It has rightly said that truth is stranger than fiction. It was in the Hindi movie “Ghajini” that we got introduced to a short memory, where the protagonist used to forget anything and everything the very next moment that forced him to use his body as his reminder.
Something of the sort is being enacted in Taiwan. The only difference is that it is not in a movie, but in real life. When Chen Hongzhi met with a road accident as a 17-year- old teenager and sustained a severe head injury, little did he or anyone realize what effect this injury would have on hm. Although he recovered physically, his damaged brain failed to repair itself.
What effect it had on his brain was most astounding, he started forgetting whatever has transpired in his presence in a short span of five to 10 minutes. This condition has persisted for eight long years till date.
So, how is the boy managing to cope with it?
Well, every day his mother, Wang Miao-Chiong, who is now 60 and a widow, needs to remind Chen that he is no more a teenager. She then tries to explain him his peculiar situation.
Chen is totally at the mercy of his widowed mother and relatives, who guide him at every step. He needs to be reminded of the names of people he meets, work that he has done, and the like since he forgets it in a jiffy.
What’s more, he doesn’t even recognize himself in the mirror! And this has been happening for eight long years. The sad part is there is no chance of any schooling for the man. Obviously, with such a short memory, what use would education be to him.
So, what he does is instead of using his body like Ghajini, he uses a black-bound notebook as a diary for reminding him. He records everything he sees, everyone he meets and all the monetary transactions made from selling plastic bottles.
It is certainly hats off to Chen’s grit and determination that he manages to survive in this condition. With some striving, he may even be able to land a job.