take the filmy route and tumble down the neighbourhood hillock, only to wake up in the hospital and say mujhe kuchh yaad nahin a rahaa...nahiiin!  

I also read that long term exposure to polluted air causes memory lapses! Phew! What a relief.   So all I need to do is shift to Switzerland, reorganize my data storage area and voila my treasure trove of incredibly witty lines, forgotten names and misplaced wallets, stored carefully at the back of mind, will come tumbling out.  

Do you realize with a memory that’s not malfunctioning, what a genius I will be?  I can be on TV, look menacingly at a politician and rattle off a chronological list of his misdeeds. Mr Maran, you are a disgrace to the nation!  With the lyrics firmly ensconced in my head, I can finally start crooning in an emotion choked voice.  Maybe I will go and audition for Anu Mallik!  Am I too old for Spelling Bee?

I better run and note down my dreams in my notepad lest I forget them.  Now where is that stupid pen..
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  1. Try to Yahoo once a week instead of Google. We don't want Sahay on the streets of Bangalore with a Harmonium now, do we?

    Memory problem? Try the Ghajini trick. Get all the witty lines tattooed or click photographs, label them (Mother, Father, Husband, Daughter, Brother....etc etc) and ask them to pin it on their chests. Should work.

    I just give a blank stare. The latest was at a family wedding. And it turned out that the lady waving at me, was my aunt.

  2. Hahaha!! You can buy a course that sharpens memory from Telebrands.
    Fantastic lines occurring while lying on bed happens more than often to me; you aren’t alone. Sigh! I record the idea on my cellphone recorder; ishmart idea na?

  3. You made my day purba ! Absolutely zanny whatever that word means but since I could not recollect a better adjective ...I also suffer from same phobia &therefore happy to Have joined your League or is it the other way round.lest I may forget let me add its a brilliant piece.

  4. Seems we are on the same boat!! :)

    its the parties and reunions I am so much scared of! there are so many people smiling! and I smile back :) Its so tough to remember the names even if I recognize them sometimes..

  5. They say, that Blessed are the forgetful: for they get the better even of their blunders.

    If the golden words of yours are lost in the darkness and what you pour here are random thoughts, I wonder how the golden words would be, given the randomness here is so awesome.

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  6. I am sure people love you for your smile other than your writing skills. Keep Smiling. Its infectious.

    Regarding forgetfulness My maid's name is Arti and I called my cousin a doctor also 'Arti' and asked her why she did not turn up for work.It was sooo embarrassing.So now I have Arti Maid and Arti Doc in my cell.

  7. haha..hilarious..i would love to shake hands with your canines and the likes:-)
    and google is only too happy to have you:-)

    amazing write up-you know i do the anita-beautician,neha-boutique,sonia-chocolates too...i guess it is a female thingy...and those before sleep great thoughts usually get typed in the "new message" and saved in draft on the mobile-saves the mess in the head next morning and lamps too apparently:-)

    soooooooooo enjoyed reading this:-)

  8. Smiling is good. My mommy told me. :-)

    and I am smiling now.Your posts have that effect on me.

  9. Hahaha! There you go again- our own Humor Queen! Loved the idea of pinning foolscap paper on night dress. Me too seriously contemplating that;) Book two tickets for Switzerland- i have to retrieve a treasure trove of handbags, rings, kerchiefs, mobiles and other women paraphernalia...LOL!!!

  10. :) My problem is weirder when it comes to memory matters. To most of the peoples surprise, I remember things with ease. Its like my mind works like a map and as and when I see something/listen to something, it automatically gets the job done for me. Hope your MR could decipher the subtle hints that you gave in your post. Like staying in the Swiss :D
    Enjoyed! As usual.

  11. and for the sheer reason of not forgetting a person, I use jargon like where I met that person, his peculiar characteristic etc for saving his name in my phone book :)

    Weakest LINK

  12. It happens with me too. A very good idea occurs to me and then when I want to put it on a paper, it's gone. :(

  13. Forgetting where mobile, keys were kept and I am tagged as careless! I believe its because as we go about these little, not so important works, we are simultaneously thinking of other stuffs too. So, actually our mind is unable to record properly what we were physically doing then. Later we are BLANK!

    Same pinch for the midnight-musing problem too. Prateek there suggesting something good, gonna try it myself too :)

    Well well, Cheers to your writing style! such a simple, forgetful idea so well written to capture the reader :)

  14. Haha.. Thank God for the blog. You capture things very well here.

    I have selective memory. I somehow don't seem to remember any bad times. That could work against me sometime!

  15. Snow Leopard...Sahay on the streets with a harmonium will look rather fetching :) And who are you kidding, you have a phenomenal memory.

    Prateek....Yup.. I use it too but only when I am traveling.

    Rajesh..The beauty of making a confession - you get to know you are not the only member of the memory challenged club.

    And thank you for your effusive praise :)

  16. Cindrella...It's not a good feeling, having to apologize for your non-existent memory.

    Anshul...And he waxes eloquent :)

    Alka...LMAO...It happens with me too. The hubs and my bro share a similar nick. I often makes calls to my brother in my wifey voice. He of course is far from amused.

  17. Suruchi...Unfortunately my mobile is switched off and tucked away in the farthest corner of the room.

    Zeba...Aww..Mommy always knows best till you grow up :)

    Nivedita...Switzerland here we come! And the Alps will be reverberating with our non-stop excited chatter.

  18. smile ..
    and smile once more

    ha ha ..now dont forget to smile.
    write it down .

  19. Karthick...You are blessed my dear boy. And Mr is too broke to take the hint :)

    Rachit....Like Snorty Sneha??? ROFL

    Nethra..And you feel like kicking yourself.

  20. Ayushi...Agree when you say our mind prioritizes - it only remembers things we deem as important.

    And so glad you liked :)

    Pzes...Filtering out the unpleasant - you are blessed!!

    RK...Hahha...Naah for that I don't need a reminder.

  21. Welcome to the club. You are still a darn sight better than me -- I forget birthdays and anniversaries routinely. It is my friend's call on my wedding anniversary that reminds me that is THE day. you see, hers falls on the same day :D

    Bur seriously, I would love to shake hands with your pre-molars :D

  22. lol! what a relief! I thought I was the only one suffering from this malaise! Safety in numbers! :)

  23. hey as long as you have not forgotten the smell of fresh rain, the color of the rising sun, the feel of soft grass under your feet, the taste of raw mangoes with salt...what do you need to remember names and faces for?

  24. Great stuff Purba...though it does seem somewhat familiar as i am prone to forgetting names (but not faces..phew!) Btw, in case it has slipped ur mind, I'm ur fb chat friend Aneeta:))

  25. and before i forget, it is better to store magazine- arvind, or beautician=neha, rather than name first..trust me, i know..

  26. Zephyr...Don't pull too hard okay? I have just one set of teeth :p

    magiceye...safety in numbers indeed.

    Anita...Ahh Ms Minhas from Singapore - see I'm not THAT bad!

    Menon...What a sweet way to make people forgive your memory challenged ways.

    Hmm..I know... you end up spending ages, scrolling for that damn number. I'd rather get old doing fun things :))

  27. Sigh! Every time I come here to read a Purba di post I will always inevitably find Snow Leopard's comment at the very top. :P
    As far as forgetfulness goes, I'm starting to believe that age has nothing to do with it. I forget so many incidents, recent ones at that, that mom has started calling me a grandma. Sometimes I think I tend to forget the things that are not important in my opinion, like a phone convo with mejo mama a year back in which I was forced to sing over the phone to an audience of a hall full of party guests.
    I guess the performance must've been bad enough for me to coax my brain into deleting the memory.

  28. hahahah

    this was hilarious! I feel so uncomfortable when i cannot recall names or places!

  29. oh thats ok! as long as you can document things downn here,,,hilarious :D

  30. Samadrita...Prats doesn't have a choice, he is duty bound :p

    Gosh..you were made to sing over the phone! That's where my knack for forgetting lyrics comes handy and if everything else fails I threaten to sing Bohu jooge....for the 135th time.

    Ram Pyaari...Is the entire blogger community memory challenged!!

    A grain of sand...Thank God for this blog. I can torture you guys with my memoirs :))

  31. I am EXACTLY like that..the thing where you cannot recognise ppl on TV..How many times have I wondered if only I could transfer that image to google and find out the name..if only!

  32. ROFL...and i thought i was the only one who suffers form this disease...

    what disease? what was this post about? Oh, i have to read again...

  33. "OMG he even knows my name....do I have a stalker?" - What an inordinate amount of paranoia:P

    "...all the random kids I tried to annihilate?" - How many HAVE you? o_O

  34. Eat almonds, Purba! I am concerned. Eat badam halwa, badam barfi, badam kheer and drink badam milk. Take care!

  35. If there is one person happy about your memory, I am sure it is your husband! He certainly is a lucky guy to not have his wife forever raking up long lost mistakes he might have made or not having her in a temper over a forgotten anniversary or birthday!

  36. hmmm...I am still a teenager so I'll say it's cuz of your ageing.

    (sorry for me speaking so boldly but you can't discern the fact :D)

    And once again I went on a hilarious ride with your post.

  37. Ana-treek...It's so annoying! You end up fretting rather than enjoying the movie.

    SUB....It's time we renamed it as Bloggers disease!

    Priyanka...Will confess in another post perhaps?

  38. Giribala...I love marzipan, will that do?

    Richa...Naa he's not that lucky...A wife rarely forgets and forgives.

    Gaurav...Sobs her heart out....nahiiiin

  39. This could be the onset of Alzheimer too:)

  40. I cant believe this.. but I have also fumbled in the dark and power failures have made it worse for any ideas of scribbling.. now all I do it write it as a note on my mobile.. :)
    But, the way you put the words together. its music!!

  41. Don't worry, ur not the only one dealing with the problem. I have be absent-minded since a kid, now I just try n when I can't I smile and say, I am really bad with names. N for the missing purse etc just make a fixed place and make a habit of putting them there, voila problem solved.

  42. oh my, i took a sigh of relief after reading this .. realizing i'm not the ONLY one who's so forgetful :P
    You share it in a very quirky way
    just like it should be.
    Although this habit of forgetfulness has got me in trouble quite a few times..!
    my best friend started calling me Sanjay Singhaniya's twin :D

  43. Perception...That's not funny :(

    Shaz...Well, your comment was like music to my ears :)

    Rituparna...I am annoyingly organized. I misplace things only when I am preoccupied.

  44. Bikramjeet..Trying to shake hands with your molars...

    Defiant Princess ...When the mind is preoccupied it prefers forgetting the mundane :)

  45. I store names in format name:occupation as well :)

    I am not exactly forgetful. But I am getting old, I guess :)

  46. Hey ,stumbled upon your space a day and fell in love with the content.Following was a natural progression..:)
    //I now store names with a suffix – Arvind-magazine...Swati-dance....Ruchira-mother...Ok now I am exaggerating.//
    You are not exaggerating at all and you are not alone either.Most of my contact list reads the same.I even label the pest callers as poonam-don't pick-up,or x-bank/club-don't ans. :p

  47. Sairam...None of us are getting younger - I wish we could :)

    Sharmila....Hahah - my daughter does it all the time...Pronsy Pakora..Eww-not-her and the works!

  48. Although out of acclivity, i tend to leave the names suffixed sometimes... i have always cherished a genuinely sharp cerebellum to keep my RAM updated :P

    your writing style is so very engaging..

    Loved reading the post!


  49. Hahaha..Don't worry you are not alone..I've always wished life gave a Ctrl+F in life..Google are you listening?

  50. indigenou....And you had me running for the dictionary :)

    Blue Lotus...So good to see back :))

  51. Hahah very cleverly written...i guess all writers face this ...they get the best ideas when they cant note it down :P

  52. Someday I will have to meet you in person as you have tempted me with shaking hands .. ;) Loved your humorous take on this...

  53. Madhur...What a waste no?

    Farila...Heheh..glad you enjoyed it.

  54. Hey Purba, this is a great talent u have...so when we meet in person, i'll be wearing a banner with my blogger nickname, my blog name, etc.

    Still, would love to shake hands with those flashy canines!

  55. Purba,

    Awww, thank God! I found my long lost little girl whom I used to meet sometimes, she always used to forget my name but manage with sweet smile calling Uncle and it was mutual as I could never remember her name but managed by calling her younglady. LOL.

    Take care

  56. Oldfox...Now that is helpful :)

    Jack...Hahaha..good one.

  57. Hi Purba,

    This is the first time I am reading your blog,,, Landed here while searching for some good ones..

    I must say...This blog of yours seems exactly my story. Forgetting the day-to-day chores and things and remembering the emotions forever is inherent to every human i guess.

    A good read..
    Take care.:)


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