A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for January 21st, 2011

Madras

Posted by Pepper on January 21, 2011

..or call it Chennai. I always prefer calling cities by the names I’ve heard as a child. In all honesty, this is a city I was quite indifferent to. The media had bad things to say about the place. Mostly. The citizens of this place built temples and worshiped movie stars. I didn’t ever think I could connect to a place like that. And then there was our man, Chetan Bhagat. He had some interesting descriptions of the city in his book. People wore lungis on the streets? Alcohol was so hard to get? Meat was such a no no? Mentalities reeked of chauvinism? How can anybody live freely in such a conservative environment?

And then I decided to give the city a chance. The place became special to me. It is where Mint grew up. I decided to try and wipe out all prejudices that had been scrawled all over my mind over time. And when I viewed the city with no tinted shades blinding my eyes, I was  pleasantly surprised. The city is like any other metro. It has interesting places for the youth to hang out at. The young crowd there has the same lifestyle and attitude as they do in other big cities. The ambiance in some of the swanky new joints is very interesting, and very urban. And lungis on streets? What was that? I have no idea why such an established author would paint such a biased and unfair picture of the city.

I can actually say I enjoyed my time there. I think my in-laws house is huge. There is some joy in running around on the stairs, up and down, multiple times a day. I also spent some time bonding with the mom in law. I’ve always been intimidated by her. Perhaps cos I am so vastly different from her image of the ideal daughter in law. But I can see the efforts she takes to accommodate my personality and lifestyle. And I really appreciate it. So when I could dress, speak and live the way I usually do, living there was actually fun. I did try and help her in the kitchen, lest I am slated as a bahu from Baghban. But most of the time she wouldn’t allow me to do much and I’d end up getting everything in hand. Perhaps because we don’t live there and only visit once in a while?

Mint left for the US a few days back, and I actually spent a few days in Madras without him. And surprisingly, those were fun too. I came back to Bombay yesterday in an early morning flight. And of course, there was some drama at the airport. My flight was scheduled to take off at 5:40 am and so I reached the airport at around 4:35 am, thinking I have sufficient time considering it is a domestic flight. I walk to the check in counter and find it shut, only to be informed that the flight timing had been changed to 4:50 am. All passengers had been called and informed about this change, but since I didn’t book my tickets from India, I hadn’t provided a phone number and could not be contacted. After a lot of WTF moments, threats and arguments, they did let me board that flight. Yes, I’ll go on and say it. Why do such things happen to me?

I have two more weeks in Bombay, before I leave. I hope to savour the food, the moments, the people, the weather, and then head back, recharged, happy and content.

Posted in A penny for my thoughts | 35 Comments »

 
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