“Sorry, what’s your name?”


One among the long list of bad habits that I have is that I forget people’s names very soon, and often draw a very big blank, cutting a very sorry figure before others. I know it may not be a very big deal in today’s busy world, but it can turn out a bit embarrassing at times, when someone comes to me with a friendly smile and chitchats about umpteen stuffs, when I stand perplexed wondering who this person is where both met last. I don’t do it intentionally, but it happens again and again, no matter how hard I try. Last Sunday I was on my way back to the hostel, when I met one of my former students. He came to me and started talking nonstop about the school days, and I kept answering all his questions while racking my brain to remember his name. Seeing my confused expression, he said his name and the year in which I taught him. Let me confess that I felt really bad for not having remembered his name, as I had taught him for almost a year. It was more than awkward, and I had to say sorry to him before leaving.

I try my best to remember the name of all the people whom I meet, but at times they just vanish from mind with no specific reason. This happens repeatedly when I meet some of the new employees in my office, and for this reason I ask for apology in advance as I know very well that their names may remain inaccessible at times, especially when my head is loaded tons of other stuffs.  But when it comes to my ex-students, college mates and school mates, it’s a bit upsetting, especially when they come to me and express their happiness to meet me. At times, I even forget the names of my distant cousins too, the reason why I often skip family functions, for not being in the awkward situations where people come and ask me a lot of things, and I keep wondering who they are.

Though I am terrible with names, I am good in remembering faces, the reason why I feel really guilty when I ask people to repeat their name again and again. I know it’s my memory that has to be blamed, and I don’t have any other excuse to say. But, other than remembering the names of people, my memory is absolutely flawless by god’s grace, and I am really happy for it. But it’s just the names of people that I am terrible with. At times I have even forgotten the name of people within minutes after introduction.  So the next time I meet them, I make sure to put up a very tactful conversation to make them say their name first, because I know very well that recollecting their names would be practically impossible.

To be frank, so far, I haven’t put any purposeful effort to memorize the names of people, as I do have this strong belief that remembering names is a skill that would never come to me. I am really not so confident about that part of the otherwise incredibly potent memory, and have not yet worked to improve it.  Dad has always told me to tone it up, as he knows very well that sometimes people would fret knowing that I can’t remember their names even after being extremely close to them. But frankly speaking, I am really hopeless at it.

When it comes to remembering names, some people are really gifted, not how it happens with me, when names go in one ear and right out the other. It’s kind of really suicidal to pick the “hey”s or “you”s to call a person, but with no other options left, I do this most of the times, just because I can’t remember people’s names easily, no matter how hard I try. It’s just not my cup of tea!

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