Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The tip-of-the-tongue syndrome

Yesterday I found myself groping for the name of a person in the middle of a conversation. Considering that I had visited the blog of that person not more than three days back, the reluctance that the name showed in crossing the tip of the tongue was nothing short of amazing.

Memory lapses of this sort appear to have become more frequent with me of late. The problem, thus far, is that what should have been a passing mention converts itself into a sort of twenty questions and, when the name does pop up eventually, I find myself looking around for Amitabh Bachchan to hand me over the signed cheque for ten million bucks! In the meantime the original issue that I sought to communicate gets irretrievably lost.

I am no stranger to using the phrase, “It is on the tip of my tongue but…”. I have done it all through school whenever called upon by my optimistic teachers to answer their questions. Of course, truth was always particularly elastic with me in those days. When I said that the answer was on the tip of my tongue, it could only have been true if it had jumped straight from the text-book to my tongue and not because it had acquired even temporary lodgings in what passes for my brain.

Alas, these days it is more a question of actually losing touch with what is in my memory. The day is not far off when I shall put out my hand for an introductory handshake and say, “My name is on the tip of my tongue, but..”

14 comments:

  1. Dear Suresh,

    Periyavar Pooranam Viswanathan once wrote that he forgot his name during one of his morning Tamil news readings in Delhi AIR. A few silent seconds went off after ' seydhigal vaasippathu....' Then some director came running shouting at him ' What happened Poornam?' (without the knowledge of the listeners). Then Poornam heaved a quick sigh of relief and continued.

    Bye!

    Cinema Virumbi

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  2. Dear suresh

    I am reading your blogs for the first time and thanks to an aimless and boring Sunday evening. Your story about hamid and Abdul was truly touching so ventured into yr other blogs,..love the language and the content. My compliments to u and proud to be your class mater ages ages..
    Incidentally me too thru this forgetfulness syndrome...wonder why so....
    Anyway all the best and hope to read more of yr books.

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    1. It is such a warm feeling to hear from schoolmates, Chitra! Hope to hear more from you here :)

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  3. Dear suresh

    Could relate to the above article totally. Just that haven't reached the level of poornam vish. But the day doesn't seem far....
    All the best

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    1. Yes! We better make the most of it while we still remember that we were schoolmates :)

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  4. Always remember good old Google .. assuming that is not what is struck at the tip of your tongue . Few traits & shapes, the name is likely to pop up .. Your story landed just when I was trying to recall your name ..

    By the what is ut that I actually intended to say .. it is at the tip of my fingers .. !! Great Story

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    1. Wait! I am trying to recollect who you are :)

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  5. Well, after reading this, I feel somewhat relieved as I am very bad with the names. I have been known to forget my colleagues names when I have to drop them emails :( I don't know what I will do in my old age.

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    1. You seem to be mainlining on my posts today :) Gratifying :)

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  6. I like your confession about answering your teacher.
    My most embarrassing 'tip of my tongue' statement occurred when I was sixteen. I went to introduce my new boyfriend to my second cousin ... and my brain said, "What is the worse thing I could do to Mary right now?" It made me forget my boyfriend's name! I tried to make a joke out of it and asked him to give me a hint. He had no sense of humor and stalked off. It may come as no surprise that we broke up that evening. My cousin could not believe I forgot my boyfriend's name.

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    1. Ye Gods :) Now that is a height I have not reached yet :)

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  7. haha! I know i should not have laughed here! But your narrative made me to!

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    1. Not at all, Ajay! I love people laughing here :)

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