There was no internet in office yesterday. We did n’t plank, so you can guess we are not into fitness as much as our silicon valley counterparts. But we did something else. We flipped the chairs to engage in human-to-human-conversation, on all sorts of topics, technology, hypothesis, marketing, growth hacking.
Food is free in office (fall for it people, this is another reason you should work for a startup like us… hihihi). Yesterday lunch arrived a little late.
No internet = No work
Hence, only worry in left in life at that moment was – hunger.
I and Shyam were sitting in the pantry, waiting for food, talking some stupid stuff (precisely, I was doing the stupid part, shyam was doing the talking part). Ranadheer, we call him Rana, our Head of Products, although he prefers to call himself a product manager, came in, saw us and snarkily said
Aaahn! See the desperate folks are sitting here already, Shyam smirked.
Then ensued a chain of discussions when Rana stopped at one point, said
“I forgot the name. This has been happening since sometime, may be I’m getting old.”
Me – “May be you’re reading a lot these days?”
Rana – “That could be true as well. I’ve been reading a lot since last few days”
Shyam – “Short term memory loss of a kind?”
Alzheimer’s disease is defined as a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. Short term memory loss is one of the symptoms.
Rana went on to narrate the story of his mother. In his words –
My mother is in her late seventies now.And now she has started showing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. She recognizes me and some other people. But she won’t remember when we met for the last time.
Few years back, when I visited her, she used to have a laundry list of complaints, formed of her anxieties, worries and fears. Like she’ll go whining about why her son visits her only once in a month, when she will see her grandson doing x, when will she meet Y etc. I’ve observed, as she grew old, her anxieties kept building up over the years. At the end of the day, she’ll be a sad old lady who has a lot of worries but she will be helpless about it. It was very saddening to see it happening.
…now, when she has forgotten everything, she is a happy lady
But now, when she has forgotten everything, she is a happy lady. It’s pretty astounding to see this. All of her worries are gone. She is no longer a whining old lady. She no longer fires those questions at me. Although, she’ll occasionally ask me if I’ll come next month or not, but that’s totally ok. I’m happy to see this transformation in her. In the coming years she will forget even more of the stuff. It’s good anyway. I’m happy to see her this way.
Shyam echoed the same sentiments and narrated his story about his grandmother.
My grandmother has Alzheimer’s too. But isn’t it a strange phenomena that people don’t forget everything, like, you know, those things deeply buried in the mind. I’ll give you an example, she doesn’t recognize me often, people around will have to tell her about me before she makes sense of me being there. It’s depressing,a bit disappointing that she forgot me, but you know, every morning when someone plays some records, she’ll recite & hum along the raga. She knows most ragas & still remembers them. Like, if someone plays one on the tv or on the record, she recognizes it immediately.
..every morning when someone plays some records, she’ll recite & hum along the raga. She knows most ragas & still remembers them..
Baffled with the deeper meaning this conversation carried, I thought to myself – Clearly the brain works in strange ways.
You forget all attachments, all regrets that you had in life, may be the sorrowful memories you had, and also the lovable memories you cherish all the time. It deprives you of the thoughts that would have made you feel attached in turn would have made your exit difficult.
It’s like the brain preparing you to be happy, may be in a invasive manner by erasing memories of people and events, and thus, erasing all emotions attached to all worldly possessions, so that you won’t have to live in regret and when death comes you’ll embrace it happily.