Monday, October 23, 2006

phantoms in the brain

A voice piped up a casual 'hi radhika' a few days ago. I was on the phone and when I turned I saw this person, a very familiar face, but I just could not place him. I drew a blank as to where I had met him, what his name was, whether I knew him well.. Complete blank.

I pretended I was on a busy call, gesticulated I'll talk to him later and asked for his email id. A variation of the old and dumb, 'how do you spell your name' ploy.

I just finished reading 'Phantoms in the brain' and I was wondering what this signifies. Maybe I saw him very often so the visual reinforcement was there, but there was no supporting data - perhaps I didnt know anything about him to make associations and thats why I failed to 'remember' him.

What an amazing book though. It left me with a feeling of bereftness. It was almost like I lost my sense of identity. If I were to suffer a stroke in some significant part of the brain, my personality could undergo such a change I would no longer be 'me'. What is me today, perhaps a serendipitous confluence of wiring, could change in a fleeting moment. Made me want to rush out and buy a helmet.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Railway booking

Had to sit for about an hour to cancel a ticket. Jayanagar booking office had my favourite 'multiple servers single queue' model. No stress of always finding the other queue moving faster and a truly first come first served model. They have chairs to sit and you keep shifting which seemed ungainly initially, but left me thoroughly appreciative by the end of the hour. I couldnt understand the logic behind the pooh bear and mickey mouse stickers adorning the walls. Even some plain vanilla print-outs about the Indian Railway, some impressive numbers and factoids would have been better.

"No chance", was the repeated answer the booking clerk gave to a lady who started off with the 20th and kept going up to the 25th for the date of journey. It is a bit surprising that we made a muddle of something so busy and were running the risk of bankruptcy. I hope Lalu turns his attention next to the horrible Railway stations. If he fixes that, he could definitely give a run for the low cost air carriers' money.