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Selective Memory

August 19, 2022 | By

Nowadays many of us are afflicted with selective forgetfulness. We forget things easily, and have to make an effort to recall. And when we find someone who is similarly forgetful, there is an instant sense of affinity.

Enjoy Morning Meanderings Season 2 with your hot cuppa and cookies. ☕🍪😊

“Bhool gaya!”

It was a very sultry day; morning walks were out of the question. Perspiring profusely is not my idea of a morning walk, so my morning ramblings have become erratic.
Today I stepped out after a long time and could see a lot of chaotic confusion outside.

A new mall has come up right in front of our house, where just a month back, masks were absolutely mandatory. I had often seen people getting out of their four-wheelers or jump down from their scooters, fumbling in their pockets or purses for the mandatory protective gear, putting masks on, and confidently strutting into the mall.

But now when I passed through that area, I didn’t see that board, ‘NO MASKS, NO ENTRY’. There was a profusion of unmasked people hustling and bustling around — some with bags, some with baskets, some with frowns, and some with harassment written on their sweating brows.

What was the chaos? There was blaring of horns attacking the eardrums, and flustered people badmouthing a guy who had parked his car wrongly.

“Some people have no civic sense.” An intellectual-looking man had stepped out of his car and was looking around with a look of disapproval.

“Look at the way he has parked his car.” It was a rotund woman, dressed in a loose tent-like T and tight leggings, twirling her car key on her finger. The key was barely noticeable behind the huge ornamental key ring making a statement in designer fashion jewellery.

“How will we know the culprit? ” Another middle-aged man remarked angrily, fiddling with his cap.

Soon the service lane was full of fretting and fuming folks, hurling abuses at the invisible offender. Some had deposited their bags on the pavement and were wiping the sweat from their harrassed brows.

“The owner of car number…please remove the car from the service lane, it is causing a lot of inconvenience to the people.” An announcement from the mall reached our ears. We heaved a sigh of relief — somewhat prematurely.

Ten minutes passed.
Twenty.
Thirty.
There was edge-of-the-seat suspense, all eyes rivetted towards the exit door.

Why was the offender not coming?
After precisely 35 minutes, a boy, probably twenty years of age, bent under the weight of more than eleven packets, left the exit door, and could be seen heading towards the offending car.
As he tried to get into his car, he was hit by hailstones — a verbal assault actually.

“Is this the way to park the car?”
“Don’t you know you inconvenienced so many people?”
“Did you not even hear the announcement being made? ”
“They even announced your car number.”

“I heard the announcement,” the young man said without batting an eyelid. He shoved a couple of bags into the backseat. “But I did not know it was for me.”

Before fiery glares could singe him completely, he added: “I had forgotten my car number. Bhool gaya.” This was said with so innocent a smile, that the livid mob melted in an instant. His admission had touched a chord with all the people around.

MORNING MEANDERINGS SEASON 2

Morning Meanderings is a musings column by Santosh Bakaya

I felt immediately connected. You know why? Easy to guess. Almost anyone you speak to nowadays seems to be afflicted with selective amnesia. I keep reminding myself about things I need to do and forgetting the next moment what I reminded myself about. Not surprisingly, the nonchalant young man was forgiven there and then. “Hope you didn’t forget your shopping bags,” the woman said satirically. I could see the lady wasn’t as impressed as the men folk.

“Next time, don’t forget your car number,” the intellectual said, giving him a pat on the head.

“Sorry, sir,” he said, again with an apologetic smile, hurling the rest of the bags in the car, and climbing into the driver’s seat.

“Sorry for the inconvenience folks,” he said, smiling and waving out to the people outside. As he drove away, I had a strong hunch he had bluffed his way through because he looked like a young fella who would remember everything from complex programming code to what he had worn on his date last Sunday. But he left behind a bunch of middle-aged folks rejoicing in the realisation that someone half their age could be more forgetful than them.

Click here to read all episodes of Morning Meanderings Season 2

Don’t Forget to Revisit Morning Meanderings Season 1

Dr Santosh Bakaya is the author of three mystery novels for young adults, and a book of essays titled Flights From My Terrace, which was recently published as an e-book on Smashwords. Her poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, Ballad Of Bapu has been published by Vitasta Publishers, Delhi, India in May 2015 and has been receiving rave reviews from everywhere. Although a Political theorist, with a doctorate in political theory, it is literature which has been her first love. She was awarded the Reuel international award for language and literature 2014 for her long poem Oh Hark!, which forms part of the Significant Anthology. Many of her poems have figured in the highly commended category in Destiny Poets, a UK based website and many are part of international anthologies. Right now, she is giving the final touches to her satirical novel, tentatively titled Sanakpur Shenanigans.
All Posts of Santosh Bakaya

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