I Am 48 and I Am Forgetful
‘Look into the camera please’
I swiftly moved my hands to my face when the immigration officer asked me to and at that instant I had a minor panic attack.
Oh My God! My g l a s s e s. I didn’t have them on the bridge of my nose, to take off. By now you should already know that I was cringing inside with the sheer embarrassment of having left behind my eye wear on the plane. Instinctively I looked at my husband, who in turn looked back with a ‘is everything ok’ about him. I gestured with my hands to the item I had forgotten in the plane. He did the most unexpected thing I imagined him to do. He turned back and smiled at his colleague.
‘There you go, that’s my wife’
If gestures could speak, that is exactly what his said. I decided to stop being a wuss right at that moment. I took matters in my own hands.
It looks like I have to go back to the plane to retrieve my glasses, sir
It was nearly 4 in the morning. If I were the immigration officer who had worked all night stamping hundreds of passports of weary travellers, by 4am in the morning, I would have been this close to losing it.
Thank God, it was only 3.50am.
Even though the officer didn’t look amused, he looked at a bleary eyed me and visibly softened. He pointed to two saree clad women and told me to speak to them about my issue. I grabbed my stamped passport and went back towards the queue, past my husband and entourage to speak to the ladies.
We are employees of Emirates, we cannot help guests of Etihad.
The two women didn’t feel sorry for me.
They knew not that my reputation was at stake, I had a lot to lose and I had to save face.
I looked around to see, from who else I could ask for help. There was a lonely security guard manning the gate to immigration. In the best Hindi I could muster, I apprised him of the situation and asked him to allow me to dash back to the plane to fetch my premium branded eyewear.
He denied me entry despite hearing me use important words like ‘business class’ and ‘expensive glasses’. From what I gathered from his rapid fire Hindi, going back to the plane from which I had alighted was banned. He however suggested that I wait for the Etihad ground assistance staff right there. He waved me to a hard bench and I was grateful to him for that.
I had a lot on my mind and I needed to review and assess my situation.
Since when had I become so mindless?
Two incidents of forgetfulness, in a span of a few hours was grave news even by my standards.
All those mindfulness talks on TED, Isha Kriya, Vipassana, sessions on Buddhify accounted for nothing? It is true that I had stopped most of the practices but instead of being better, I seemed to have deteriorated!
I dreaded the repercussions these two incidents had caused.
Here on, I would constantly be reminded to check if I have everything that I had carried with me because I couldn’t be trusted not to forget. I had lost credibility and that bothered me more than the fact that I had forgotten my eyewear behind in the seat pouch.
After three more flights had landed, a ground staff from Etihad came running with a pair of glasses. When I reached for them, I realized they weren’t mine. Another forgetful soul, my twin in a parallel universe, had left behind her eyewear. Right then, my frustration with the situation gave way to patience and understanding.
After all, it was an early morning flight, my circadian rhythm was disturbed and in all fairness I had remembered my glasses within 500m of the plane — that didn’t count as forgetting now, did it?
I waited longer and I finally got my pair of glasses. By then, I was ready to ride home to be with the only being who wouldn’t judge me for how forgetful I had become now.
My fur child.