Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My Chennai Visit

Yes, yes, I know I have been missing from this blog (though whether I have been missed is the more important question, in my opinion) but that’s because I was in Chennai, dear reader, didn’t you know? Well, I am not going to bore you with a detailed chronological account of my Chennai visit but will restrict myself to the highlights, as I seem to do with cricket nowadays.

Friday, 6.45 AM: Jogged on the road next to the Elliots beach for an hour. Hadn’t planned on doing that, but when I got up in the morning and saw that the night rain had left behind a blanket of coolness in the air, I just couldn’t resist it and went out in my Lee Coopers since I hadn’t brought my Reeboks along. It was a good run, my first long one on a tar surface. And though it was cool, it was still pretty humid and by the time I returned home by around 8.15, I was drenched down to my socks.

Friday, 6 PM: Caught up with an old BITSian friend after almost six years. We discussed the travails of getting married as easily as we might have discussed a sadistic professor or a boring course eight years ago. Some things don’t change but some have.

Friday, 8 PM: Sis came down and I offered to finance any shopping requirements. So we went to four shops, looked at 203 tops, 77 skirts and 52 other items of female clothing and I, surprisingly, had a good time. She finally settled on a grotesque looking metal ring, which covered half of her finger and vaguely blamed me for necessitating her to buy a new wardrobe to go with that ring. Mom had a small heart attack when I mentioned I had bought her a ring, she had visions of a diamond or two slipping out of my wallet, but I assured her that it cost only Rs. 135.

Saturday, 10.30 AM: Visit to Burma Bazaar, Parrys Corner, along with couple of cousins and one of their hubbies to shop for cheap pirated CDs. Bought about 8 CDs each having at least 3 movies on them for 500 bucks. If the CDs work like they are supposed to, it’s quite a bargain, me thinks. Some good old westerns, war movies and Hitchcocks in that bunch. Don’t know when I’ll get to watch them though. It’s been some time since I have kept my home theatre busy, its getting wasted, bit like me.

Saturday, 5 PM: Went to TVK Nagar, where lots of our stuff is packed and stored in that house over there. Spent a couple of hours rummaging through my cartons and old papers looking for a short story that I written when I was 14, titled, “The Boy with the Gun” (*smile at the thought*). Couldn’t find it and was extremely disappointed but chanced upon some of my old school report cards from the time I was five years old, patted myself on the back quite a few times as I went through my scores and the comments from my teachers. Laughed a few loud evil laughs when I went through my sisters’. Was lucky she wasn’t around.

Saturday, 11 PM: Went for nice long late night stroll on the beach. Stared at the black expanse spewing out those white reams for quite some time, as the silent salty wind ruffled my hair. Then spoke to a friend on the phone for more than an hour. When I reached home, I realised I had forgotten my sis’ Scooty at the beach and went all the way back to get it.

Sunday, 9 AM: Being the function day, it was quite hectic. Took some photographs with my new camera till the time I was given charge of the family Camcorder which occupied me for a good couple of hours more. There’s some hidden potential a la Nagesh Kukunoor waiting to be discovered, I think.

Sunday, 11 AM: TV Sankarnarayanan, one of the leading names in the Carnatic music circles who also happened to be a friend of my uncle’s turned up for the function and decided to sing and give his blessings to my cousin, attending whose ‘upanayanam’(sacred thread ceremony) was the main objective of my visit. I do not understand classical music but his clear voice sang a song, which seemed to me full of sorrow, hope and joy. And when he invoked the blessings of the gods and my aunt who had passed away many years ago, my uncle and many relatives of mine had tears in their eyes. Yes, I got it on tape.

Sunday, 3 PM: Rounded up three of my cousins hubbies, borrowed my uncle’s Honda City and went looking for some cold beer in town. Since there wasn’t much time before I left, we settled on some warm beer from one of the regular wine shops, went to the beach, rolled up the windows and drank. Cribbed about Sehwag’s form, Bangalore’s infrastructure problems and the reservation issue.

P.S. The worst part of the whole visit was my Air Deccan flight at 2100 hrs. from Hyd to Chennai. The air inside the plane was stale and stinked. Another half-hour and I would have puked. I will never take that flight again.

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