Chennai a land of large things. Huge, larger than life, cut outs of politicians and kitschy film posters both staring from great heights at the commoner. The film stars have a special place in peoples hearts probably equal to God. People pronounce an extra `a' with all words ( well almost) where none is required. Can you imagine how my name would be pronounced if they could with an extra “A” ?:)

Chennai has perpetual water shortages since I can remember, and old wars with neighboring states over rivers and boundaries.

The jasmine flower is seen in almost every hairdo of the Chennai dweller, its smell bewitching and enticing. You see this flower in heaps at every street corner. Chennai is about filter kapi connoisseurs who will just as easily indulge in a cup of cappuccino at one of the thriving coffee lounges.

Chennai Mahabalipuram still has ancient fishing villages ( akin to Chimbai of Bandra) and these share the same space as the new age sedans and the nike-clad joggers. Chennai is quaint, bemusing and demands affection in return for an array of unexpected sights,sounds and flavours.

Then there is Saravana Bhavana
This was recommended by SimpleVinni to me. It is a hugely renowned food chain (its like finding an ATM my colleague from Chennai said) and I had no clue of it. Saravana Bhavan was started in 1982 by a grocery merchant Mr Rajagopalan who decided to cater food on a small scale. Maybe he is responsible afterall for the culture of eating out, in an otherwise conservative Chennai

The food here is hot and hygienic. The place is clean but with zero ambience. The menu was very interesting. I was tempted to over order, more than I could eat. I got a superb cuppa of the best filter coffee I’ve had in a while. Service is not very good. The people who serve there thought I was a foreigner and so kept staring at me, and spoke to a colleague of mine in Tamil to ask if I wanted a Coke Light or a normal Coke. They were astute to know that I would not drink open water.

The manager proudly proclaimed to me, their claim to fame was consistency in food quality. Something our cricket team certainly cannot claim


Australia -Whitewash

Here's something that has never been seen before and given that I saw the Climate Crisis movie once again, just a few days ago, this was worrying - so its up for everyone's benefit, thanks to a friend who forwarded this alarming mail

Suddenly the shoreline north of Sydney were transformed into a Cappuccino Coast. Foam swallowed an entire beach and half & the nearby buildings, in a freak display of nature at Yamba in New South Wales

One minute a group of teenage surfers were waiting to catch a wave, the next they were swallowed up in a giant bubble bath. The foam was so light that they could puff it out of their hands and watch it float away.

Scientists explain that the foam is created by impurities in the ocean, such as salts, chemicals, dead plants, decomposed fish and excretions from seaweed. All are churned up together by powerful currents which cause the water to form bubbles. These bubbles stick to each other as they are carried below the surface by the current towards the shore. As a wave starts to form on the surface, the motion of the water causes the bubbles to swirl upwards and, massed together, they become foam.



Straight road
Gentle curves
Breathless view
Long tunnels
Stone bridges
Highway clouds
Bodiless trucks
Toll plaza
Lake at Khopoli
Valley and hills
Fog and rain
Six lane highway with a lane shoulder on either side
The Mumbai Pune expressway lacks the Indian road chaos; almost feel one with the wind. Makes me want roads like that in Bombay – just the roads, where I can drive for 10feet and not find a single ditch, crater, pothole. Possible you think?


Visions of earth

I am definitely putting this on my 'must visit' ever expanding list! This is courtesy NatGeo!

Shodo Shima, Japan: Huddled for warmth, the macaques press their bodies into a vast ball of fur. The monkeys’ relaxed social hierarchy allows high - and low – ranking individuals to share the same tight space.