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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Identity Crisis

AcFy5386, aBc123, zzzooouuty, 58756, 9975…. And the list goes on!

Wondering what these alphanumeric gibberish are all about?

THESE are MY identities.

My name, my credentials are meaningless if I do not remember these…these numbers hold the key to my whole existence...be it access to my bank account, cash withdrawals, bank details, investment details, viewing utility bills, monthly bill payments, etc etc etc. My email accounts, where I dump all important documents in fear of impending harddisk crashes of my system, are accessible if and only if I remember the series of incomprehensible permutations and combinations of alphanumerics aka PASSWORDS! The weirder the better and safer!!

So as we all know so well, in today’s age of online/tele/mobile transactions, the entire materialistic existence or identity are these passwords and usernames!

What happens if one’s memory is poor and one is unable to recall the right combination at the right time? Nothing.. except you are in the position of a person who has lost his unique key to the unique lock to his own home and is left stranded on the road!

You are probably wondering why I am going on and on about these ubiquitous usernames and passwords with varied names like PIN, TIN, SIN, HIN, BIN..(ok ok I made up some of these!) Well, the following will tell you why ..

Yesterday, due to certain circuit failure of my neurons (or so I presume), my mind blanked out!! Just at the precise moment I swiped my debit card at the ATM machine, my PIN just vanished from my memory!!!! Just like that…and a zillion efforts to recall the oft repeated, intelligently formulated (by me!!!) number, just failed miserably. After three attempts, the account was barred from access and I could not withdraw the cash I desperately needed! I had just Rs.30 in my wallet. Returned home and thought I would inform the telebanking customer care to send a new PIN and dialled the customer service number.

What followed was strange but 100% true…just at the moment I punched my customer ID on the phone at the behest of the automated helpline and was about to dial my TIN, again my mind became a blank and I could not remember the TIN. A bad omen of some impending disaster?? Or sheer coincidence of a series of temporary memory lapses? I couldn’t fathom…This was a number I had been using regularly as my TIN for the past 4-5 years. How could I forget it? I was mad at myself, frustrated and disgusted at my repeated memory loss in a span of half an hour!!

Today morning I could finally get through to the manual operator and got myself a new TIN. But a new PIN would require me to wait for another 7 working days before it reaches my permanent residence (which again is in Calcutta while here I am in another corner of the country). So practically speaking I am cashless for the next 7 days (a slight exaggeration....what are husbands for!!). Only 2 leafs of my cheque book are empty which I have to keep as an emergency!!

Yesterday's incidence shook me up. A simple task came to a halt because my memory failed me. A creepy feeling gave me goosebumps…my identity or access to my identity is dictated and controlled by some strange alphanumeric combinations.
I HAVE AN IDENTITY CRISIS!!!!!! …..And burdened as we are, by the innumerable digits and alphabets, it could happen to ANYONE!

Bibliography

PIN - Personal Identification Number

TIN - Telephone Identification Number

4 comments:

HR said...

I have reduced the chances of forgetting my ATM passwords by 50%. You know how? Invariably my little son of 7 years will accompany me to the ATM counter. By virtue of his frequent visits and close observation of my deed he has picked up the magic number. I rely on his memory when mine fails. However to avoid complications I need to make changes in the password.
Coming to the subject of net surfing. I had account in not less than 10 no. of websites and so 10 no. of passwords.I decided to remember not more than three passwords. I am able to operate all the 10 with the help of those three. And Pin nos!!!! I never try to remember ,since, without doubt I will fail to reproduce. I prefer to wait for the manual mode to take over the interactive mode while settling credit card bill with Banks on phone.
What do you call this? Alzheimers? Dementia? Memory impairment? and so on... nothing .. we are all normal human being with temporary phase of memory loss. I always look at the positive of the disease. It can be of great use in bringing an adverse situation in our favor.

Thanks for another write up..

hlesna said...

The memory loss can be really dangerous specially when we have to remember important documment or password,etc..many time i forget my PIN number and i have to call back home.. i found ur blog very intresting pls visit my blog too.

http://hlesna.blogspot.com

SGD said...

@HR:I shudder to imagine the state of affairs , say 20-30yrs down the line. When due to age and senility, we will have more frequent memory lapses and there will be more numbers dictating & controlling our lives....

SGD said...

@Hlesna:
Thanks for stopping by.
Visited your blog...interesting collection you have there...