Thursday, April 09, 2009

Nostalgia???....NO NOSTALGIA!!!

I am currently in the home country for a supposed vacation. But here, home country no more feels like home & no need to mention there is no vacation.
On the bright side, my daughter turned ONE here, with all friends & relatives closeby.

Things have changed here in Chennai. Less than a million people mentioned that to me which I refused to believe. Even worse, I was imagining the Chennai when I was a kid. I remember those days when I used to visit the temple next door with my neighbor everyday, especially on Exam days!
When I went to work, I worked on the afternoon shift. So, I don't much remember the crowd or heat as I was in Tidel Park most of the times. On other times, I would go to my destination & be back home on my loyal Scooty.
Now, it is a different story. I don't have my loyal friend around. So, I rely on the currently famous "call-taxi". It does the job. It has not created a hole in my wallet, but I can feel the heat. But it is inevitable. I have a one year old that has not yet had her 1 yr shot. I have no intentions of pushing her into a vulnerable situation. So, my recent friend, "an AC call fact, anything AC". Well, she is not in the AC all the time, so, she does manage to get some fresh air in my quiet home in the heart of the city[:)].
Anyways, the reason I wanted to jab a few here was to mention the evolutionary changes the city & people have undergone. Something big has happened in the last 3 yrs. I don't know. More people seemed to have jumped from Mars or some other Galaxy. They are not from here. They look different. They have funny hairstyles, not to mention hair color. All of them carry cell phones that ring crazy tunes. Some from our planet have that too. They all appear to have a lot of money. They spend money on "ripping songs from a CD to their cell phones"(there is a shop to get that done, ugh). Some people simply refuse to talk in their mother tongue. I ask them something in Tamil. They reply strictly in English.

Coming to the place as such, Singara Chennai is now a city of fly-overs. many of them!!!
But some of them(not all) have actually aided in the flow of traffic. Some have obviously crippled the already existing space.
But what needs to be done needs to be done. And things are happening. But, i just realized something. Whatever infrastructure is given, you can take it with what you know.
Some of the roads are definitely getting better.
I see many more flyovers on the coming.
A bank with 4 people take care of more than 200 people a day.
There are so many people everywhere. No privacy or no "my space" concept. Well, you might say I expect privacy as a right from being in the US. But no. I don't remember Chennai being so crowded when I was little. So much has changed in the last 10 years. The numbers have increased: the people, the cars on the road, the two-wheelers, the pollution, the noise, the crowd at temples.
But I am surprised at the cool breeze that hits me in the evenings. It is so welcome. I admire the temple gopuram. But the telephone & cable wires that obstruct its true glory, not so much.

Cell phone is the most affordable "friend" today. Chennai is marching rapidly toward the West.
Ladies are definitely dressing more unconventionally, but men are still perverts. What pleasure they get out of eve-teasing or singing a song at a me sure!

I wanted to write a short post. But have blabbered quite a bit.
In short, I did not expect to find the place I am in today, but I would still label it "liveable".
People are still friendly & helping.
There are many instances that have touched me or have made me think.
I am doing things that I would not have done otherwise.
I am empathizing more. I feel poverty more & strongly feel I need to do something about it at least in my own sphere.

I can never forget the four kids that were behind me & my family at Vaitheeswaran Koil when we were there to get S's head shaved. I got them food, alright. But, they would have to depend on someone else for the next day or the days to follow, UNTIL someone does something.
It got me & my hubby thinking. We had just tended to their basic need for one meal. How do we end poverty? Education & civilization was the only answer we came up with!
*heavy heart*