Hacks to recall names
We meet people everywhere. We meet them at malls, movie halls, subways, parties, consortiums and almost every other place you can think of (even the restrooms, yes).

And if you are one of those who keep meeting many people because of your interest or profession, it is very likely that you do not recollect names of people that seem to know you very well.

In a later post, we will learn about hacks to memorize (and never forget, yipee!) names. In this post, however, we will try to understand ways in which you can extract the name of a person, who has confronted you at a social gathering and has struck a conversation with you.

I came up with an easy list of actions to help to get his name out, without letting him know you don't recall. This may or may not work depending on how lucky you can get.

Here is the list:

1. Act stable. Don't let the person know you don't recall. A sudden flush of expressions, or that blank stare, can give it away. Act as if you have known him for ages.

2. Ask-the-emailaddress hack. After a small discussion about how each one of you have been, pop out a piece of paper or notebook and a pen, or a PDA, or a cellphone—whatever you fancy. Ask him, "Hey, gimme your email address, y'know it's good to stay in touch!". If he says, amit at deshpande dot com, or meetjohn at yahoo dot co dot uk, you are lucky. If he says something else, go on to step 3.

3. Probe your mind for the initials. He says apd at metempsychose dot net or pk at underived dot net, and you know that this person's name has the initials apd or pk or whatever he tells you. Now try figuring out if that rings a bell. Just think "a... a... a...". Amit should pop.

If you need to concentrate take a break to powder your nose, or to rush to the restroom (let's hope you don't meet another Mr. Noname there!) and think hard and loud. "d... d... d... deshpande!". You got it again. If it's too hard to get it, don't worry. Step 4 will tell you an alternative hack.

4. Introduction hack. If you are at a party, introduce Mr. Noname to somebody whom you already know, like Ms. Isha, and say,

"This is Isha!", and smile and talk something to Isha, like , "How have you been?".

Now sit(stand) back and watch. Isha will definitely tell you how she has been. And then she will realise that She doesn't know Noname's name. She may ask, "What's your good name?" or "Hey, I didn't get your name!"

Here you need to listen (LOL, that was obvious, if you are not a sack of stones) and Bingo! He says, "The name's Bond, James Bond!"

5. Business card hack. This works if you are at a bar, or a park, where you don't know many people. So, the Introduction hack will not work. To use the Business Card hack, ask him "Hey, where are you working now? Can I have your business card?". Considering you came to this world with your share of luck, he will pull out one. Read the name.

6. I-am-bad-at-names hack. If you couldn't get the name so far, your last resort should be to admit it. Tell him you are very bad with names. Or that you have partial memory lapses, and tomorrow you will recall his name, but not now. Ask for the name.

That's easy. No?

Aryabhatta once said "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet."

Well, was it Shakespeare by any chance? Whatever... What's in a name?