Of names and faces

A signature always reveals a man’s character – and sometimes even his name.
Evan Esar (1899 – 1995)

Rekha and I had a fight last evening. Nothing much happened. Just that now I have a deep gash on my left calf muscle and she has three cuts on her right fore-arm. As can be understood from the injuries, Rekha got injured while facing me like a man and I got injured while running away from her.

It all started rather smoothly. It had drizzled and the air was romantic. I started flirting with her and in a fit of excitement lost control over the names I was muttering and ended up saying, “Hey Nandita, I love your blue eyes.”

If I had only said, “I love your blue eyes,” I could have convinced my wife that her eyes were indeed blue. But I had mentioned a girl`s name too and I failed to convince her that she was indeed Nandita. (Actually eyes do change color)

Whoever said communication is better if you mention the name of the person you are talking to? I promise I had read someplace that if you mention the name of the person you are talking to often, it leaves a good effect. Maybe that`s why when I talk to my boss, I always end up saying: “Sure Aparna,” “Yes Aparna,” “Will do Aparna.”

I guess what works at office doesn`t work at home. Or maybe, I had just mentioned the wrong name.

While on the subject of names…I might as well tell you about the incident when my inability to remember names (and faces) landed me in trouble. I was standing in a bus stand (those were the days when even IT professionals used the public transport) when I saw this friend of mine. I walked up to him and said: “Wow, you have changed.”

“I am sorry but do we know each other?” He seemed to be impatient.

“Arre, you have even changed your hairstyle. By the way, I love your new hairstyle,” I continued.

“I am really sorry but I am not able to place you.”

“Arre, you have even changed the way you dress.”

My friend looked confused. He didn`t seem to recognize me. I thought maybe he was also as bad as I was in recognizing faces and continued.

“By the way, you have even changed the Malayalam accent you used to speak in.”

“I am really sorry…but I don`t think I know you,” my friend seemed adamant.

I was getting angry. An indignant me shot back in anger: “Are you not Prakash, who studied with me in The American College, Madurai?

“I am not Prakash. My name is Rajesh.”

“Don`t tell me you have changed your name too!”

So saying, I turned and left the place. It pained me to see a confused look on a friend`s face. Anyway, I loved the walk back home.

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