Landmark confusions

REFLECTIONS

Landmark confusions

Only memories now : The boulevard on M G Road that no longer exists.Landmarks play a vital role in our lives, be it personal or general. For elders, it gives a clear perspective of the lines crossed, hills climbed and goals achieved.The mention of each landmark in their lives brings back the old glow lit by memory wrapped up in the recesses of their minds. Naturally for them, having gone through much in life, each experience of life is a landmark by itself, punctuated as it is with ladders.

But terming these as useless reminiscences, the youngsters ignore them and start out afresh.

Landmarks are very important while driving or even walking, and have almost always been. Each tree, each turning, every park, every place of worship, let alone houses, have helped pedestrians navigate and find their way, be it any place or country. Memorised, the landmarks would steer him safely to his destination, but not quite of late. The very same landmarks have been transformed into a sort of jigsaw puzzle, what with the old houses and buildings turned into apartment complexes, parks into toilets of sorts, trees upbraided and pavements into small shops!

More confusion sets in if we pause to enquire from passers-by. In former days, they were only too ready to help, even to the extent of hopping into the car and directing the search-party to the destination. But these days, people are reluctant to help out, either being far too busy or apprehensive, lest they land themselves with unsavoury elements. As such, many a time we ‘merry-go-round’ the target without being cognisant.

One such harrowing experience happened to us, a friend and myself, sometime back, when we set out to visit a famous writer. Armed with all the landmarks, we were quite confident of reaching the place in a jiffy, but lo, all our enquiries drew a blank. Even the popular name failed to register! Had values changed?

We went to the laundry, the tailor’s, clinic, library  and did not leave out even the temple, since she was a religious lady. “The pujari would surely remember her,” a friend said. But no, the pujari did not remember her. Perhaps she was not putting enough dakshine into the mangalaarathi –tatte? Maybe he wanted dollars?

To further add to the confusion, a marriage-broker materialised out of nowhere. “I do social service,” she explained. “By contacting mothers of bridegrooms and brides. Which place better than the temple? Have you an eligible son or daughter? What is their age-height-weight?” It was with great difficulty that we extricated ourselves, and came out. We continued with our futile search.

Suddenly, a brilliant idea presented itself. “Where is the bhelpuri shop?” we enquired of the nonchalant group around. Immediately, we were led to a rickety small shop dishing out spicy plates. And beside it stood the stately house, our destination.

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