Thursday, May 31, 2007

Your name please..?

Ok, I have a problem. A serious problem. And sometimes, it can make me very uncomfortable. I do not know if this is a universal problem or whether it affects very few people like yours truly.
I have, many times, discussed with myself the cause of this problem. And have wondered whether it is my fault or the fault of external forces like rapid growth of population!

I call this problem name-nesia. Ok, I do not know if there is any other name for this problem, and if there is, I don’t think I’d remember it anyway. And yes, you guessed it right. My problem is, forgetting names!!
Look, i can remember faces, I have absolutely no problem with that. I can recall faces that I have seen when i was only five! But you ask me their names and I go blank! Seriously, I don’t think I have grown so old that I tend to forget things like most people in their old age do. I don’t yet have grey hair, tough I sometimes wonder what my world will be when it first appears, but that is a different problem altogether.

Coming back to name-nesia, have u ever been introduced to a person and in the process of your conversation with him have you forgotten his name? Do u spot someone on the road and remember her as your science club mate ummm…. Soniya, Ruth…. What’s her name??? (Soniya and Ruth don’t even sound like each other, they probably don’t come from the same religion either - this means you have reached the higher levels of the problem).

But nope, I don’t blame you. There are tens of thousands of names in this world and your poor brain will have to grapple with the sea of names floating around in your head and churn out the one name that holds good for the person in front of you. I’d truly understand if you’d forget my name!! (and hope this is mutual!!)
Anyway, here’s something that happened to me once when I was in college. There was this junior, a very friendly, charming girl who’d always make it a point to come and speak to me whenever she’d spot me in the campus. Yes, in the beginning I did ask her name (she already knew mine – I was famous in college, u see!!), but thanks to name-nesia after the second meeting (what did u say your name was? Oh yes, right, sorry, I forgot), she was for me, the junior-who’d-always –speak-to–me-whenever-she’d-spot–me-in-the campus. Hey, I liked the girl. We even used to exchange anecdotes from our classes and have also had lunch together a couple of times in the college canteen. But you tell me, after all this, wouldn’t it be a wee bit late to ask her name again!?!?

So once it so happened that I was with my friend (who’s name I know perfectly well, even now, thank you very much) at a mall and the junior (I feel really guilty calling her that but I still don’t know her name) happened to come there. As usual she beamed and greeted me, ‘Hi Aparna, how are you?' And as usual I replied, 'Hey, I’m good, how about you?’ ‘I’m good too’, she answered and looked at my friend, expecting an introduction. ‘Hey meet my friend, Reshma’, I told her. ‘And Reshma, this is..’ Damn! What do I call her? My junior? Now wouldn't that look snobbish? But what else do I call her??
I suddenly wished I was Prof D’Costa who’d have taken the junior’s attendence hundreds of time. I wished I had refused my friend’s offer to go shopping together. I wished a fire would break out somewhere and her attention would be diverted and I could grab my friend’s hand and run outta there. I wished I had remembered her name!!
‘Smitha’, the junior beamed looking at my friend.
Thank God!! ‘Yes, Smitha, she’s my junior, and friend ofcourse’, I laughed nervously. But Smitha didn’t notice and continued talking to Reshma. Whew!!!

Ok, I have a confession. I’m not really sure if her name is Smitha. I kinda remember that’s what she said. Anyway, after this incident I hardly met her owing to our exams and then we lost touch. But I do remember her as a very sweet girl who always had a smile ready for me. And like Spearson…uh…. Shake-ear… uh.. Shakespeare would say, ‘What’s in a name??’!!