Editor’s Note: The following is a satirical news piece that includes fictional characters and events. Any similarity to real-life events, people or organizations is purely coincidental. Anyone relating this to themselves or groups they’re a part of should probably take a deeper look inward and avoid projecting.
Typically when things ‘disappear’, the first thing you do is retrace your steps. You think back to where and where you last saw what you’re looking for and attempt to figure out what you did between there and then. With a little luck, you’ll find it in a jiffy without too much stress.
This does however, become all the more difficult if it’s 12 AM the night before your final term paper is due and you’re jacked up on giggle juice trying to fight back the effects of an entire semester’s worth of bong hits and vodka-fueled all-nighters, with the fate of your overpriced liberal arts degree hanging delicately in the balance.
This was exactly the predicament that 20-year-old Sohum found himself in, just a few weeks ago. Despite everyone he knew warning him not to procrastinate, he did exactly that and decided to spend an entire week where he could’ve been working making Midjourney show him what the bastard love children of Baba Seghal and Himesh Reshamia would look like.
This no doubt worthwhile pursuit of sublime creativity and endeavour had left him with half an hour to submit a 4000-word seminar paper of which he had precisely nothing done. To make matters worse, he could no longer find or remember anything he was looking for.
It was almost as if some invisible force had removed not only all mention of his subject but even his memories of the words associated with them. No matter how hard he tried, every time a picture formed, it disappeared all too quickly and was replaced by images of decrepit old men doing yoga and complaining about immigrants. Sohum couldn’t write a paper about decrepit old men doing yoga because that doesn’t make for a very interesting reading. His professors certainly didn’t think there was any academic value to decrepit old men doing yoga and yelling at immigrants. Who on earth would anyone think there’s any value in decrepit old men doing yoga and yelling at immigrants?
Stories like this are no flash in the pan and in recent weeks we’ve heard bizarre accounts of countless people having entire memories of places, things, words, and history replaced by a collection of inane randomness that only a group of hive-minded, sycophants with absolutely zero imagination would ever even think would suffice as a replacement.
Take 45-year-old Priyanka Rai for instance. Last week Priyanka travelled to Agra to fulfil her dying grandmother’s last wish of being able to see a mausoleum that exists but the name of which inexplicably eludes this writer and the entire country as a whole. However, on arrival, Priyanka found that all the tour guides insisted that it was constructed only recently as a summer house for rich industrialists who like to commit stock fraud as a hobby.
“I can’t seem to remember anything about why we wanted to see it,” says Priyanka while speaking to us via Zoom. “They also kept trying to sell us sim cards and fake moustaches.”
Food blogger Katerina Anatoly, recently travelled to India to sample a spicy chicken and rice dish that’s traditionally cooked to celebrate a specific group of festivals to find that all the vendors telling her that no such thing had ever existed and instead insisting that a heady combination of thepla and nankhatai was all that was available.
“They said that the chicken and rice I wanted never existed but their eyes were glazed over and it looked very much like they’d been crying,” says Katerina. “I’ve never seen faces so bereft of hope and happiness and I’m literally from Russia.”
The disappearance of this delicacy has also led to calls for an international day of mourning and violence has been threatened against individuals that continue to assert that vegetarian versions of this dish are valid.
Public transport in and around key metropolitan cities such as New Delhi has been hit significantly with local buses, autos and taxi cabs driving around in circles unable to find their way around and even arguing with each other about precisely why there’s a redish fort in Old Delhi and where it came from.
“Before two weeks ago, I knew this city like the back of my hand,” says a bewildered Ravi Kumar, a local Delhi cab driver. “Now every time I try to navigate across the city my mind wanders to just how good the roads are in Gujarat. I’ve never even been to Gujarat! I had a fight with my buddy Raju the other day because he insisted that we were under attack by a race of hyper-intelligent aliens who’d wiped our minds. But would hyper-intelligent beings really think it’s a good idea to try and erase potential centuries of history and etymology because they’re uncomfortable with it? It sounds more like something an unspecified group of grade-A morons would do, especially because nothing wholly positive ever proceeds historical and cultural erasure. If they’re aliens, they’re at best, very insecure.”
While Ravi made some exceptional points, it was somewhat alarming to see him immediately carted off in a black van by some nice men carrying hockey sticks and yelling slurs. They assured us they were his friends so it’s absolutely fine. In fact, we’ve seen so many people we’ve talked to reunited with their hockey-playing friends in recent weeks. It’s a definite positive to all the chaos and confusion that comes with collectively forgetting a major chunk of the past and the present.
As I think back to how Ravi’s screams punctuated the still night air (he was probably just really excited to see his friends), I can’t help but hope that our collective memories return to us. While it’s great that we’re seeing friends and loved ones get so overwhelmed by the power of friendship that they’re never seen again, I could really go for some of that spicy chicken and rice.
Oh, look the hockey friends are here. I wonder what they want.