Thursday, 14 January 2010

Happy Pongal

I'm not quite sure as to why Pongal is celebrated. Different people give me different reasons. But Wiki says that it is the beginning of the harvest festival. And Wiki is never wrong. There is a festive atmosphere all around. The usually grim and serious neighbours of mine actually do know how to laugh. But I am not smiling. No sir. Pongal signifies the start of days getting longer than nights. And in Chennai that is scary. It means that the droplets of sweat on my forehead will be replaced by bucketloads of sweat all over. I won't be able to wear the same shirt twice to work without washing it. I will have to bathe daily. Probably even buy myself a deodrant. Scary prospects.

I finally got myself an internet connection. So I promise to be more regular. I never knew it would take so long. But getting an internet and cable connection in Chennai is harder than getting a green card. The cable operators here don't understand a word of English or Hindi. That is strange considering that half the channels they sell are in those languages. And to anyone who doesn't speak in Tamil they quote twice the rates.

One month in Chennai and I have learnt just one Tamil word. Nanri, which means Thank you. But yesterday I learnt my very first lesson, which will go a long way in making my stay in Chennai a little more peaceful.

Lesson #1: You shouldn't keep your windows open at night.

I always wondered why none of the locals kept their windows open. I thought it was because of the fear of robbers. None of the buildings here have watchmen. The street dogs double up as security guards. Anyways coming back to my open window story, by the time I woke up in the morning I had mosquito bites all over. Even my face wasn't spared. I thought I'd need blood transfusion considering the amount of blood I had lost. I thought I would join a gym here to keep fit, but swatting the mosquitoes everyday before I go to sleep is exercise enough.

Quote for the day: "The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor; he took my measurement anew every time he saw me, while all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected them to fit me." -- George Bernard Shaw.

By the way here are some rangoli pics from my neighbourhood. Hope you like them.

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