Tackling some embarrassing situations!
Have you ever met some of your very old friends or acquaintances after long many years who recognized you well, called you by your name, talked about your family and home but you couldn’t ? Well, I don’t know about you but I have faced such embarrassing situations a number of times. Each time I felt very stupid of myself and sometimes I had to hear ‘ Oh you have a very poor memory ! ’
One day I said to myself , Well, I would have to tackle such situations in a different way and believe me, so far it has worked alright in most cases ! The other day, as I was coming out from a book shop, a gentleman standing outside, looked at me, smiled and said “Hello Kamalesh, after many years , how do you do ?"
I looked at him , pretended as if I recognized him well and said “Oh what a surprise ! , how do you do ?”
We shook hands and smiled at each other.
“How is your wife, your son and what about all your brothers, sisters and parents? ”, he asked.
“They are all fine except that my parents passed away a few years back.”
“How are your parents and the rest ? ”. I used the word ‘rest’ as I was not sure who were there in his family.
“Well, my parents have expired too. My wife and two daughters are all fine. ”
“ Do you live here in Bangalore ? ” I asked.
“ No, I have come here to meet my uncle and will return in the afternoon. I am still living in Shimla , in the same house. Peter and his family have now shifted to a new house opposite to ours. Remember Peter, the all time Goalkeeper in our team ?.”
That rang the bell ! A very good clue was given. I remember my taking part in some of the football tournaments there. I used to go to Shimla during summer vacations and stay at my uncle’s house. Peter lived next door. He introduced me to two of his close friends who also lived in the same area and were regular players . We all became friends in no time . Yes, I have remembered one was Dilip and the other Chandan. I met them last about thirty five years back just before my uncle’s moving out to Delhi, I recalled.
I was offered a cigarette, I took it, lit it and gave a big puff slowly and in that process tried to find out whether this friend of mine was Dilip or Chandan!
“Kamalesh , what are you thinking?”
“Well, thinking how quickly the time has passed !”. Actually I was then still trying to figure out who for sure this friend could be!
“ What is Peter doing now ?” I asked.
‘ He is doing some business after retirement.”
‘ And you ?”
"Well I am a retired Doctor and doing private practice in Shimla. ”
"Great, I think one day I shall come to see you in your chamber to have a check up. ”
“ You are most welcome, do please come and stay with us for sometime and don’t forget to phone me up so that I can wait for you. ”.
“ Yes of course ”, I replied with a smile.
He took out a note book from his pocket, tore a piece of paper and handed over to me after writing his telephone number on it.
I said “ Come on, please write down the address of your chamber too. ”
He smiled , wrote the address but instead of writing his full name simply wrote two letters ‘CB’. This, however, was very useful , I could say for sure that he was Chandan but what was his surname starting with the letter ‘B’ I wondered. My friend smiled and said “ Kamalesh, I think you have forgotten my name.”
“ Of course I haven’t.”
“Can you really recognize me well after all these years ? ”“Well, it was bit difficult, long thirty five years have gone past and now you with your moustache look so different !”
“ But I had moustache before, Didn’t I ? "
“Yes you had but the style is now different”.
It just clicked, he said “ Yes, that's right. But can you remember my name ? ”
I said “ You are Chandan I know but forgot the surname, Chandan Banerjee, am I right ?”
“No, it is Chandan Basu. Anyway it is nice that you have at least remembered my first name!”
We chatted for sometime. Chandan said “Believe me I had not really recognized you ”.
“Then how could you address me as Kamalesh ?”
“Well when you were at the Book shop I was there too. It appeared to me that I had seen you somewhere, could you be Kamalesh I wondered but when I heard the shopkeeper calling you by your name I was sure , so there you are !”
I laughed and said I had also forgotten his name and told him how I was finally sure that he was Chandan.
Chandan burst out laughing. “ Clever you, but what about moustache and all?"
“Well those were just for the sake of saying something. ”
We both laughed. Chandan said “ Look , these things happen in life . A person says he has recognized you but if you say you haven’t then he/she may get hurt and so you should tackle the situation in whatever way possible. Sometimes a bit of lie does not do any harm if it helps in this kind of a situation. ”
I laughed and said “Exactly so. ”
We both had a good chat over drinks in a nearby pub and thereafter departed with assurance given to each other that we all must meet again soon to bring back our fond memories of the past and agreed that a get together after many years would surely help rejuvenate our friendship.