Last week while I was being driven around I had noticed a building with big neon sign announcing that it housed the “Jarir Book Store”. I had decided on that very moment that I will have to visit this place, and I will have to do it sooner rather than later. Yesterday when I reached home after work, I was very disappointed to find that someone e has occupied my parking. So I decided to venture out in search of the Book Store…. in quest of knowledge, so to say. But with my level of road sense it is never easy to find a new location and as I lived up to my expectation. Fortunately for me there is a roundabout very close to my house and so I could first go straight, and then right and finally left, every time coming back to the roundabout to change direction. After taking a few turns at the signals I could see the neon sign I have been so desperately seeking to find. At that moment I thought of giving a “Land Ahoy!” cry but restrained myself somehow. But all was not as smooth as I had to enter through the exit gate making “please excuse me gestures” to the car who was trying to go out through that exit. I was helped by a parking attendant giving signals with his hand quite similar to the boys who helps the pilot park his airplane. He actually wanted to wash my car to make a few bucks (they are usually an exploited lot and have to survive doing such odd jobs). He started to speak in broken Hindi and was very amused when I replied to him in Bengali and in the brief conversation that followed, I told him that my ancestral home was very close to where he is living now and it’s unfortunate that it is not accessible to us.
I went up to the Book store and was pleased to discover that it was more than a simple bookstore. They had everything starting from laptops to school text books and there was a big section dedicated to arts and other hobbies.
After spending a good one hour among those interesting products and picking up a city map and a few other stuffs, I proceeded to the checkout counter. I was running a bit dry on cash and wanted to pay using my credit card. To my shock I could not find it in my wallet and after settling the bill I almost took my wallet apart to find that particular piece of plastic. But it was not there... it was no where!! All sorts of thought started to overtake my thinking capability. I shuddered to imagine how much I would have probably lost if someone decided to use my card.
Then I remembered that last time I had used that bit of plastic was exactly 10 days ago, the day I landed in Doha and that was in a “Subway” outlet. Fortunately I did not take any wrong turn on my way back and manage to reach the “Subway” quite quickly. I went inside and asked “did I leave my credit card here?” and gave my name.” To my utter relief he retrieved it from the safety of cash box and handed over to me my lost and forgotten mate. I felt like giving them a hug….. As I drove back home I wondered if I would have got it back had it been another country… another time … So all is not lost in this world!!!
But as I reached home I found my parking spot still occupied. I found a spot a block away and as I prepared to hit the bed I realized that this is life……. Kabhie khushi kabhie gam … (joy and sorrow goes hand in hand)
These images have no relevance to this city and are borrowed from the WWW.