This blog is no longer being updated. Last post was “Farewell”.



Saturday, November 1, 2003

I was driving the car, with Taya ji (my father’s elder brother) sitting in the side-seat, and my Abbu ji, Ammi ji, and Taee ji (Taya ji’s wife) sitting in the back.

“Having a good memory is a remarkable thing,” Taya ji was saying. “I don’t have a good memory. Can’t remember anything… figures, names, nothing. I guess nobody has got such a 3rd class memory as I have.”

“Well, I can’t remember figures and names either,” Abbu ji added.
“And that’s a very big problem our family has,” said Taya ji.
“But for some people, good memory is a torment,” I said.
“Those are poets!” Taya ji smiled.

Very silently, I cleared my throat.

“Is my answer correct?” Taya ji’s voice was still smiling.

I waited for a moment, and then said, “No.”

“Why not?”

“Well, suppose you are trying to forget an incident, which always gives you pain when you remember it. But your good memory just doesn’t let you do that. What would you do? You’ll be suffering with more pain every time you remember it, and until your brain collapses, you’ll be feeling that pain increase every day.”

“No, no, no,” Taya ji shook his head. “The thing you’re talking about is something different. It happens with everybody. With me too. When my mind gets stuck on one thing, it just sticks. It doesn’t bother about anything else. What you are talking about is mainly concerned with the event itself, and the intensity of the event, and how you take it. It has got nothing to do with a good, or bad, memory.”

I continued driving.



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Nov 2, 2003 at 4:09 am

A few days back and i would have agreed with u but recently i read a report that the reason people lose memory in old age is because they spend their entire life trying so hard to forget bad memories that at their age their brain cells decide not to remember at all. abb kahiye bhoolna achcha ya bura?


Nov 2, 2003 at 4:11 am

i visit your diary regularly and had been wanting to say this…. U WRITE TOOO GOOD! keep up the good work. AAP SE BAHUT KUCH SEEKHNE KO MILA. SHUKRIYA


Nov 2, 2003 at 7:50 am

Thanks Ayesha :)

And about that report you read: well, I guess I agree with my Taya ji too. What I think now is that a person should be able to recover from bad memories; if not, then it’s better to forget them …

Easier said than done, right?


Nov 2, 2003 at 11:14 am

erm…i wanted to comment but forgot! talk of short memories!


Nov 2, 2003 at 2:53 pm

ooooh, someone visited me??! :) thanku


Nov 2, 2003 at 3:55 pm

the latest case of bad memories i encountered 5min ago….. my bro. tell y do ONLY men have bad memories :/


Nov 2, 2003 at 3:58 pm

ladies r a walky talky calender, can remember anything from birthdays to the day their husbands first forgot their keys after their marriage…. haan yeh bhi ke they keep forgetting the price of everything. but that is irrelevent. ;)


Nov 2, 2003 at 6:15 pm

hmmm… this place looks familiar…have i been here before? i forget! awrite…i have been goofing…but i really wanted to say something but can’t. simply because i don’t know how to put it in words, neither angrezi, nor urdu nor the tooti phooti punjabi i know. I know now, when you mention driving around with your mom and dad and taya?taee ji…me misses home…and me tries me level best to forget it


Nov 2, 2003 at 10:20 pm

Sub choro, do u know bout khalil J’z girlfrend?


Nov 3, 2003 at 2:09 pm

Khalil J’s girlfriend? :?


Nov 3, 2003 at 3:34 pm

Khalil Jibrans girls……two o them!!!


Nov 4, 2003 at 6:41 am

Hi Saadat!

I’ve done some studying on post trumatic stress, and one thing they have found is that war veterans who remember events more accurately do not adjust very well after the events that caused them.

The veterans who do adjust back into life in a healthy manner have actually altered memories which are not as extreme or bad as the situations actually were.

In my faith they say, ‘the truth shall set you free,’ however it doesn’t seem to be in this case.

Thanks for an interesting post. I’m a big forgetter. :)


Nov 4, 2003 at 11:11 am

this is in relation with laura’s comment about war veterans coping with their traumatic experiences.

it never ceases to amaze me how war veterans in my country (who fought against the japanese on world war II) would still rise up and salute whenever they see an airplane flying by and would still cower in fear whenever they hear the sound of choppers flying nearby.

this behavior has something to do with the memories these things (choppers, planes) evoke.

because of the great trauma they have endured, they are still haunted by the memories of the past, and are still fixated in it.

uh, did i just make sense? i’m not sure. :P

Ejaz Asi

Nov 4, 2003 at 12:15 pm

Laura and your taya ji had better answers on two different things, according to what I have learnt in recent past. Being an editor/designer of an online zine, I got a report from a french lady who has been studying Alzheimer’s disease affects on people from varied cultures beside having extensive background on Parkinson’s disease etc. The report could not be published for some odd reasons, but it taught me many things that Business Week and LA times’ recent reports couldn’t answer.
At age 40, your car keys may disappear and your checkbook may occasionally wander off. You may search the parking lot arguing loudly that a thief has made off with your car rather than admit you can’t remember where you parked. People experience short term memory loss when they age. But what Laura and Anne reported’s got to do with Long term memory (good or bad, thats not the point for now) By midlife, you may occasionally have trouble accessing a memory because you have accumulated a lot of them. It’s as if you can’t get “through” because your “party line” is busy. Now I dont actually remember the statistics given by recent BW report on the victims of these memory related disorders/diseases, but it seemed pretty natural from its source that people of old age forget easily.
Surprisingly, stress releases a hormone called cortisol that is deadly to brain cells. Now that explains what you and Laura had in minds. But I would keep my thoughts ending here for the same reason I couldn’t add that insightful report in my zine sadly.
All the best


Nov 4, 2003 at 2:02 pm

Laura, Anne, and Ejaz Asi: Thanks a lot for sharing all this. I was also thinking today (and let us hope that I remember what I thought :) ) that memory and painful events are tightly related, though sometimes one dominates the other. I was certainly talking about long-term memories with my Taya ji, which may keep on producing stress for you. Other thing I read somewhere is that our brain remembers everything we have concentrated on, though we may not recall it due to the level of our concentration. Stressful situations certainly make a person to get distracted from anything else, thus increasing the concentration (I don’t know if this word should be used here). But anyway, I guess it’s the job of those doctors and psychologists to do their research, so let’s hope they can come up with a theory or something (or may be they already have).

And Anne, now I wonder if I made sense!


Nov 4, 2003 at 11:50 pm

Something like… takes a second to like someone, a lifetime to forget them. I hate that about memories. The bad ones just STICK like glue. But the good thing about forgetting good memories is.. sometimes Im reading through an old diary where I’ve written something someone said, and it makes me burst into laughter and feel good for days. Ah.. beautiful =)


Nov 5, 2003 at 1:24 am

Ejaz Asi, u r talkin about the same article that i m talkin about. i read that same thing in THE NEW INDIA EXPRESS friday edition two weeks or so back.
Saadat, well we made a full circle… we started with memory loss and stress and end with memory loss and …. stress
talkin about memory (again), do u know dat Sherlock Holmes did not know that the world was round? wn he found out he just wanted to forget it cause according to him, ur brain is like a room with walls. Walls dont expand and hence if u store unwanted info, ur memory (room) will be cluttered with unwanted stuff leaving the really important ones out.


Nov 5, 2003 at 7:26 am

Bushra: Good memories are really beautiful. And I guess they’re the ones which should stick like glue!

Ayesha: I knew there had to be something weird about Shelock Holmes! But I don’t agree with his brain-room theory. I think that our brain is capable of remembering everything … and that its walls can expand (and contract, in case you want to forget something) dynamically!


Nov 5, 2003 at 2:41 pm

(do you suffer from long-term memory loss?)

(I don’t remember…)


Nov 6, 2003 at 1:39 pm

saadat, i found out that there are ppl who can beat your blog absencse record by a month! think they have forgotten that theyactually have a blog to update?


Nov 6, 2003 at 6:56 pm

Abez: I also don’t remember if I suffer from long-term memory loss …

AWK: Oh well, I am no Iqbal who set up an un-beatable record! By the way, I would like to visit those people’s blog/journals :)


Nov 6, 2003 at 8:17 pm

What? u still driving?..ruk jao bhai…take it easy now…..The rose remebered its owner.. ;)


Nov 6, 2003 at 11:15 pm

arrey can i read something else now. saadat kya hua….. kab tak memory loose karogey?
ok another thing on memory. what you read today u remember only 1/8 at the end of a week.


Nov 6, 2003 at 11:31 pm

Salam! Talk of short memories, well, sharp memories are better, its only u 2 decide wat to gain from them, always remember to forget the things which made u sad, but never forget to remember the moments which made u glad, thats all i can account 4 sharp memories. I m against ur point in favour of short memories just becoz of this. (Do I act upon it? thats another issue)


Nov 7, 2003 at 7:24 am

Mani: *taking it easy* and the rose … nah, “forget” it! :)

Aysha: You’ll read more when I remember to write smomething!

TJ: Wa-alaikum-us-Salam! :) I don’t know if I favour short or sharp memories (may be sharp memories, I guess). But what I think is that a person should be able to forget things he/she wants to (and thus creating a disaster. Just imagine missing our exams only because we didn’t want to remember anything about them!)


Nov 9, 2003 at 9:21 am

im like all lost…im slow i know lol


Nov 10, 2003 at 6:32 pm

where were you driving to Saadat? havent you reached your destination yet?


Nov 11, 2003 at 3:10 am

Fish is suppose to help.

right? or Milk. Something.

Probably cashews.

No no, fish – good for memory. Go find a Bengali friend and rock on w/ the fish ;)


Nov 11, 2003 at 7:25 am

Sal: Good for you that you know yourself. I am always struggling with knowing myself! :)

AWK: Let’s say that the tires got punctured ;)

Mademoiselle: Too bad I’m fasting right now. Will try to get fish at iftar :)


Nov 13, 2003 at 4:03 pm

hey sadaat you better make this post a memory now …UPDATE time !…


Nov 13, 2003 at 5:15 pm

Attention ladies and no longer gentlemen. This is to announce that honorable blogger, and the creator of this wondrous blog, Ulta Seedha has succumbed to his last entry on memory loss. he was last reported to be snooping around others’ blog, urging for an update. Jisse bhi dikhe is pate per bhijwade. Khud parhe to sharafat se wapas aa jae, usse kuch nahin kaha jaae ga!


Nov 14, 2003 at 9:43 pm

Hahahahahaha … *rolling on floor laughing*

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