Dr Suresh Venkita, our Group Medical Director, a senior cardiologist and an avid writer, has yet again shared this lovely story from his desk.

Forget me not

Planet Cool

She willed herself to not check her phone to see if he had replied. It had been about three days now. She hated that she was constantly checking his 'last seen at' status and yes, he had logged in just five minutes ago. Yet she couldn't stop herself. This sinking feeling to find absolutely no communication from him was becoming unbearable, almost torturous.

And then, just as she sat down in her chair, her phone vibrated. With her heart thudding in her ear, she unlocked her phone and stared at the screen. Finally! It was his message.

But when she opened it and read it, she nearly stopped breathing. She didn't know if he was joking or not. What was this?

It said “Dear Zinta, Please try to understand and help me. I have lost my memory. I am told that strangers found me four days back nearly drowned in the sea into which I seem to have jumped in on my way back from work and after a few drinks. When I came around this morning, they left me here an hour ago as they found some ID on me. But I find my mind has blanked out, it is white, erased clean. I cannot remember or recall a single name or face. I am lost. I am trying to find who my family and friends are, and who I am. I do not know how or where to begin. I tried my phone, there were so many ‘A’s in my list of contacts, I was over whelmed. When I scrolled down to Z, I found just you. I have put you down as Zinta, Pretty. I am sure you are. I hope you will see this message. Please help me, tell me who you are, tell me who I am”.

Zinta took a deep breath, and read it again, very slowly, and carefully. This was from Aaron, but this was not the Aaron she knew, or at least thought she knew. They have been going out together since a few months. She was never quite sure what attracted her to him. He was a mixed bag of complexities and compensations whereas she liked friends, and life, simple and uncomplicated. His was an intelligent but impatient, brilliant but baffling and attractive but disquieting personality. Yet she had grown to understand him, even get to like him, and almost begin to love him, over a roller-coaster ride of a relationship.

It was clear to her that he had valuable things to contribute to this world but she felt he will not be able to do it alone. She had an instinctive feeling that he needed her and that she made him complete in more than one respect. That gave a meaning and purpose to her life which she otherwise felt was being consumed by the idiosyncrasies of a career in investment banking.

There were times he could be particularly adamant and blinkered. Like most men he would never seek help; like when they were lost on a country road or when their car broke down. He would instead be lost in contemplating a solution, or several. Most of all, he would not take help from her, especially in matters she was adept and skillful, like his personal finances and investments, which left her feeling diminished and unappreciated. He was the macho man, also a thinking man, and it hurt him bad to seek help. But now he was seeking help, and from her! She liked it. In fact she loved it. She swiftly messaged him “Hang in there, I shall tell you who you are, Aaron, I am coming, just you wait”. She felt like Eliza Doolittle of ‘My Fair Lady”, the proud and prickly Professor Higgins was seeking her help, lost after his near-drowning.

In ten minutes she was at his door, ringing the bell. He opened it, grabbed her both hands, pulled her to him and draped his arms around her shoulders.

“I am Aaron?” he asked, with raised eyebrows, and then suddenly relaxed, with a big and bright smile “You are pretty as a picture, and I am so glad you have come now as my guardian angel. I see your halo but I am looking for your wings. I don’t feel lost anymore”. He laughed out loud, eyes sparkling.

Zinta was breathless again. The Aaron she knew was different, a man of few words, none tender, wistful, flowery or romantic, who could appear unfeeling and thoughtless. But here is a man who is gallant; his words are silky and he warms you as he holds you.

“When did he last grab my hands like this, or hugged my shoulders, with such fervor? “ She wondered.

“This is good” she thought. “And about time”, she told herself, “I hope it gets better.”

“Yes, you are Aaron, you live here, you are a software engineer, and you run your own start- up company”. She wanted to add but didn’t “you are bright and brilliant, clever and competent but you need to grow up and appreciate people and life around you, and learn to love and be loved in return”.

“Ah, that is reassuring. I shall wait to hear who I am but let me get to know you. Come on in, sit down, and allow me to brew up a coffee for you; you have driven up on a cold, rainy morning within moments of my SOS. I am so grateful”.

“Who is this man?” wondered Zinta. Humility was never Aaron’s virtue. He used to talk about himself all the time. Nor was he a gracious host, it was she who invariably made two cups of coffee and carried it to the porch. And to say “thank you” was uncharacteristic of him, he often grabbed the coffee and went back to his laptop or phone.

Her thoughts and emotions were in turmoil. She took a hold on herself when she sensed his approaching steps. “Here you are, coffee hot and creamy, hope you like it” came his voice over her shoulder. She readily accepted it, and relished it; it was delicious, and she was beginning to feel deliriously happy. But she was afraid to allow herself that luxury. Their equation used to be a one way street. She had done so much so often to please him, but most of them had gone unnoticed as he was distracted with his work and pursuits. She was even more hurt when he would not go out of his way to do something for her.

She was again jerked out of her reverie. “Something tells me you are hungry. I don’t know my skills at rustling up an omelet, but I see eggs here and I am sure going to try, give me a few minutes, meanwhile I suggest you enjoy the view”. Aaron drew the curtains and walked away to the kitchen.

She couldn’t believe her ears. Aaron was never an amateur chef; he could barely boil an egg and certainly did not know what went into making a reasonably good omelet. Yet here he was, hugely enjoying himself, turning out something which looked surprisingly promising.

When he stylishly set the table, laying the crockery in place, tucking the napkins with a flourish, flashing the cutlery and tingling the glasses, she sighed with pure pleasure. That was the first time he turned out a meal for her with such panache.

He invited her to the table, held the chair for her, went around the table and sat himself down. He poured the orange juice into the glass, poured the coffee from the pot into the cup and said “Bonne appetite, mademoiselle, savourer votre petit-dejuner.”

Her heart sang! That was chaste French, elegant and exquisite, flowing from the lips of a man who usually muttered a few words in English, the only language he knew, before he grabbed his plate and reached for the TV remote even before she sat beside him with hers.

Then he rose to great heights with “You must permit me to take you out this evening. Over a glass of chilled white wine and Venetian pasta with parmesan cheese, I hope you would tell me more and help me find myself.”

She exclaimed to herself “This is too good to be true!”

The evening was mellow and memorable. The ambience was artistic and aesthetic. The candle light was soft and soothing. The music was in the background, lilting and lyrical. The wine was chilled just right, the food was gourmet, the desert delectable, and the conversation was touching and tender.

She was relieved to find that it was mostly his memory for faces and names that was lost, his intellectual faculties were intact.

She walked him through that memory lane, holding his hand, warming his heart and prodding and probing his mind.

But that did not reveal to her what exactly happened, what switches were turned off or on which brought about this remarkable but welcome transformation in his personality As the evening mellifluously progressed to its magical conclusion anxieties and doubts also preyed on her mind.

Will this last? This understanding and appreciation made life together so much more meaningful.

She was determined to do all that she can to preserve and protect this valuable relationship.

But will this winsome personality vanish one day, only to let his former self return?

Only time will tell.

Dr. Venkita S Suresh

Dr. Venkita S Suresh,
Group Medical Director and Dean of Studies,
DNB and other post-graduate training programs.


Write a comment

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.



Find a Doctor Teleconsultation Emergency