Today we were back to the same scene that used to be so common more than a decade ago. Pavan was driving and I was trying to find the street from the map, I was holding. Yeah! I realize we are in the GPS generation. But, Pavan being Pavan, never gets out of the house without knowing exactly where his destination is. He never trusts the software in cases where he feels he could make a better decision of the route. With respect to directions, Pavan has this uncanny ability to find his way to civilization even if he is completely lost in the forest. So, today again, we got the printout of the streets close to our destination and set out to reach and as we closed in…we had to look for a street.
“Can you tell me, how many blocks to Nothingham Way?” he had asked me.
“Where are we?” I asked.
“On East Main Street” he said.
Looking at the map
“I can’t find that”, I almost shrieked…getting to my usual state in such situations.
WIthout even turning his head, Pavan pointed to the area of the map, almost putting his finger on name of the street. This had always been the case since the time I knew him. We used to go on these long drives and he would be fully equipped with his map-o-rama. When not driving, I used to get the job of keeping track of which street is where, or, how many blocks to reach a street.
Unfailingly, I had always failed to find the street on the map, which had been there since that paper got printed. I would claim the street didn’t exist. He as usual, would continue driving and without even turning his head, would lift that finger of his and bring it to rest on the paper I was holding and magically the name of the street would be printed there.
“How did I miss that?” I would think.
“How in the world he knew where to point?” I would think too.
Now, changing the scene to our home. I spend a great deal of time to make sense of our home. Cleaning the kitchen counter tops, replacing the books and toys and crayons and the bazillions toys that were not supposed to move out of the toy room only to see them get misplaced within an hour. Fold away tons of laundry only to find the same ton of clothes appear back in the laundry. Wash the stove of the sticky stuff , clean that stuff from the microwave and many many many many more such stuff. Once done, I don’t think anybody would be able to show me even a speck on the floor that I moped or a dot on the counter top I wiped. Sometimes, when I am unable to do these things I depend on the cleaning lady and other times, Pavan agrees to do a teeny tiny bit for me.
All the time, they are trying to help me, I am busy looking at all the dots and specks and stains they missed. All those things just pop out like gigantic dirt particles in front of my eyes. I try to ignore them. Sincerely! I really try! But, I am unable to do that. Without turning towards the spot, I would be able to point out all the 1001 specks they left behind. I remember, when my mom had cleaned up the kitchen floor during her visit to our place around Richa’s delivery, I just couldn’t ignore that tiny stain that she forgot to wipe out. I had bent and cleaned that up..
“You have eagle eyes” my mom had remarked in her language.
But, why are these eagle eyes not effective when it comes to reading maps? I am almost sticking that paper to my nose trying hard to find that street I’m supposed to find. Maybe, that’s the reason I never find it..because, I’m sticking it to my nose. Whatever the reason, the same guy who is so good at finding the street on the map written in the tiniest of print, even while driving…is not able to see all that dirt that is getting left behind while cleaning? The women who can find the tiniest of dirt particle when cleaning is unable to find the name of that street on a map whose print is much bigger than those specks of dust?!
Perspective or Wiring?
Whatever it is. There is something in all of us that makes us ignore what we are not interested in. Or, we look at things the way we want to see it. For example, take Richa.
She ran to me when I picked her up at school, with her project as usual…
“Look at my project mama” she said
“I made a sun, I made grass”, she said
“Wow!!!!” I had exclaimed. I had understood all that.
Then she had said
“I made an ee-ch Mama”
Just finding scribbles on the paper..
“You made an itch?” I had questioned her trying to understand what the itch was and she had repeated the same.
Then, I found the itch….it was done in red and it looked like this
It had been so obvious for her.
Perspective or Wiring?!