A lovely walk in the rain....

December 1, 2010

Having reached Chennai and found the weather very un-sunny…cloudy and quite cool….I decided to walk along


and go and get appaLAms (er, wait let me google for that…huh, all I get is


which, I think, is something QUITE different (to me, at least…it’s like googling for Gouda cheese and giving a link to Cheddar!)


Ambika Appalam Store

which is an institution of long standing….

YOW, what a long prelude!

I walked along, thoroughly enjoying:

The weather (though yes, it is STILL too humid for my liking.)

The masses of the Indian Cork flowers that bestrew the road and pavement just outside Vivekananda College. (I picked some up on the way back, and its heady scent lightens my heart.)

All the usual cows and dogs chewing thrown-away banana leaves and their contents on the sides, and sometimes the middle, of the road.

The Pallavan buses roaring past. (Chennai has an excellent bus service.)

As I went past Luz, it started raining in earnest. Aha, I am always well-prepared! Out came my umbrella, and I continued my walk with no abatement of enjoyment…. I enjoyed:

A man waiting for his wife after getting down from a bus, and then proceeding to scold her for something. The lady made her explanation with much waggling of hands…and then the couple proceeded.

Commuters pouring out of the Thirumailai station, all sorts of people, so busy, in such a rush.

The stalls on the side of the KapAleeshwarar Temple, selling toys, glass, plastic and metal bangles, and a variety of household utensils, interspersed with pushcarts selling flowers and vegetables.

The opulent jewellery shops on my left hand side…Nathella Anjaneyulu Chetty and the rest…the two sets of people who visit the right and left side of the road belong to entirely different worlds within the same city!

The call of the rose-ringed parakeets as they fly in and out of the neem trees.

The various items (eg. Ilai vadAm made with puthinA or mint) that are available now in Ambika Stores. Mentally, I ticked off a few items that I’ll buy when I am here next week….I knew I couldn’t carry back too much in the pouring rain.

Coming out, I saw:

The flower-sellers beginning to set out their wares, and expertly spinning the flowers together as they made garlands…which might grace the necks of newlyweds, political leaders…or people on their last journey to the cremation ground…..

Bus no. 12B, which I generally use regularly to go to T.Nagar, and after which a

Tamizh movie

has been named….


VinAyakA temple



How wonderful that the Spanish/Portugese word for light is the name of an area in Mylapore, since the Portugese came here!

The various stalls selling hot milk (I was seriously tempted, with the rain coming down, to have a cup, but knew it would be full of sugar.)

The donkeys belonging to the washermen near the Oliver Road junction, which were standing patiently, wet in the rain…the epitome of patient suffering, in the Tamizh language is, “thuNi moottai thookkara kazhuthai” or “donkey bearing a load of clothes”!

I came back home…washed out my very muddy and wet jeans…and am sitting peacefully, typing this out…

If you are jobless, you can go through some of my

Chennai posts

I realize that though I profess to hate Chennai, I do have a sneaking affection for a city that I have lived in for eleven years the first time, and five years, the second. Though I suspect the pleasant weather, and the ability to have a nice walk in the middle of the afternoon, has a lot to do with my present fram of mind!

Now I have to get into my finery to go to a wedding now…. I hope you liked my word-photograph post!