Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lost at night

This happened during my stay in Bangalore. After my classes got over at 8.30 I went strolling in 4th block and ate in a fast food joint. I went very far to explore newer streets and lanes. Glancing my watch I realized it was 9 P.M and that I had to hurry back soon. But it hit me hard when I could not find my way back. I forgot the way I took to come here and was unaware of where to go next. I didn't even know which locality I was in. The surroundings seemed very strange and eerie. It was pitch-dark at that night with not a street lamp there to dispel the dense darkness. It was a no-moon day and the sky stared back at me with all hostility. There was not a soul ahead on the road till my eyes could gaze. I could not ask anyone the directions. It was very spooky. I was hesitating with every step I took, with the fear that I was estranged further by more paces away from my cozy room. I didn't know whether I was retreating away from my destination or going towards it. For a split second I was devastated that I would have to spend the dark night alone outside frantically searching and searching till I give up. I found few people at a distance, but they seemed not to be good. My intuition warned me to slip away from there secretly before they caught a glimpse of me. I was treading faster now in another direction. I was relieved to be on the main road. But still the road was deserted. I wondered what happened to all the nightlife in Bangalore and who the hell said that Bangalore never sleeps at night! They are all asleep in their warm beds and I am here outside shivering with fright and cold.

Finally a RTC bus came and some people got down . I scanned for females looking friendly and approachable. I felt everybody had loathing looks. They all looked tired and no one seemed to help out a silly girl asking directions. I was still was scarred of the whole incident. I vowed to god that if I would reach my room safely I would never venture out to unknown places. I was still trembling as I approached one respectable looking lady and…

Me: Swimming pool? (My room is in 3rd block. Swimming pool is the landmark closer to my room.)
Her: That way. Come with me. I am going there too.
I followed her. She seemed nice at first impression. And she was very helpful. But I had a nagging doubt deep down in my heart. My intuition did tell me she was worth trusting.
Her:(pointing to a banana she was eating): Want some?
Me: No thanks.
After a moment silence I said hesitatingly… I am lost actually.
Her: Oh, There’s nothing to be lost. You see Madhavan Park over there? That’s the landmark. Adjoining that there’s the swimming pool.
Me: (nodding but silent)
Awkward silence for a bit too long…
Her:(breaking the silence…glancing at her watch): 9’0 clock. Its late at night.
Me: I know that’s why I am terrified. I thought I will shop around in 4th block and I kept walking and walking till I realized I could not find the way back.
Her: That’s alright anyway. Don’t take this lane at night though. It’s not safe.
That scarred the remaining guts outta me!
Me:(just to keep the conversation going on): What do you do?
Her: I work in Tata consultancy. I am late today. I had to do some work till now.

She was pointing out directions and explaining it to me.
Her: Where are you from?
Me: I am from Andhra. I am here in Bangalore for vacation.
Her: Good god! So you don’t even know Kannada?
Me: Not that much…
We were still walking to reach the pool. She seemed very friendly and nice.
Her: That’s terrible. Don’t you have your roommate’s cell numbers?
Me: I do. But I thought I would find out the directions myself.
Her: You could have hired an auto. He charges Rs.14 for places inside jayanagar.
Me: Ohk…Umm…where are you from?
Her: We are basically from Rajasthan. But we settled here 30 years ago.
Me: ahan..
Her: Are you searching for a job?
Me: No. I am a student. I am here for GRE classes.
Her: (pointing to the banana she was munching) I am very hungry! We are almost there. That’s the pool. Don’t take this street. It later bifurcates into two and you will be confused. Take the next street and walk along the straight sloping road. There you will find Ganesha temple. Do you know the way from there?
Me: Yes. Where do you stay?
Her: Here only. Little further.
In happiness and relief I was trying to cross the road without heeding an approaching auto.
Her: Careful! Just wait. Yes now you can go. Bye!

I knew the way from there. I was thankful to reach the familiar locality of 3rd block. It seemed very funny at that moment that I didn't venture far out from 3rd block. I was wandering very near only. All I had to do was to take the straight road. And I was worried that I was lost! They say that you can never get lost in Bangalore. It is really true!

I hurriedly bid her good-bye and walked as fast as my legs could carry me back to my room. It was 9.45 P.M by the time I reached. I didn't ask her name and don’t know where she lives. She seemed to be a young lady of around 28.

I just want to say…hey whoever you are…Thanks a lot!

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