All of us are afflicted by ‘forgetfulness’ to some extent at different points of time. Normally this is not something very serious but can be a cause of great stress especially when we are hard pressed for time. At times it could be uncomfortable or even amusing!
While leaving for office how many times does one forget to keep the handkerchief in the pocket or a makeup kit in case of ladies in the purse! There are times we keep some important papers in a secure place hoping to find them when the need arises, but to our utter dismay it becomes a wild goose chase when we really need them. Frustrating, it takes away a lot of time to locate things!
I was once traveling from Mumbai to Matheran, a small hill station with my daughter and my wife riding on the pillion seat of the scooter. It was a fairly long ride and it was getting dark. It started to rain and we reached an intersection. I stopped for a while to enquire which road to take and my wife got down. My daughter was clinging to my back. After a while, I started the scooter and moved leaving my wife behind. My daughter realized her absence and started yelling! I was horrified to see her missing and wondered as to what happened! I turned back and drove some distance when I saw a lady waving. I did not recognize her immediately and went past a few yards when it dawned that it was her! I leave rest to the imagination of the readers about what happened thereafter!
Yet another time, I was stepping out of the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai when I met my shipmate who was a philosophical guy! I asked him as to where he was heading? I was stumped when he replied, ‘Sir, not sure whether I am going, to the city or to the ship’!
I kept the keys of the car as I remembered, back in the regular place. It was getting late so I looked around at the usual place but was unable to find it for almost eternity. I suddenly realized that I had left it in the drawer of the dining room after cleaning the car in the morning! Often we go to the refrigerator to pick up something and with a moments distraction , forget what we came to collect.There is a galore of gaffe which I could keep narrating.
In the humor classic ‘Three Men in a Boat’ by Jerome K Jerome, one of the main protagonist was busy packing his bag for a holiday boat trip according to the list prepared by him. When he was almost done, he was unable to find a packet of butter which he had just kept by the side that seemed to have vanished in the thin air! After a few minutes of futile search he asked his friend if he had seen it some where. He noticed the packet stuck on his pant on his butt and pulled it and handed him over!
Each one of us would have similar stories to share. According to the medical science, ‘Forgetfulness’ or ‘retention loss’ refers to apparent loss of information, already encoded and stored in an individual’s long term memory. It may be spontaneous or a gradual process. The phenomena become more pronounced with advancing age, incorrect eating habits and sedentary life style. Those with good eating and exercise habits are lesser afflicted.
These days several things are suggested for improving the memory and overcoming forgetfulness, such as:
1. Physical exercises improve the oxygen intake to the brain thereby keeping it healthier
2. By sleeping over it. Literally, a sleep deprived brain functions less optimally and the incidence of forgetfulness rise.
3. Healthy relationships- according to a study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health, those who network most and are socially more active, are less likely to have memory decline
4. Laugh a lot and keep company of children
5. Remember things which make you happy
6. Meditation is a very effective stress buster and also helps in enhancing the memory
7. Eat healthy diet which has high content of Omega 3 like Salmon fish, fruits and vegetables, green tea and wine too! Avoid saturated fats.
8. Try learning some new skill, language, a game of puzzle or Sudoku.
Forgetting birthdays or anniversary could cost dear! Like everything in life there are two sides even to ‘forgetfulness’. Famous quotes as mentioned below amply illustrate this.
“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
― Friedrich Nietzsche
“Forgetfulness is a form of freedom.”
― Khalil Gibran
― Khalil Gibran
PS: Image Kind Courtesy Google