Photo Credit: Alan Grinberg (Creative Commons license)

Photo Credit: Alan Grinberg (Creative Commons license)

The Indian idea of a landmark is something that sometimes amazes me. For instance, I recently had to call the local Panasonic repair people about fixing my camera. I knew the company had a few locations, but I wasn’t sure of the exact address for the camera repair department. When I finally got someone who actually understood which department I needed, I asked him the address. All he could tell me was that it was near the Indira Gandhi statue! I couldn’t help laughing because, although I didn’t know the precise address, I knew very well that it was at least two or three blocks from there. I told him that really didn’t qualify as an address (I’m sure asking around there would have elicited nothing but blank stares), but he got flustered and gave me another number to call.

After I found out that the Panasonic repairman was on sick leave for a month, I looked around for another place. This one gave a street address along with a landmark, so it was much easier to find. The really odd thing was that the landmark was “near the Anaporana Hotel” (which is actually spelled Annapurna). No problem. But when I got there, I found that it was directly opposite the main bus stand, which is one of the biggest landmarks you could give. Go figure! Well, the aforementioned obscure dhaba—for that’s what it was—did happen to be on the same side of the street and therefore a bit closer, but still . . . why they didn’t mention the enormous bus stand is a mystery. Maybe they eat lunch at that dhaba, so it seems important to them?

And my own address, as listed by the owners, is “opposite the water tank”. Um, no. It is in the same vicinity; but by my reckoning, it’s four blocks away. You go down the main street for a block (on the opposite side from the water tank, so that part is fine); but then you take a left; go two more blocks; take a right and go another block. OK, why not?




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