"Our little satellite reached Mars because it was called MOM. If it was called DAD, it would still be circling the Earth, lost, but not willing to ask for directions." I finished Mrs. Funnybones at one go. Seriously, Twinkle Khanna is a riot. As much as her acting career sucked, her writing is amazing. It was therapeutic to LOL (laugh out loud) at 1 am, giving some serious competition to the many nocturnal ‘creatures’ out there hunting…Oops! Haunting…
But that generic statement about men is spot on. In fact, I believe GPRS was actually developed after this need gap analysis was conducted on a global basis! Don’t believe me, here are some choicest samples.
My dad never asks for directions, never. He insists that he knows every other road that is there to know! Predictably, we often got lost, with the front seats of our reliable Maruti 800 transforming into a battleground in a matter of a wrong turn. While my mother shouted hoarse to ask for directions, my dad kept driving through one alley after another, as me and my brother haplessly wished for the main road to somehow surface.
One particular incident however is etched in brown letters in our mind. Why brown? Read along.
We were driving back from a wedding (not a marriage, as a dear friend pointed out the other day…marriage is an institution, while wedding is the actual ceremony), when my father decided to take a detour. He said, “There is a new road ahead, and we would reach early.” It was almost 11 pm, and with no streetlight, we were relying on the headlights to ‘guide us home’.
Nobody had any clue about that ‘said’ road, and though mom suggested meekly that it was not a good idea to ‘experiment’ so late, dad insisted that he needed ‘to boldly go where no man has gone before’. And, rightly so, we reached at a place where no one would dare to go…into the, hold it, ditch! Before we knew it, our Maruti baby was inside a ditch as the road had abruptly come to an end after a few yards of mud and muck. There was pin drop silence inside the car…the kind of silence we get before the storm.
So, while the storm raged, me and my brother braved the ‘brown’ mud to call a few laborers from the nearby construction site and got the car out. The look of shock on the faces of the laborers was priceless. They kept asking dad, “Babuji, yeh kaise hua…” (Sir, how did this happen). And, even babuji had no idea!
Many of you may believe that this would have been a good enough lesson for my brother to at least ask for direction. But, not only he has inherited my dad’s genes, but the entire genetic code of his ‘kind’. And, he went a step ahead. Not asking for direction is one thing, but not hearing properly where you are going is like throwing ‘chaos’ into the already disastrous cauldron. My sis-in-law asked him to pick her from her office, located in Dundahera. My brother very conveniently heard it as Dharuhera. Now, there is some 20 kms difference between these two places. And, despite my sis-in-law’s accurate road guidance (she has one of the best road senses in the house, although not knowing how to drive!), my brother somehow managed to get himself to a road that led to a town that for some unimaginable reason is called Dharu(alcohol)hera.
Being MIA (missing in action) for more than an hour despite being so near her office, sis-in-law called my brother to enquire about his location and was shocked when he told her that he is passing through some village and ‘sarso ka khet’. Knowing fully well by now that her husband is utterly lost, she insisted him to ask for direction, which my brother surprisingly complied with. Half an hour later, brother calls up sis-in-law in a harassed tone, “I am still lost, all I can see are fields after fields. Where has Bank of America opened its office? I even asked someone, and he told me that Dharuhera is still a few kilometers from here.”
Sis-in-law didn’t know how to react. Somehow managing to keep a straight face she told him to ask for direction towards Dundahera and burst out laughing the moment she kept the phone down. Yes, men could be hopeless at times.
I had an ex who was forever lost, partly because I kept insisting on taking new roads as I wanted to know where those roads led to (reason why I know so many roads in Delhi). But he used to get so utterly lost that sometimes he even forgot the way from his home to office. And instead of asking for direction, he would call me up to guide him to find the right way. Imagine me becoming a virtual GPRS long before it was even developed!
So, definitely, lives of men have improved post GPRS. They now know where to reach and how to reach. Still don’t believe me? Here’s an anecdote.
As I waited for my friend to pick me from a weird bus stop in front of a metro station, I tried giving him the exact description of my location, which was a steel bus-stop seat, shaded by a Pipal tree that had a crocked branch, with a funny sounding school building in the background (being a writer makes you, by default, describe even mundane things with a pinch of poetic analysis!). After the second call trying to desperately describe my whereabouts, he coolly said, “Send me your location, I will reach you.” As I Whatsapped my location, I realised, “Wow! That was easy.”
Had it been pre-GPRS era, I would have struggled to describe my location. And, predictably, the man in question would have insisted on relying on his internal GPRS to somehow miraculously reach me sitting on a steel bus-stop seat, shaded by a Pipal tree that had a crocked branch, with a funny sounding school building in the background! Got the picture, Oops! The direction, I mean!