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I’ve always admired the mailmen and women of India’s vast postal network. That they are able to navigate the country’s labyrinthine and often chaotic sprawl of addresses पता (pataa sing.), is nothing short of a feat.
Many a times, rural addresses bear no more than the name of the person, with other landmarks like “next to a temple” मंदिर के पास(mandir ke paas) or “behind the school” पाठशाला के पीछे (paathshaala ke peeche) as part of the address. In places like Bangalore there are main streets and cross streets and often the intersection of 4th Main and 6th Cross may not logically be where you expect it to be.
However, the thing that I love about India is how any passerby will willingly drop what he/she is doing to help you find your destination. The local paan shopपान की दुकान / पनवारी is always a lighthouse if you are trying to locate a person or address.
And oh, in India, the floor that’s at ground level is called the “ground floor.” The first floor is the first elevated floor. In the U.S., the ground-level floor would be the 1st floor, the first elevated floor would be the 2nd floor, and so forth.
Some words related to finding your way are given below. Be sure to ask for help by saying:
भाईसाहब / बहनजी, ये पता कहाँ मिलेगा?
Bhaisahab/behenji, yeh pata kahaan milega?
Sir/madam, where can I find this address?
|किधर है||kidhar hai||where is|
|कौनसे माले पे||kaunse maale pe||on which floor|
|चौक||chowk||plaza/town square/village square|
|चाल||chawl||multi-storeyed housing with several small flats on each floor and common bathrooms/showers at the end of each floor/hallway|
|दूर||door (long o sound)||far|
|सोसायटी||society||a building or group of residential buildings|
|पान की दुकान/पनवारी की दुकान||paan ki dukaan /panvaari dukaan/panvaari||betel leaf shop|