I wanna save humanity, not you!

Culture shock, not. I report from the heart of the suburbs of urban sprawl adjacent to what was once not THAT proximal to what was then Madras city. Maybe that name change was in order after all, Chennai is not Madras. Madras was, a long time ago. welcome to now, Chennai. Been taking a lot of pics, but obviously I can’t upload  any here. But never you mind, if you’re looking for cliched pics of poverty highlighted, piss off. Those have been done to death and frankly, this country is not another Zoo enclosure aight?

Of course I admit, there are a few problems, and the booming birth rate is one. From what I’ve seen things are much better now than 7 years ago. Skyscrapers have come up and I guess you could call it tourist-friendly, though just barely. If you’re looking for the familiar western franchises and brands and food outlets, you’re in luck. Hard luck, but hey cant you compromise?  It’s all here, Pizza Hut, McD’s and even Subway, with unique menus! Can you imagine a Subway with more vegetarian offerings than non-veg? Only in India 🙂

 Still waiting for the major op that may or may not come, but in any case I must assume it will for it is my purpose, my raison d’etre for being back in India. Bought a pair of specs, quite cheap considering. 10 grand flat for Esprit [I think] with Transitions and Crizal coating. Not bad if I say so myself. I would have invested in a good pair of Oakley’s if I’d seen it but they didnt have the models I wanted! Besides it was 12K JUST for the frame. Shite man, that’s a middle class person’s half-month salary!

 I must admit, the public buses are a joy to watch. I wonder how thin sheets of aluminium manage to take daily batterings for years on end. Seems like the local heavy auto industry never outgrew the matchbox fascination…Tata and Ashok Leyland, EVOLVE!

The greatest surprise is my greatest shame. The inability to reciprocate. Sme of my relatives, cousins, uncles etc, I haven’t seen in a decade [and I’ve only lived out 2] but they remember me, and they actually…[well how do you put it succintly?] give a damn! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate them or anything….I just never really gave them any more importance than I would to any other human being. [Please? No snide remarks or objective quantifications!] I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t get this whole blood relations thing. It’s remarkably sweet and a very lovely feeling to feel cared for but I feel threatened by it. Relatives are people too, but why are they more than just people? They’re in the monkeysphere, fair enough, but not any closer than the locus of my thumb about the tip of my nose [personal space people!] right? 😦 will I ever get the point? But anyway, they’re really cool people, I’m sorry I didn’t know them better before this.

 As I was saying, India has changed a lot, but a lot more can change. Education, birth rates, employment opportunities yada yada, but the FIRST thing I personally would do is bloody change the timbre and pitch of the automobile horns. It’s commonly heard, but you never quite get used to it. I swear it’s so loud and deep and shocking that it has the potential to induce spontaneous mutation. It’s as effective as a defibrillator, no wonder nobody dies on public transport.

Road conditions are rather horrible; trunk roads have far too few lanes and getting anywhere is only possible with aggressive driving, luck and a hell lotta guts.

I gotta go now. Signing off, yours sincerely.


About this entry