Sharjah and skyscrapers go together. Even people may find it difficult to identify their own work place due to the look-alike factor in the emirate. The Vice-Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University, P.Maruthamuthu, who was in Sharjah last week to attend the `India Education Exhibition,' literally had an educative experience.

The Vice-Chancellor, who went for a morning walk was in for a shock, since he could not identify his place of stay on his return.

Despite some frantic attempts, he could not locate the building and only after he contacted his local hosts on telephone was he able to reach the right place.

"The Sharjah I visited a few years ago was totally different now. The high-rise buildings are all similar and it takes effort to remember our building," he says. But at the conference he was impressed and the facilities in classrooms were beyond Indian imagination, Dr. Maruthamuthu feels.

Returning back to Madurai, he is clear that barring the shock during the morning walk, the city of Sharjah was the ideal place for opening a distance education centre.

From Shastry V Mallady in Madurai