This story by Satyajit Ray is a humorous story of a man named Bepin Choudhary, who is tricked into thinking he had a memory lapse. Bepin meets a man who tries to recall him a particular event about which Bepin has no clue or memory. He feels that he is sick and has amnesia. To recover his memory, he goes out and interacts with people who recount that event, of which Bepin had no recollection. He is eventually convinced that that event did take place and he is suffering from amnesia. The story follows his struggle as he tries to recover his memories and find out the truth behind the whole story.
However, we come to know by the end that he did not suffer from memory loss but was tricked by his friend Chunilal as a practical joke. It was because Chunilal was suffering from a financial crisis and requested Bepin to help him get a job. As Bepin was unable to help him due to his preoccupation with other tasks, Chunilal was hurt by his indifference. Thus, he made a plan to trouble Bepin out of spite and created circumstances that made Bepin believe that he had amnesia.
He convinced others to partake in his plan and executed it artistically. First, a man named Parimal Ghose strikes up a conversation with Bepin in a bookstore as if they were old friends. Bepin is visibly confused since he had never met the man. Ghose then proceeds to talk about the trip that they took to Ranchi, but Bepin could not remember any such trip. Parimal was stunned and claimed that he could call Dinesh Mukerji as a witness since he accompanied them on the trip.
This left Bepin anxious and doubts started to hover around his mind. He lost all focus and out of anxiety, called Dinesh to validate his doubt. To his shock, Mr. Dinesh confirms the same, and thus his tension increased. Chunilal then makes an appearance enquiring about the job, but Bepin sends a servant in his stead. Still, in a confused state of mind, he later asks Chunilal about the trip, which Chunilal confirms by saying that he was the one who booked his tickets.
Finally convinced there was something wrong with his mind, he decides to consult a doctor. Chanda, the Doctor, is also left perplexed and comments that he is not good enough for his case. He, however, advises him to visit the places he forgot to trigger his memories. Bepin then visits Ranchi to recall that event, but nothing comes to fruition. Consequently, he falls unconscious at Hudroo Falls and two Gujrati persons help him.
Bepin decides to go back to Calcutta the next morning. Now, his fear and anxiousness were at a crucial stage. Fearing he would soon lose all his recollected memories, he called Dr. Chanda to see him. As he waited for the Doctor, a letter from Chunilal was delivered by his servant. In the letter, Chunilal confesses that he was the one who was behind all these events. He admits that he had acted out of spite due to Bepin's callousness to his financial troubles and his refusal to help him in his time of need.
Instead of being livid with Chunilal, Bepin, despite Chunilal's actions, felt relieved and felt no animosity towards him. When the Doctor arrived, Bepin decided to lie to him and claimed that he remembered everything about his Ranchi trip after revisiting the place. The Doctor was once again befuddled by the oddity of this case and said he would write about this in a medical journal.
Bepin Choudhary’s Lapse of Memory is an entertaining, humorous story with a persuasive lesson of as you sow so shall you reap. Bepin didn't help his friend when he was in need, so his friend decided to teach him a lesson. Always support your friends when they are in need so that your friendship gets stronger and better.