No age bar

No age bar

Why is absent-mindedness always associated with professors? Even lesser mortals than academics are prone to this. And with ordinary folk, it is not an adjunct of old age, as is commonly believed. In fact, forgetfulness knows no age barriers. Even the very young are prone to it.

A friend once told her 12-year-old niece to call her once she reached home. She had left about five in the evening. But rain was usual around that time and given the state of the roads and the chaotic traffic, it couldn’t be taken for granted that the youngster would reach home without any mishap. She waited for half an hour, which was about the time it would take her niece to reach home. There was no call. Young things dawdle, meet friends with whom they chat losing count of time or walk into shops to look at some display item that has caught their fancy. But when there was no call even after two hours, my friend called her brother just to reassure herself and asked to speak to niece. ‘Hi, athai! What is the problem?’ she asked chirpily.

 Not knowing whether to laugh or be angry, my friend answered, ‘You were supposed to call me when you reached home,’ trying to sound stern but failing miserably because of the wave of relief that washed over her. ‘Oh, was I?’ came the casual reply. Then, rather sheepishly, ‘I am so sorry. It slipped my mind!’ She has a flair for trivialising any lapse on her part.

‘Can you drop off this cheque at the bank?’ requkested another friend of her daughter. ‘Sure,’ shot back her off-spring obligingly. When questioned later, the daughter declared, ‘I clean forgot! Not urgent, is it?  Can it wait till tomorrow? Well then, consider it done,’ she added off-handedly. Then there was the case of the gentleman who oiled his hair with shampoo and wondered why it was foaming! And the lady who opened the fridge and stood before it contemplatively, asking herself, ‘Now what did I want?’ The same lady had on a previous occasion put the curd in the cabinet and the cutlery in the fridge. Evidently she and the fridge have trouble connecting!

Aren’t several of us guilty of misplacing spectacles? We run around in circles, wondering where we put them and look for them in the most unlikely places, when very often it is right under our noses on our heads! And there are those of us who put keys and documents away so safely that we can’t remember where we hid them.

We spend an enormous amount of time and energy in trying to locate them. I have minimised these irritations by listing where I put what on the computer. It helps provided you remember that the information is stored in the computer, of course!                                              

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