The first prerequisite to enjoy oneself in Chennai is that it should be a holiday so that the regular traffic is missing; the second, that it is cloudy and cool as the regular heat and humidity turn me into an air-conditioned-room-occupying slothful creature, barely able to lift a hand to click the remote or the keyboard.
But today, both conditions were met at Chennai..and even better, two of my close friends were off from work; one works for Deutsche Software and the other works with dyslexic children. Both are fun-loving women. , alas, had to work today...her "Id" holiday is tomorrow, not today!
But I cant really let a day go by without seeing my dear Itsalouwelylife, so when KM got ready to go to the airport to take a flight back to Blr (he will return tomorrow for the wedding) I decided to walk the 5 km to Itsa’s home. I reached there in time for a steaming tumbler-damara of hot filter coffee and the softest dosais I have eaten for a LONG time.
Then she dropped me back at my guest house as she went to work, and I did a little more walking aroung in the area (behind Ethiraj College) and did some birding...It was amazing to see two mynahs popping in and out of their nest,and I could hear the nestlings though I couldn't see them, in a hole in a palm tree.
I then sat and did the Indian Express and Eco Times crossword and watched the Thein KiNNam program dedicated to the memory of the actress SriVidya. By this time, my Deutsche Bank friend came over and we decided to walk a little more, to try and find a cobbler to repair my torn gold lame sandals. Ah, in India you will find these men on the street corners, and for five rupees, I have my lovely favourite gold lame sandals good as new! By the time we walked back to the guest house, my other friend also arrived, and happily we all had a light but del.icio.us lunch!
We then went to visit my oldest friend. This was G's grandmother, who is 46 years older than I am, and at the age of 95, would sing with me, and crocheted a set of coasters for me that I still treasure. At 98, though, a fall has made her a little infirm, but she still enjoyed the songs I sang for her and was disappointed that we wouldn't have anything to eat! She used to play Boggle with me and G, but this time, alas, she wasn't feeling up to it.
We then decided to oor shutthify and theru porukkify...my non-Indian friends, those are untranslatable Tamizh-Englishisms...roughly, go around the place and check things out....in Pondy Bazaar. HOW I wished I had my camera! The mind-boggling variety of things that are available...just imagine, I bought some mop"heads", a swimsuit, some nailpolish, and some bindis....the colour and the smells...of coffee from Balaji Bhavan, of the wonderful flowers at the flower stalls, the smell of the sugarcane being crushed...Pondy Bazaar is generally VERY crowded but today, thanks to Id, many of the shops were shut and it was pretty OK. Of course we had a tumbler-damara of coffee each at Balaji.
G then pushed off (we will be meeting for the wedding festivities in the evening) and I came home to J's place, where we are sitting in the companionable silence of long-standing friendship as I type and she catches up on housework.
....I must, next time introduce you to J, at least...she too is a software person and you will get along like a house on fire with her, too! You will start feeling that Chennai, no matter what its temperature, is a VERY cool place!
It is pouring cats and dogs right now so bang goes my plan for walking back from T Nagar to Commander in Chief Road....oh well, I am off to face the demands of some auto fellow now!