I don’t believe in God. Sometimes I raise a question in my self whether I am right. But some events make me to think there is an individual spirit which carries us. One such happened to me today. How shall I name the day, a bad day or an experience day. I woke at 11 am today. I had been in home for almost a week and I wanted to go out somewhere. I generally go out with my friend Harish. He is suffering from fever for past a week. This is why I had no chance to move out. I had two tasks to do. One is I had to drop a cheque in my bank which is next to my street. I can also get the cash from the respected bank which is around 10 kms away before 3pm. Second thing is I had to get my sister’s bike from her friend’s house. She had kept there last night and her friend dropped her home in car since it was late at night. I had people to do both the jobs. But I thought these are the chances to go out, at least I could have a breeze outside. So I Googled the Chennai map and located the route. That bank was near the fort railway station which is 6 stops away from the station near to my house.
There was a long Q. I stood there about 5 minutes to get the ticket. I had to wait in the platform for 15 minutes and it was really boring I tell you. I couldn’t bear that more than five very slow moving minutes. The only entertainment you can have there is unsurprisingly staring at the girls. I generally don’t stare at girls for a long time since it might embarrass me as well as them. But I had no option, I searched for a girl and I found one. She was getting down from the staircase. A really beautiful girl she was. She wore a pale pink slawar kameez with white leg ins. Her hair fell into her face covering half of her face. If you want me to describe more poetically I would say it was a half moon and the half moon instantly changed to full moon when she pulled her hair back and placed over the ear where I noticed a pearl earring dancing to rhythm of her walk . A half moon changing to a full moon in less than a second can only happen in the railway station where I was standing. I forgot my girlfriend and her kiss I had few minutes ago. She passed my side and stood 10 feet away from me. She wore my college tag over her neck. Lucky juniors. No girl was like her in my batch. Then the villain came horning, I mean the train.
I got in it and stood near the door. I saw people filled with poverty, depression, and bundles of sorrows. Few college students were enjoying their own comedies. Few were sleeping. Few men were holding their cell phones talking loudly to balance the train sound. A blind came in selling some snacks. In another fifteen minutes I reached the Fort station where I had to get down. I came across the road. I saw some tall buildings newly built and few vintage buildings built by the British Empire. If you ask me which I love the most, I would say honestly I love the buildings built by the British. My Google was out of focus then. I dint remember the direction. So I asked an auto-rickshaw person.
“Where do I find the Union bank of India?” He looked me puzzled as if I have asked him the route for lion’s den. I moved from there in 5 seconds even without a clue. I came near an auto. A man was lying on the back seat covering his face with his elbow. I asked him and he replied without face contact
“Go straight, take right in the signal and go straight. You can see a huge dome towards your right side after a few minutes’ walk. Right opposite to that dome you can find a street. That is Armenian Street. You will find the entire banks there”
I moved from there. In Google map the bank was very near to the railway station but the route he had said should be around 4 kms. I took the cheque from my wallet to check the address. It was Union bank of India, main branch and nothing else. So I trusted the rickshaw guy and doubted the Google map. I mentally set my mind to walk. It was 2:15 then. Sun shined on my face. The whole area was messed up. Too many shops, people all over. I like to walk but walking at 2:15 is terrible. I walked 2 kilometers and reached Armenian street. I saw the dome he referred, really huge. British architecture is truly awesome. I could see the State bank of India welcoming me. It was the first building while entering. The road was less crowded. The road was wide enough, cars parked both the sides and there were few shops over the pavement. As the rickshaw guy said I saw the entire banks in one place. There were few insurance companies on the road. I enjoyed watching the old buildings there. The buildings should be more than 100 years old. I read all the signage boards looking for Union bank of India. I finished walking 15 minutes around one and half a kms. I had crossed around 40 banks. I was really tired and thought of never coming back here without a vehicle. I reached a four road junction and had a doubt and enquired a person there.
“Brother where is Union bank of India?”
There were two other fellows with him and all the three started discussing with themselves. I was little confused whether to stay there or leave the place. They continued their discussion. One said to the other
“It’s this side”
“No it’s this side” said another showing the opposite direction.
“I haven’t seen such a bank in this area” the third one said laughing.
It was like laughing at me for walking all the way in the hot sun like a donkey.
People there started coming nearby and many started to discuss themselves. In few seconds there where around 10- 15 people around me. How shall I portrait them? So loveable and kind hearted, helping me or workless fellows who wanted to eat their time for nothing. At last they came to a conclusion. Everyone told me to go straight. By that time I lost hope reaching the bank by 3pm and I wanted to go back. But I couldn’t ignore them so I walked forward. I was hungry and dint want to take risk eating the roadside food. I saw a board starting with U and ran forward. I ended with disappointment. It was united bank of India. It was a dead-end where I found my bank. I saw my clock, It showed 3pm. I ran inside. There were no people except the officials. I saw nobody in the Q and was so happy, God favors me at least this. I gave the cheque to the manager.
“This cheque doesn’t belong to this bank. Go to the main branch” he said relaxed
I was taken aback, and I said myself “yes the Google is right”
“Where is the main branch?”
“You will find a signal near the fort station, take a right, it’s the third building”
I dint want to tell him that I came from the signal he was talking about. I felt dreadful about my stupidity. I came out, stood there for few seconds. The rickshaw guy sleeping on the back seat came to my mind. I felt like slapping him for guiding me wrongly. I also thought it’s my mistake too. I saw the way I had to go. I could see the main road very far away. I saw a dome there very tiny to see from here and I started to walk. I wanted to hire an auto-rickshaw. “No you had to have your price for being such a fool, so walk” I scolded myself.
“Why the hell god had made me to walk in this road for no use? What I gained doing this?” I asked me
“An experience” my spirit told me.
What can I do with this experience? I can only find the entire banks here. With this knowledge as a film maker I can only write a story where my protagonist robs the entire banks with his team, capturing the Armenian Street. The title can be ARMENIAN STREET. But this is even nice. I haven’t seen a place filled with more than 50 banks. Imagine the money in this street alone. Making a film with this backdrop is not a bad idea I thought. I reached the main road and in another 5 minutes walk I reach the signal. I dropped the idea of finding the real bank again and I wanted to go back home. I crossed the signal and I turned back casually to check there is no vehicle behind me. Oh my goodness I saw the big signage with bold letters stating UNION BANK OF INDIA. I was 3:30 then and the security dint allowed me inside the bank. I explained him the whole story and he helped me to get the cash.
I had a nice experience and wanted more. So I took a local bus instead of taking a cab to koyembedu to take my sister’s vehicle. The bus experience was totally different.
But I cannot forget the Armenian Street and I might come with a really good bank robbery story soon.