Let me make a few things clear first:
Things occurred somewhat like this….The shop is called ‘New Bombay Stationary Stores’ and it is as old as the Gateway of India gifted to King George a long long time ago. It is located in a lane called ‘Abdul Rehman Street’ in CST. There are millions of shops in the same street and another million roads in and around CST near Crawford market. Now, there aren’t any hoardings or billboards on this lane ‘Abdul Rehman Street’ so poor Abdul! Nor are there any trees, so poor me! What do I use as a base for my brain map then? Imagination …Life is my creation!
Unusual sounding shops would be the new billboards for me. When I returned from my second trip which was a long long one, needless to say that I got lost that day, I decided to take immediate steps for the map drawing. So, this is what was the route: the lane starts with the biggest BATA showroom – then Toy World – some shop selling arms and ammunition – a bylane called ‘Zanzibar Street’ – keep walking on the right till you see the red post box – that’s it, bang opposite the post box is a stupid shop selling labels and stickers (the shop isn’t stupid, the shopkeeper is and I’ll tell you why in a little while).
I have been somewhat successful in reaching my manzil with the help of this map in my subsequent trips, until yesterday which was my 7th or 8th trip maybe. It so happened that I had to hunt for new suppliers for a new idea I had. In the process of doing that, I got lost somewhere in that dingy lane, but this was nothing new. Getting lost was also a routine thing now.
I tried to get back to my route map, but just couldn’t find any of the strategic places I had made a note of. I was in the middle of millions of shops selling everything that man aspires to have, including maps. But I needed a personalized map – a map that understands me. Anyways, chah hain…raah bhi milegi….so, I inquired at a nearby shop if he knows the now popular AR street. He nodded sympathetically and pointed straight another 50 shops ahead. It was noon so no sympathy from the sun. Poor me walked straight ahead, keeping an eye for the red post box or any box which is red would do.
I finally got there and the stupid shopkeeper of that labels shop was grinning at me. He somehow knew of my days happenings. My face said it all! Our eyes met and we made the last conversation hopefully. He seemed to say ‘Kya madam..hamesha aathi ho yahi…hamesha punchthi ho…phir bhi’. I too gave an answering ‘look’- ‘main tho pehle baar aayi hun..woh meri judwa behen hain’ 🙂
By the way, I have decided not to go to that New Bombay stores anymore, I have found an easier route to a shop called ‘Himalaya Art stores’ bang opposite Sir J J School of Art!
Jahan chah…vahan raah. Jai Himalaya!