A few weeks back one of my relatives passed away in Bangalore. About 100 of us assembled in Bangalore for mourning and after all the rituals, the body was taken in an ambulance from Kaggadasapura to the electric crematorium in Byeappanahally. None of us knew the way to the crematorium, so we all followed the ambulance in an assortment of two wheelers and four wheelers. The ambulance driver kept going past the Old Madras Road, on to Brigade Road and Commercial Street. Only after reaching Brigade Road did we sense something amiss and found out that the ambulance driver was new and didn't know the way. At each signal he would stop and call some one in his mobile phone and try to ascertain the route. And at each place where he stopped suddenly, some of those following would miss him and take a different turn. So I found myself in the pillion of a motorcycle with a stranger, the only common link between us stranded in an ambulance in the roads of Bangalore. After a million phone calls and an hour later finally all of us reached the crematorium. It was hard to bring back the solemnity of mourning after the comedy of errors.
It was RK Narayan who once said " It is stimulating to live in a society that is not standardised or mechanised, and is free from monotony. Under such conditions the writer has only to look out of the window to pick up a character (and thereby a story)."