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    Mar 21, 2016

    Hard job remembering clients

    AS A boy, Kawal had trouble remembering faces but thought it was normal.

    However, as he grew up, he started having difficulty recognising people he had recently spent time with and got confused trying to identify actors in movies.

    The 35-year-old IT consultant realised he had face-blindness about five years ago, and finds it hard to recall faces of people with whom he does not interact regularly.

    Speaking about a food stall vendor whom he visits two to three times a week for more than a year, Kawal said: "If he meets me at a bus stop and is not in his regular get-up, chances are I will not recognise him."

    Kawal, who came here from India in 2008 to work, also has trouble placing someone when the person changes hairstyle, although he can remember the faces of those closest to him.

    He usually apologises when he fails to recognise someone, and while the person will sympathise, he is usually "not actually aware what face-blindness is", Kawal said.

    He copes by looking for a distinctive feature in a person's appearance or behaviour.

    "Things get even more difficult at work," said Kawal. "My job requires me to meet lots of clients. It takes me a lot of time and many meetings to get familiar with new faces."

    He has "stopped worrying about it emotionally" and has started telling people about the condition to raise awareness.