I've often wondered why many old people suffer from dementia. Now that I'm at that stage where most relatives of my age have passed away, I too sometimes forget recent instances. Sometimes I wonder who told me something in the past two or three days, but I'm able to recall it after some time, usually just before sleeping at night. My friends and relatives are sometimes amazed how I'm able to remember something they said or did many years ago. I believe it's my habit of reading and writing that is responsible for my good memory.

I had a maternal uncle, an engineer who helped me a lot in setting up my own business when I quit a good job because I didn't like the backbiting and politics. I was surprised when I found that he didn't remember an incident involving another relative (an industrialist who died in 1968). This man used to go to one of those slums where he would have sex with the wife of one of his employees. One day the said employee came home unexpectedly and found his wife being screwed by the industrialist, who escaped from the scene. This was something which no one could forget, yet my engineer uncle had forgotten about it (a couple of years before his death at the age of 77 in 2014). The woman was stabbed to death and the killer was found guilty and sentenced to death (I don't know if he was executed or not), Despite the defense claiming that a prominent industrialist had been seen fleeing from the scene, the court ignored it. Such is the power of money in Pakistan.

Coming back to dementia, I was telling a couple of young Memon relatives about ways to avoid it. They didn't blink when I told them that they should have many friends and meet regularly with people as well as walk a lot, but they were astonished to be told that reading (particularly novels) also helped in delaying or avoiding dementia.  Most of my relatives firmly believe that reading should be avoided like the plague.