Going round in circles
One fine day I received a memo from my head-office informing me that I had been transferred and should report to the Ahmedabad branch within a month.
So I had to pack my bags. Bidding adieu to my beloved city, Pune, I reached Ahmedabad. When I alighted at the Ahmedabad railway station in the morning, I was overcome with a sense of gloom. I was a complete stranger to the city, and I was homeless!
Fortunately, I had a friend in Ahmedabad who agreed to accommodate me till the time I found some accommodation of my own.
After a few days, with the help of office colleagues, I managed to find an apartment on rent.
I had to shift during the night since I worked late into the evenings. Shifting was no problem as I had brought along only a single suitcase.
The joy of finding a place of my own was great. I carried my suitcase to the office, and after finishing work late in the evening, the colleague who had assisted me in finding the place dropped me there on his motorcycle.
It was fantastic! I was no longer homeless! Well, the next day I left for work with jaunty steps. In those early days, the bus or the auto-rickshaw were the only modes of conveyance available to me.
I finished work around 9 pm and left office for home. I directed the auto-rickshaw driver to drop me at Ghatlodia (that was the name of the place where my apartment was situated). The driver dropped me at Ghatlodia, took his fare and went away. It was around 9.30 pm.
I just had to walk a few hundred metres and I would be home. I took the straight road and started marching. But I must have walked several hundred metres, yet I could not find the housing society in which my apartment was situated. The housing society had simply disappeared!
I had shifted to the new place in the dark and, therefore, had not taken much notice of the surroundings and the landmarks. I only knew the name of the housing society and had seen a temple nearby because it had clearly stood out in the dark owing to its illumination. I could not see that temple anywhere!
I kept walking and I am sure I must have gone around in circles because the same shops appeared again and again. It was now past 11 pm and the road had become deserted. I was tired from the walking and feeling panicked. I inquired from one and all, whom I met, about the location of the housing society but it was not a prominent society and no one could help me unless I provided the full address. I did not have the complete address!
At last I met a person who knew where the housing society was situated and showed me the way. It was very near and it transpired that I had passed it several times but had failed to recognize because it was night time. When I finally entered the house, it was nearly midnight!
I have learnt a lesson from this incident. I do not visit a strange place in the dark. Whenever I go to a new place now, I carefully observe the surroundings and take note of the landmarks. I make it a point to have the complete address of the place and carry phone numbers of people who would be able to help me in case I land into any difficulty.