Tuesday, April 21, 2020


Preethi Sanjeevi's prompt: write about Loss. any Loss. physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. throw in a dollop of self-derision & a sprinkle of humor.
500 words. or slightly less chalega!

Being scatterbrained is a sure shot formula for losing stuff. Losing stuff, particularly important papers, makes me lose my mind, such as it is. Therefore, I do my level best to be as organized as possible, so that I know exactly what is kept where. If things are kept in place, following a system (my system, I mean) they remain under my control. If not, they can be a disaster waiting to happen.
It’s not that I haven’t lost things. I have. Or misplaced them, more likely. A prime example of my absent mindedness is from my long ago school days. For Biology practical classes, we used to have a special record book which the school ordered for us, with thicker than usual drawing sheets interspersed with ruled paper for writing on. I was supposed to collect the money from our class and give the list of names to Mr. Shambhu, the lab assistant. And that is what I did. Or thought I did. A weekend had intervened, and when we went to the lab for our practicals on Monday, Shambhu ji asked me for our class list and the money. I was quite sure that I had given it to him, which fact he stoutly denied, and I was on the verge of tears, because it was a question of my integrity, and a lot of money! Our Biology teacher came in, and sorted out the matter. Since Shambhu ji wasn’t in the lab on Friday afternoon, I had handed her the money and the list, and had completely forgotten about it.

It so happens that the man I married is a couple of notches ahead of me in forgetfulness. He tends to ascribe supernatural powers or phenomena like dematerialization to things that have disappeared, especially if it is something of mine that is lost. A case in point is my rolling pin which went missing when I went to the USA for the delivery of Grandchild No. 1. https://dipalitaneja.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-mystery-of-missing-rolling-pin.html

There was the time when I could not find our folder of life insurance policies. I hunted high and low for them over several days, looking in the most unlikely places. I was at the end of my tether, when, following some strange instinct, almost as though the policies were calling out to me, I opened a large suitcase standing next to the steel almirah in the guest room. They were there. Along with a cheque book and other important papers. I had cleared up a lot of space in our room as my uncle and aunt were going to stay with my parents when the spouse was taking me on my first ever trip to the USA.
I discovered that our car’s original registration certificate was lost only after we were stopped by a traffic cop for allegedly jumping a red light. That remains lost.

The deeper losses that Life necessarily inflicts by the time you reach my age are the inevitable ones, the ones beyond human control.

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