Monday, May 2, 2016


(For Indian customers - my book 'A dog eat dog-food world' available at more than 50% discount - at Rs.49/= - for a short period. Just so you know - the book is rated around 4.6 on Goodreads with 50 ratings and 32 reviews)

There are a select few in this world who cannot identify that they are standing right in front of their own house, if they are brought there from a different direction. I am a charter member of that select group - in fact, I could probably claim to be a founder-member but for the fact that I would disdain to have my reputation for absolute laziness sullied by the accusation of having founded anything. (Oh! That bemused look tells me that you do not belong. You do not understand what a 'different direction' is, merely because you lack this exquisite inability to remember more than one route to any destination, if that.)

I never realized what a bane this mobile phone revolution would be to people of my sophisticated ignorance. Till the first time when someone seeking to deliver goods to my house called me up asking for directions. Ye Gods!

"How do I get to your house?"

Yeah! Right! Where from, O Hermes? From Washington DC; Rajpath, New Delhi; Yeswanthpur, Bangalore; or the sub-registrar's office next door? Unfortunately, sarcasm would probably result in a 'Addressee not found', so I swallowed my ire and ask him, "Where are you?"

"Opposite the Axa building."

If only I could figure exactly where that meant. Is he on the Outer Ring Road, or on the residential road that intersects the Outer Ring road?

I duly ask him and he says, "On the Main Road."

No great help - since the residential road is also called 32nd Main or some such, as is the wont in Bangalore.

After a ding-dong, exploring the various meanings of 'main road', I figure out that he IS on the Outer Ring Road. Now, it is time to explore what opposite means. Did he mean he was opposite the building as in just outside the gate, or did he mean he was on the other side of the road?

After another longish conversation about which way the nose of his vehicle was pointing, I finally figure out that he was on the opposite side of the road. From then on, I thought things went swimmingly well, as he listened to my directions and cut the call.

After an interminable wait, he calls again.

"I am opposite the Manjunatha Tea Stall..."

Ye Gods! Was I now supposed to have memorized every single shop in every single lane and by-lane in my vicinity? Considering 'Manjunatha' in Bangalore is used with the same gay abandon - for shops - with which people christen their sons 'Tom', 'Dick' or 'Harry' in US/UK, and considering that there are some six tea-shops within stone's throw of any location you choose to stand-in...

Whatever happened to the good old methodology of asking someone near your vehicle for directions, as was the modus operandi in the days before mobile phones? He, at least, does not need to do a twenty questions only to figure out where your vehicle is positioned currently.

Well - suffice to say that by the time I got the delivery, I would have become bald, if I had not already gone bald. (Preemptively? I wish I could claim such sagacity.)

They say that the GPS will eliminate this problem. Maybe it will, but I shudder to think of how human beings will use that to make things more difficult for the rest of their ilk. If there is one thing I know of humanity, it is that they can create complications from out of anything!

AND they say technology makes life probably will, if humans will let it!


  1. I always thought I was the only one with a mislaid or rather missing GPS system in my body, good to know you share the same anomaly! I promptly hand over the phone to any other person standing next to me, even strangers if someone asks me directions on how to reach me! And the mobile GPS I have no clue how it works, the robo-lady giving the directions keeps re-routing, no I don't trust her one bit! If someone asks me for directions I pretend I didn't hear and deftly divert it to someone else more adept. Yes, I truly empathize with your plight :)

  2. Haha you said it Suresh.Nice post.
    It IS difficult to give directions to some.I guess those who can follow directions do not ask.They find the destination on their own.

  3. This is uncanny, I have been mocked too many times by some of my nearest and dearest for not being born with a compass in my brain. It is rather embarrassing too in that I invariably point to the exact opposite direction to what I want to. I must disagree with you on one thing though--I could have 'found' a new continent in spite of or despite this failing of mine--after all Columbus did, though he must have shared this trait of ours--he set out to discover India and found the Americas--not that the native Indians would be happy about that fact!

    1. Nope - actually the guy you directed would have found that new continent :)

  4. Hahaha..yea..yea..I have been at the receiving end of asking you for direction to your home, when I dropped by for the first time...! I can't forget how you made me pluck my hair in confusion! :) :)

    1. AND I was cursing mobiles; you would have asked someone near you for directions and spared poor old me :)

  5. I usually tend to walk and walk and walk and find the destination rather than talk, talk and talk and bore the host to death :) Was the parcel a set of books? :)

  6. Finding this nose pointing business is truly hard ! What if at the precise moment when you asked which side it was pointed to, he was looking over his shoulder :D

    1. Hahaha - yes! I was thinking more of vehicle 'noses' there :)