Thursday, April 12, 2007

How the blinkered directors harass the directionally-challenged

Notice how when you ask for directions to reach a particular place, different people refer to different landmarks to guide you? Might make perfect sense to them, but leaves you clueless.

For auto-rickshaw drivers in Chennai, theatres and residences of actors provide the frame of reference. I once tried to convince a driver to take me to SIET College, believing that it was a well-known landmark. “Isn’t that near Koundamani’s house?” he asked me, referring to a veteran comedian in Tamil movies, before demanding twice the meter rate from me presumably for the privilege of being driven close to Koundamani’s house..

For some, the city is just a series of temples strung together and all other structures mere aberrations or blots in the landscape. A friend invited me to his daughter’s wedding in Kamakshi Kalyana Mandapam, near Ayodhya temple. I asked him where Ayodhya temple was. He scratched his head for a few seconds and enquired, “Do you know the Murugan temple in Arya Road?” When I said, “No”, he had no idea how to guide me further. His worldview held no other landmarks for him. As if he had put on special filters over his eyes, designed to cut off everything that wasn’t a temple.

And those cashier-types with bank-blinkers on. After I had given elaborate instructions to a colleague on how to reach my house, he asked me if it was close to the Canara Bank branch there. I swear that I have not noticed that Bank at all, although it is located less than 100 metres from my house. But, imagine what dreary lives these guys live. They see banks, banks and only banks all around them.

But, do you want to know where I live? Let me guide you. It’s very simple really. It is very close to Carnival Restaurant. You don’t know where that is? Do you, at least. know Cream Centre, the new vegetarian place that opened recently? Or, the Pizza Corner on C.P.R. Road? What about Casablanca, the multi-cuisine restaurant?

6 comments:

Usha said...

Hey that is a fresh insight!I hadnt noticed this so far. Now it is going to be fun for me to typecast people based on the directions they give.

Lalita said...

This is an interesting observation. I tend to refer to a reputed medical clinic near my place, myself. What does that make me, a hypochondriac?

dipali said...

Ah, my nearest landmark is also a bank! But I like your restaurant oriented directions....and to think I didn't rent the flat that was a stone's throw fom Flury's!

Raj said...

Usha, yes, each person has his own world map, what?

Lalita, that makes you a doctor?

dipali, why would anyone throw a stone at Flury's?

dipali said...

A diabetic who drools longingly at all the goodies displayed there maybe?

Escape.... Great Escape said...

its a stone's throw FROM flury's.. was this post inspired by the Hutch Small Medium Large Ad ?

I like the way he says "Ek Gol Guppe stand hai.. woh aaj bandha hai..."