Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Strange Acquaintances!

People generally complain about their inability to remember names or being unable to associate names to known faces. I think I suffer from the reverse. Names are not a problem but I don’t seem to remember faces! Or the other explanation can be that people find my face very memorable ;) while I dont find their’s so :P. Often it happens, that I am walking (mostly around the university), not really lost in my musings, and I find someone coming towards me and staring at me. Just as our eyes meet, the person lets out a “hi” or simply that ‘smile of recognition’. And no, I am not confusing it with that ‘smile of courtesy’ that strangers may occasionally deign to bestow upon each other. Anyone slightly familiar with the British politeness can easily tell them apart :P. Anyway, even if I am caught unawares, I tend to instinctively respond with the ‘hi’ or smile respectively. And we cross each other and continue on our paths.

Having assured them falsely that I do reciprocate their recognition, my mind immediately embarks upon the challenging journey into the recess of its memory to uncover the facts. Did I actually meet this person before? If I did, when? where? Who is this person? And so on. More often than not, after the tough mental expedition, I manage to remember the details.

Like that one occasion when I realised that the girl who smiled and hi’ed as she walked past had met me only once before, that too almost a year ago! Or that other guy, who I come across often, waving, hello’ing or just smiling, to which I respond of course. Evidently, we knew each other. But I couldn’t remember how. After 4-5 such incidents, in which I also acted as if I was in a hurry lest he attempted to make conversation too (oh the horror! :P), I realised that I had indeed met him a couple of times, 3 years ago in my first few months at Southampton, during induction sessions etc. But not always do I manage to recollect. There was this other girl a few weeks ago, whose face first registered recognition, then transformed into a smile. Just before we crossed each other, she even let out a “hey”. I was very certain I didn’t see her before. I actually contemplated turning around and enquiring how she knew me, even at the risk of appearing rude. However, my bus arrived and I chose the conservative option and got in instead. Despite racking my brains over and over, I haven’t been able to place her. But then, her’s wasn’t an easily forgettable face either-- lip piercings are not that common still. Or maybe, the piercing was a new addition, thus making recognition tougher ... who knows! :)

9 comments:

ShArK said...

dude...font control...

And yes your face is memorable..it's very much like ET :P

Abhishek said...

Interesting post... I face this problem when I am not wearing spectacles. :D I try to recognize the person through his/her body language.
And yeah, please change the font color or the background color.

thread said...

extinct birds are definitely memorable. apparently chicks like them too

Manikandan said...

as pacha would say - die

hellboy said...

typical rama :P ..

Pepper said...

And to mess with such minds, I used to enjoy flashing a warm 'smile of recognition' at random strangers walking by. I know I'm wicked :P

SRILAXMI said...

hmmm...

Interesting! it is always nice to blog abt smthng which everyone can identify with... :-)

SRI

kunal said...

you should ask Google to create a portable face recognition software that they have in picasa to be able to work in your cell phone.. click a shot discretely, and check out who the person is :P

and dude, great writing :)

mythalez said...

@shark, you mean, extremely talented? :P

@abhishek, hehe, I had to do that too on many occasions

@thread, :P

@manik, but he stopped saying that lately

@hellboy, typical? how!

@pepper, whoa! now i understand the mystery .. i never accounted for such wickedness in the world :P

@srilaxmi, hehe .. so you face such puzzles too?

@kunal, hehe .. I didn't think the writing was good at all until you said so :D but now I agree :D