Saturday, January 10, 2009

Notes from a vacation

- Did you know Anna Nagar tower in Chennai provides a wonderful 360 degree aerial view of Chennai? All for the royal sum of five rupees per person! Chennai looks super-green from above, I must say.
- Shops in Chennai sell winter clothes. I do not know for winter in which place. As far as I know, Chennai has no winter (or spring or fall for that matter).

- The side berths in current three-tier AC cars in south India are apparently meant to give us Indians a feel of how it used to be when the British used to rule (and be extremely mean to) us. I cannot think of any other reason why any genius would come up with the idea to insert a middle berth between the already teensy space between the upper and lower berths on the side.

- Attending weddings in India is so much fun!

- The mutton in the famous Hyderabad Paradise biriyani is the softest and yummiest I have ever eaten. However, I still think Ponnusamy biriyani wins the overall best biriyani taste award by a whisker (true blue Tam that I am). But nah, this realization did not stop me from thoroughly enjoying three generous sized helpings of Paradise biriyani in one sitting (I had to roll around for the next hour due to inability to walk).

- Hyderabad sells beautiful cultured pearl jewelry. In general, all ethnic stuff (clothes, accessories, footwear, furnishing, deco-items etc. etc.) in India rocks - shopping for them is a divine experience.

- Food in India is also awesome - my tight jeans and gentle pot-belly stand testimony to that. How come Indian restaurants here never manage to quite get the same taste?

- Mumbai's Colaba-Nariman Point-Cuffe Parade-Marine drive area looks breathtakingly beautiful. Its clean, cobbled streets and wide, tree-lined roads made it difficult for me to believe that I was in a bustling metropolis in *India*. My heart ached even more when I thought about the terrible terrorist attacks.

-Mumbai's traffic is a whole lot more well-mannered and regulated than Chennai's traffic. Like my sister said, given its humongous population, no one would get anywhere in Mumbai if they did not follow at least basic traffic rules like sticking to lanes, always using indicators etc. In fact, after spending time in Mumbai I am now even more convinced that someday India will grow to provide all the conveniences of the West.

- Of the very few books I read in India, Srividya Natrajan's 'No onions nor garlic' was a great pick and a hoot from start to finish. Go read it, especially if you are Tamilian (some of the references are very language/culture specific) - unless you are one of those easily-offended types.

- Some Trichy restaurants have interesting-sounding dishes like Pomegranite (that must be one hard fruit!) and vegetable stud nan (has it been working out :-D?) on its menu!

- I had forgotten how stunning some of the sculptures in Mahabalipuram are. I am definitely spending at least a day there next time round.

- Jude Law looks a lot like Aamir Khan when seen from a 3/4ths face angle.

- International flights from Chennai usually have much better tasting food than flights to Chennai. Yup, even when there is transit in between in Hong Kong. Weird.

- I still love watching the early episodes of friends. I thought I had seen *too* much of the sitcom. But I laughed as hard as ever while watching six back to back episodes of friends from Season 3 on the flight.

- 1 month India time = 10 seconds US time. That is the only sane reasoning I can come up with for explaining how my vacation went off in a jiffy.


Laksh said...

Welcome back! Nice roundup of your trip!

vishesh said...

ha now that is something i have to do,climb up the tower...ya Chennai is green,people actually don't realize it ;P otherwise it will be way way hotter...

SK said...

Looks like you had fun!
Btw, shouldnt it be 10 sec in India = 1 month in US?

Floridora said...

Has the look of a wonderful vacation! Are your photos available on Flickr?

ACE !! said...

Is the elephant pic, from Pondicherry?

Anonymous said...

weddings? or engagements?

shadowywaters said...

Nice post. Looks like you had a huge Bharat Darshan :) From Bombay to Chennai :-)

Going a little tangent to your blog post -
I like your statement - "In fact, after spending time in Mumbai I am now even more convinced that someday India will grow to provide all the conveniences of the West." We need more self belief.

Also, this reminds me of a recent argument that we were having with a couple of non-mumbai friends - where we said - "We already had the facilities or we knew of them before with came out to the west" and they thought we were big snobs who bragged a lot and they didnt believe that what we said was true!

Archana said...

Laksh, thank you :-)!

Vishesh - climb and tell me how it is!

SK - well, you could put it that way too. I meant it in the sense that a whole month passed off like 10 seconds - make sense?

Floridora - no pics of flickr - the huge egomaniac that i am, there are barely any people-less pictures :-(!

ACE - yup! Wow, how did you figure out?

Anonymous - um, both?

Shadowywaters - welcome aboard! After seeing the "nice" part of Mumbai, I shall yield to your"snobber" :-)!