Ask and ye shall receive.. for real !

The men folk have long been accused of their inability/reluctance in asking for directions even when they are lost in the middle of nowhere. Jesus Christ himself once said 'Ask and ye shall receive', after he got lost in Jerusalem. This phenomenon has been nicknamed Ego, Arrogance, Stupidity and Irreverence-to-Information by Huang Sang, Plato, Hippopotamus, Virginia Wolf, Victoria Beckham and the like. Though it is advisable to ask, asking is not enough at times, as a friend of mine recently found out.

Both of us wanted to go for this fusion concert organized by Indian Council for Cultural Relations(ICCR) at the Gallery of Modern Art in Bangalore. It was mentioned in the press release that passes had to be collected from ICCR in advance. Already having an experience without passes a week ago, I did not want to take chances this time. My friend agreed to do the honors as he had to go that side of the town to pick up a few things in the morning. So as suggested by his holiness the omnicient Sri Sri Google, he went in search of ICCR @ #1, 12th Main, vasanth Nagar. Fortunately he stopped his bike right in front of building#4, 12th main... not a bad start. The building next to #4 had an address board saying #3, but to his amazement the next building was #32. He could find #2, #5 and #7 but no #1, even after checking the name plates of a dozen other buildings. It was at this moment that he decided to go against the time-tested, evolution-nurtured instincts of his, and ask an elderly lady about building #1.

'I don't know about the building numbers, but what is that you are looking for', she asked.
'ICCR - Indian Council for Cultural Relations', he said.
'Ohhh ICCR.. you should have told me that. It is the third building from the other end', she said with a smile.

Thanking her for the tip he rode towards the said building. What the old lady said was true, ICCR used to be there, but not any more! The security guard for the building had no clue where they moved to. Unable to continue the search, my friend decided to let the old lady know about this before heading back home. She was shocked to hear that ICCR is no more there. She lived on the same street and was unable to accept the fact that things changed next block without her knowledge! But then she wasn't the 'giving-up' kinds. She insisted that my friend wait till the postman comes for his daily rounds, and find out from him what happened. She ordered one of her acquaintances for a chair and a cup of tea for my friend.

So in the next half an hour he got a quick download of her family history, a short lesson on pickling lemon and a lecture-demonstration on art forms of the pre-Rock era. Fortunately the postman came on time, just before my friend got a PhD on 'continuing erosion of value systems in modern society'. The postman announced to the lady's further disappointment that ICCR had shifted from there about an year back. She started apologizing profusely for giving the wrong and outdated information, but was glad that my friend stayed long enough to get the correct directions from the postman. My friend was happy too and he set out to collect the tickets finally. But the new location suggested by the postman was weirder than the first two. This place didn't even have a building.. just a few pits dug out for some construction and a pile of garbage!

As he stood there cursing his luck, the security guard from the nearby building came forward and expressed his desire to help. Fed up with all the help received so far, my friend just said ICCR.

'ICCR used to be here, now they have moved and the building has been demolished for reconstruction', said the guard. ICCR suddenly started sounding like a folk story, an urban legend which doesn't really exists. Everybody's heard about it, but nobody really knows where it is!
'Any idea where they have moved?', asked my eternally optimistic friend.
'They had a board somewhere here with the new address, let me see', he walked towards one of the pits, scolding the person in-charge of the site for not putting up the board outside.

From a pile of metal sheets and iron rods, he finally pulled out a board which read 'ICCR' on the top. Underneath the name it was written on a pasted piece of paper: 'We have moved to 1st Floor, 2nd Main, Palace Road'.
'First floor? But where the f**k is the building number', my friend almost shouted. All this time all he had was a building number, and now when he finally got other details the building number is missing. He had enough for one day!

So, without tickets, we decided to test our luck and walked into NGMA that evening. The whole place was deserted and the band 'Esperanto' was already on with their sound check. They had an interesting sound, a blend of Rudra Veena, Violin, Blues Harp, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Tabala & Mridangam. As always the music did not disappoint. The acoustic guitarist also doubled up as the vocalist; wish he had stuck to his strings and not strained his chords. That was in fact the only pain point the whole evening. We were hardly 30 people in the 80 seater auditorium.. probably the others also searched around for ICCR and the tickets, but gave up.

Ask and ye shall receive, but only if you hang on long enough... and be prepared for a few surprises as well!

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