I am travelling by auto to work. Time around 6.15 a.m. The roads are empty and I notice stores on both sides of the road - yes, for once they are not obscured by multiple rows of vehicles stuck in a jam. I notice one particular shop and make a mental note to visit it one of these days. And then I notice another. Suddenly a thought occurs to me. I would have to ask Google uncle for the exact location to get to the first one. I don't know the 'relative' location of the shop to other shops or to known trees or other features. Once I come out of the first shop, I would be hard pressed to remember whether I have to go down the road or up to get to the next one. Google uncle ki jai! What I see whenever I go down a street are the glass facades with displays. - each a part of one chain or the other. Even the occasional 'non-chain' store looks the same. I don't even notice the name of the store. What ever happened to the 'character' of individual shops? One never needed to look at the board to figure out whether one was where one wanted to go. There was a distinct landmark for every shop. It was next to this shop, or that opposite that other store. There was this huge tree just outside this one. And what was more, shops stayed where they were for decades. There was no confusing them. Today one never realizes that a store has migrated until one goes looking for it and finds something else in its place. The joys of 'progress' and 'globalization', I suppose. Realization slaps my still somnolescent senses ... with the intensity of a wet cloth being hit across my face ..... change is the only unchanging reality of our existence.