Pet Peeve #284.
Here are some addresses that I have used in the past:
18640 Pruneridge Ave
Cupertino CA 95051
2345 Dwight Way
Berkeley CA 94704
1620 MLK Jr Way
Berkeley CA 94709
Here’s a typical address I used to mail a letter to today in India.
150 B / 2, IT Highway,
Old Mahabalipuram Road,
Chennai – 600 096
Mr Ram Narayan
Sai Krupa Building
Opp. Liberty Cinema
And It’s the small stuff, stupid (once again).
Finally, The Tathagata on the “It’s the small stuff, stupid.”
6 thoughts on “And the Address”
🙂 Talking of small stuff I remember this:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand. And a Heaven in a Wild Flower. Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand. And Eternity in an hour. …
This is a wonderful observation. I recall encountering this many years ago when I applied to universities in the US for graduate school. The space provided for addresses was almost never adequate.
It is not that systemmatic address system has never been tried here. It is we who subvert any sincere efforts with our ingenuity.
I remember about 20 years when Gomti Nagar was being developed in Lucknow, addresses were pretty systemmatic. 550 Street A, Gomti nagar etc. However very soon someone decided to bifurcate his plot and so it became 550/1 and 550/2. Then, someone built some paan shop in front and it turned to 550/1 Ka. Some more additions and alterations by neighbors , and now numbers soon become meaningless. The only thing that works now is “near hanumaan mandir, in front of paan shop etc.”
It is not that proper numbering per se is difficult. It is sustaining that system, which is the real challenge. People continue to modify and alter their plans with impunity. You only have to enter the bylanes of a mohalla to realize that addresses are in perpetual flux. Even perfectly designed systems cannot work in such conditions. The root cause of the problem lies in our law and order enforcement. Unless we have a society that respects and enforces rule of law, even minor improvements, such as these will continue to elude us.
Another peculiar twist to the issue is given by the phenomenon of encroachment. New slums periodically keep coming on vaccant lands and then periodically getting demolished. What sort of systemmatic numbering can be done in this situation? Moreove barring the city limits, people construct their houses on their own. No one takes any approval of any municipality when constructing their house in a mofussil town. No wonder a significant number of these houses do not have any number. Their only recognizable address is “near hanumaan mandir”.
You have not addressed the root cause. In a small town or village in India the address is irrelevant. You can ask for anyone by name and probably get escorted there to boot. In towns and cities the political parties use street renaming and renumbering to manipulate the electoral rolls. This is how you suddenly find that your name is not in the roll after living in the same place for 50 years. Vote bank politics mandate enmass empowerment of large below the horizon populations at the behest of political masters. Hence the confusion is deliberate and aids what is described very colourfully in Bihar as ‘Booth Management’.With the election commision getting better at its job, this will be very important moving forward so dont hold your breath.
>> This is how you suddenly find that your name is not in the roll after living in the same place for 50 years.
How come slum-dwellers are almost always there on the list ??
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