Confusion of Landmarks
by Nuggehalli Pankaja
(Bangalore, Karnataka, India)
Landmarks play a vital part in our lives, be it personal or general. For elders it gives a clear perspective of the lines crossed, hills climbed, goals achieved.Mention of each landmark in their lives brings back the old glow lit by memory wrapped up in the recesses of mind. For them, each experience of life is a landmark by itself, punctuated as it is with ladders. Naturally the older generation abound with it, but terming them as useless reminiscences,the youngsters ignore them and start out afresh.
Speaking of landmarks in a general way,it is very important while driving or walking. Each tree, each turning, every park, temple, let alone houses, have helped pedestrians in not losing their way, be it any strange place. Memorized,the landmarks would steer him safely to his destination,but not so nowadays. The very same landmarks have been transformed into a sort of zigzag puzzle what with the old houses-buildings turned into flats, parks into a sort of toilet, trees upbraided, pavements into small shops!
More confusion if we inquire passers-by. In former days they were only too ready to help, even to the extent of hoping 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 unsavory elements. As such, many a time we ‘merry-go-round’ the target without being cognizant.
One such harrowing experience happened to us sometime back. Myself and friend had to visit a famous writer. Armed with all landmarks, we were quite confident of reaching the place in a jiffy, but lo, all our inquiries drew a blank. Even the popular name failed to register!
Had values changed?
We went to the laundry, tailor’s, clinic, library, and did not leave even the temple, since she was a religious lady.
“The pujari would sure remember her,” said my friend.
No.The pujari did not remember her. Perhaps she was not putting enough dakshine
into the mangalaarathi – tatte? Maybe he wanted dollars?
To top the confusion, a lady-marriage broker materialized from somewhere-“I do social service,”she explained, “by contacting mothers of bridegrooms and brides. Which place better than temple? Have you an eligible son or daughter? What is the age-height-weight?”
It was with great difficulty that we extricated ourselves, and came out. Once again futile search. . . . . .
Suddenly, a brilliant idea presented itself. ‘Where is the Belpuri shop?” We inquired 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! ****