Forgetting my brief

Am referring to the story brief please, not some piece of laundry! Of late, have been forgetting a lot of things. The other day, forgot whether I had finished the papaya at home or not and so promptly bought another one on the way home from work, only to discover there was one already lying in the refrigerator. And for the life of me, couldn’t remember having kept it there the previous night.

Well, if that wasn’t enough trouble, for the last two consecutive days, fixed up two appointments at the same time on each of the two days and then was scrambling to reschedule them. In fact, day before yesterday, had it not been for the spin doctor of one of the people I was to meet, would have merrily skipped writing a story.

And as if one day wasn’t enough, proceeded to repeat the goof-up the very next day – yesterday. Of course, yesterday turned out to be blinder of a day, with a series of news breaks, starting from the morning and continuing well into the evening and night.

So what is happening to me? Forgetting things is tolerable – but forgetting whether or not I have eaten?? No wonder I can’t seem to reduce my weight, for I must be ‘doubly’ ensuring that I don’t go hungry!

And to top it all, promptly proceeded to forget the story brief sent by my editor, and filed a story pandering to my own whims and fancies, much to my editor’s chagrin who was probably hopping mad in Delhi, unable to do anything as it was past the deadline.

But this forgetfulness is something that has haunted me since the time the Indian economy liberalised. I remember – and yes, I do remember, okay – as a freshman at the Institute of Hotel Management in Delhi, under the caustic tutelage of Mr Pradhan, I achieved a feat that none who had passed through the corridors of once-upon-a-time South East Asia’s premier hotel management institute, ever managed to, or were ever able to manage to.

I changed the menu allotted to me in the first year’s final examinations, managing to rustle up a rather complicated potato accompaniment – pommes duchesse, that involved cooking the potatoes, mashing them, mixing in egg yolk, piping it and then baking it. Complicated? exactly my point! And yet, that’s what I made, mistakenly believing that this was the recipe for the dish I was supposed to make – pommes persilles, that involved cooked potatoes, lightly sautéed and garnished with finely chopped parsley. Simple, no?

And yet, ever so confidently, I presented the prepared dishes to the master and commander who asked me to name the menu. Had my confusion corrected even then, the day would have been saved. Alas! some lessons are to be learnt through public humiliation and flogging.

So maybe, as the ole granny would say, eat more almonds – they help in boosting the memory cells.

Darn! It’s 2 am and I just realised I forgot to sleep!

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