“How are you?”, A WhatsApp message from an unknown number at 11:30 PM surprised me. I searched in Truecaller and found Smruti Samant. I could not recognize and my famous trait of forgetting people started dancing in front of me.
“I miss you”, Now this was little too much from this Smruti to send me miss you at middle of the night. But now my surprise turned to curiosity. This message would not let me sleep anymore unless I understand who this person is.
“Can we chat now”, A new message before I could handle this much. I went to the terrace to let this end gracefully and messaged, “I am sorry, Unable to recognize you”,
A sad face emoji came quickly and kept making me feel guilty of forgetting Smruti Samant.
“If you know me, I am poor at remembering. Please help me recognize you”, I messaged after a lot of thought. My seven horses of thought were racing against time to find this person.
After 20 odd minutes I decided to go to bed then I got a response. “I would be one among those whom you will forget so easily, I can’t believe”, And another sad emoji accompanied it.
I remember many people who came close to me to a point where we both felt its a friendship of lifetime but those memories withered away as time passed by and after few months and years they became so unknown to me that I could not trace their memory in my memory lane despite my attempts to relive that time. It must be a sickness of mind to lose such precious moments but it works as blessings to keep mind focused on today and now. Less interrupting memories help laugh loudly, live peacefully and smile unconditionally. But such guilty feelings of forgetting a near and dear one of past is difficult to get over with.
I dared to call that number even if it is past mid-night, even if its not under the social norms of disturbing without urgency. Phone rang for its full life till it gave up when the party at other end did not pick up. I decided not to try again as I had exhausted my courage of calling somebody so late in night.
I got a message immediately, “Sorry, Cannot talk right now”.
I kept guessing and rummaging my memory lane entire night and did not realize that I had slept at some point.
I kept on searching Smruti in my subconscious and at around 4:30 AM woke up in a hurry to see if my phone brought any good news. I do not keep my phone in my bed room but last night I broke that tiny little rule of mine expecting Smruti will call me.
To my disappointment there were all sorts of messages from dozens of friends group and hundreds of marketing groups but complete silence from Smruti.
I waited till 7 in the morning to see if she will respond. No response made me call her. Once again my call rang for its entire duration and ended with disappointment. I kind of forgot the incident (or at least tried to) and diverted my attention to all productive stuffs that would help me avoid the thought of Smruti.
“I deserved such anxiety due to my this forgetful nature. If we take memory out of a human, we become lesser than a human. Memory builds relationships, it is a protective shield even when nobody is around. It gives you the feeling of a community. Absence of that makes you lonely. I must do something to not forget people. May be I should write down the name of each person I meet and the occasion in a journal every night”, These thoughts haunted me entire day despite me trying to deviate.
At around 4:00 PM, I was finishing an important meeting, I saw my phoe ringing and its from Smruti. I quickly and unaplogetically left he meeting to pick up the phone.
“Hello”, I said politely and patiently so that Smruti does not recognize my desperation to talk to her and find out who she is.
After a few seconds pause, phone disconnected.
I called the number again. It again rang for its full duration and was about to disconnect I heard a beautiful voice, “Hello”
I said, “May I know who is speaking”,
“You called me so you should first tell whom do you want to speak to and why”, a bit rude tone but polite enough to continue the conversation.
“I said, I am getting call from this number since last night. I am Sakti speaking. May I know who was trying to reach me and why”, I said showing a bit of my frustration.
I could hear some whisper as if the person in the otherside has blocked the phone mic and speaking to somebody else. After a minute or so.
“I am sorry Mr Sakti. I am Smruti. My daughter is your daughter’s classmate and got your number from your daughter and was trying to reach her. Due to lockdown they are not able to meet in school so she wanted to speak to her best friends. Sorry for the trouble. Is she available now to talk?”,