Paradigms of absent-mindedness

Paradigms of absent-mindedness

Recall those frustrating mornings when you aren’t able to remember where you put the car keys and are running late, and those moments when you are sure you were holding the scooter key in your hand and it suddenly went missing? All of us experience such dramatic mornings due to a missing key. Such tales appear to be universal. But for some people, these memory lapses happen too often and the resulting consequences are sometimes embarrassing and problematic, too. 

Recently, a friend of mine went to mosque by scooter to attend the afternoon prayer. He then went back home leaving his scooter at the mosque. He went to the mosque three times thereafter but it did not strike him that his scooter was still there. Next day, when his son enquired the whereabouts of the scooter, the proud father said, “I only take the scooter to the mosque. If it is not at home, go check near the mosque.” His obedient son did as told and, to his relief, found the scooter was still there.

Another friend of mine had gone to Gandhi Bazaar by car to purchase vegetables. After the errand, he returned home by bus, forgetting all about his car. Only next morning did he notice that the car wasn’t parked in his portico. He then filed a complaint at the police station. Two days later, the police traced his car to Gandhi Bazaar. Realising his folly, he apologised and blamed it on his forgetfulness.  

In another instance, a Hyderabadi friend of mine went sightseeing with his colleague. He borrowed a neighbour’s scooter to go around the city. After visiting a few tourist sites, they went to Salar Jung Museum. They parked the scooter and went inside. By the time they came out, it was evening. Spotting their scooter at the parking lot, they inserted the key to start it. But to their surprise, the lock wouldn’t open. When all their efforts failed, they broke open the lock and kick-started the vehicle. Just as they were about to leave, my friend’s colleague noticed that there was no back rest on the scooter. To their dismay, it was a different vehicle. Shortly, they found their scooter. They then parked the other scooter, now with a broken lock, in its original position and made a quiet escape.  

Sometimes, we suspect memory lapses to be out of the ordinary, but getting others to understand the worrisome extent of this problem can be difficult. In fact, many of my friends have undergone such situations and I am no exception to it. However frustrating such forgetful, absent-minded moments may be, they are totally normal, as long as they do no harm, for all is well that ends well.