So all of a sudden it was gone!
When I press Ctrl + A in MS Word or Outlook compose email, all of the text did not get highlighted. I opened a few other applications to find out whether the "Select All" and "Ctrl + A" had been broken in other places too? Like Wordpad, Notepad, Excel, IE, Firefox and what not. All the places were fine. It was just this one stupid place - Word docs and the Compose more of Outlook. I knew before that they’re both related. So 2+ hours of frustration and frantic search on google and what do I find? Nothing, practically nothing. There’s some dude out there who has spent like weeks finding out that the installation of Rich Text Controls do this. I didn’t have any of that installed. Just an application that used MS Word components. Later on, I asked like a dozen other people whether their "Select All" option had a shortcut changed to something strange like "Ctrl + CLEAR (Num 5)" and they all said no. Btw, if you're wondering that Num 5 means the key 5 on the right hand side of the keyboard where you have the Numbers pad and Num Lock key.
I googled once again only to find nothing about it, even on Microsoft website, nothing turned up for MS Office 2003. They did have something about shortcut changes in Word 2007, but it wasn't 2003. I had 2003. Also found that as usual, they admitted having broken functionality for Select All in Word and Outlook but that too didn't resolve my issue. Where was my Control A, man!? I was super pissed at Microsoft and Bill Gates as usual for hours. Only if I could strangle them. *grrr*
I come back to my Word document after a couple of hours, still very annoyed. I start playing around the Options and Customize menu only to find out that the other application I was using had somehow modified my Normal.dot file so the Ctrl + A shortcut got deleted from it. How? I don't know.
Solution: Under the Tools menu -> Customize -> Commands tab -> Keyboard button -> went to Edit - EditSelectAll and clicked on "Reset All" button to restore the Ctrl + A shortcut under the Current Keys list.
As you can imagine, I felt utterly stupid and silly when I found the solution. But what can I say, that's Microsoft for you.
We can hate it but we can't live without it. *sigh*