Friday, April 6, 2012

You who?

One day my kids asked me to relate the embarrassing things I had done in my life. When they were tiny, they wanted to hear stories about "When I was small", so this was an indication that they were now in their teens and they believed that I had hidden a lot of tales from them because, as far as they could see, a person like me must have embarrassed herself several times a day. They were not wrong. But the unfortunate part for the lot of you who are now expecting to hear it all, is that I have forgotten each little incident so you may as well go back to the important work that your boss needs by this evening while I complete this piece, so that you have no embarrassing tale to tell your folks at home like, "Honey, I got fired because I was reading up a useless blog while my company's billions were going down the drain". (How embarrassing will that be when he/ she discovers that you had no hand in the plumbing scenario, eh?)

Oh well, so you have been warned. And you persist. Maybe you have a death wish and think boredom is a good way to die.

To my dying day I will hear the story of how I used to trap & kill tiny frogs with my tiny slippers, all of 3 inches long, and how I used to catch flies with my bare hand and quick eye and pop them into a tiny tumbler ostensibly meant for drinking water, (and keep them there with my other tiny hand till I had a whole cricket team, with extras). Four generations of my extended family repeat this tale at every family gathering in fear of the awful scenario where they will have forgotten all the embarrassing things I ever did. As if I have no creativity in this respect! I scoff at their lack of faith. Its not even like I'm smart enough to keep all the stupid things I do from them (or anyone else in the world for that matter).

Everyone has heard of Mrs K who said "Hi" to me at the Sector 14 market. How she immediately gleaned from my expression that I was desperately trying to remember which friend-of-which-daughter's mother she was. Do you remember me? she asked.
Of course! I said, and how is your daughter? (Upto here I'm fairly smart, all little girls hate boys and I have been doubly smart in restricting my progeny to the same sex)
So she goes on about her daughter for a bit and sure enough I have nothing else to say after that.
You dont remember me, she says kindly, willing to tell, but now its time to put my foot in my mouth, a feat I will easily accomplish with all the practice I have.
I decide to continue the small talk by asking her if she lives in the vicinity. This would have been another smart move because I only met my children's friends in school and it would be safe to say I didn't know where they live, but bear with me a bit (if you haven't accomplished your suicide yet) and you will soon know why it wasn't.
She shakes her head, pityingly this time and repeats "You dont remember me", and I suddenly remember.
But I do, your daughter is Kritika, I say, wedging the fore-mentioned foot so well in my mouth its not going to come out without some painful surgery.
Because you see, her daughter was Kritika, no doubt. But I had also remembered another important fact that should have convinced me to admit I had actually not recognized her, if I was smart thinking in the first place (something I would have done well to practice than the useless kinds of yoga I've been going on about here). I had designed her house & supervised the construction for a year. And no, it was not in the vicinity. No doubt she was now convinced that I was completely crazy. And I hope you are also convinced that I have such a bad memory and you wont get a single embarrassing tale out of me. I really have forgotten them all.