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..