World of India!: Misery and heartache in Chennai e

World of India!

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Misery and heartache in Chennai

HudsonDino has written a nice piece about his travel to Chennai. I must confess that whenever I see a foreign tourist on the street, I feel a twinge of pity for him, for all the travails and shocks I know she has to endure or is enduring -the constant haggling, the ever present danger of being cheated in every transaction, and in some cases, out right stealing and even physical violence. As a foreign tourist, who is trying to taste the REAL India on the street, you would have to bear and beat all of this, make no mistake. It is only if you are the five star variety, can you afford to buy 'protection'.

And in Chennai, why just for a foreigner, even Indians who are not native to Tamil Nadu routinely face a torrid time. In fact, I remember saying to a visiting English colleague, who I had taken out for dinner once, that I felt as much a foreigner in Chennai as she must feel. I have lived in Chennai in two different stints for almost a year and, I must confess I hated the place. It was probably largely due to the fact that I was quite lonely in Chennai,staying away from family, friends and living alone for the first time in my life- than the city and the people itself. But the Chennai autowallah (See pic of the perenially not working Auto meter!) and the insularity which any one who does not understand Tamil feels in Chennai , did not make life easy. Then there were other minor, but collectively important irritants. The beer (yes - even Kingfisher, tastes different); some of the better alcohol brands are completely unavailable;finding a woman who is easy on the eye is awfully difficult anywhere; the weather is muggy and gnaws at your energy while you get haplessly sweaty and wet down to your underwear, if you walk for even 10 minutes, outdoors; the food can get dreary after a while- how long can you appreciate sambar, curd and rice ?; Chennaites have this dreadful concept of 'private' parties rather than going out to a public party and when I stayed there, affordable North Indian food was not so widely available, as I have heard it is now.

So when actress Meera Vasudevan says "Come and explore with me, the real Chennai Macha" on Discovery Travel & Living, I for one, would say " No, Thanks. Not again"!

But what the heck- HundsonDino loved it, at the end of it all. I am glad his story had a happy ending.

He must be the hardy type.

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