Thursday, 27 September 2007

Hail storm in Chennai?

This afternoon we heard the thunderous start of a downpour and a colleague and I ran to the window to breathe in the refreshing rains.

The rains started crashing down and more colleagues started rushing outside to see - and for many for the first time in their lives they saw HAILSTONES!


Monday, 24 September 2007

Happy news from the Darjeeling hills

and the winner of Indian Idol 2007 is.......


Phone calls and sms text messages pouring in gave the result a good two hours before the TV announcement - (I discovered that the Grand Finale was not quite live) - and Darjeeling was rocking and celebrating way into the night. Brilliant news!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

vote Prashant - for Indian Idol 2007

Apparently Darjeeling is going wild as I write this - Prashant TAMANG is in the final two of Indian Idol and being from Darj the place is going ballistic as the final is being screened...........

This takes me back over four months to when hubby J was away doing 11,111 korua (circumabulations round the stupa) in Belakyppe Gompa (Monastery), near Mysore. He phoned every day to give me the day's total and I would keep the tally. This was actually really important as J has a tendency to fast forward everything and fast forwarding korua would be really bad for his karma so I was circumambulation counter in charge! Increasing though, our telephone conversations became increasingly focused on Indian Idol which was gathering momentum even back in May. The funniest thing was that apparently the hot topic of discussion in the gompa was who to vote for that evening in Indian Idol and the lamas were all lobbying for their own favourite!! Apparently the evening korua was when the discussion reached its peak and when the air was filled with their om mane padme..... text 2525... om .....for prashant... mane, no vote for Amit mane.... - what a wonderful image it conjured up!

So now that Prashant is in the final, (and we are Tamang) it would be pretty amazing and fitting if Prashant is indeed the winner..................

Friday, 14 September 2007

Pondy Proper

As promised earlier, here are some impressions of Pondicherry.
Pondicherry is a Union Territory in India and was formerly a French Enclave. This means that the town of Pondicherry is a fascinating mix of India and France which can actually can verge on the disconcerting. However, it makes a lovely break and a total change from Chennai for a weekend away.
The architecture is distinctly French, and there is at least one French School (Lycee) and other signs of French Administration. the French Quarter feels quite Mediterranean and so the sight of autos, rickshaws and saris feels quite strange. The street signs are standard issue French street signs, in Tamil and French.

There are numerous vestiges of France transposed on top of typical life in India in evidence in Pondy. For example, the Ambassador car below, outside one of the heritage houses, complete with French Tamil Street sign.

The Policemen have funky bright red French style caps and uniforms.

At the seafront you can see Indians playing the French game of boules

But despite all these French features, it is definitely India! There are lots of giveaway signs - like this Temple elephant

Evening gossip and mango stalls on the seafront .

Bikes and bananas in peaceful co-existence.

and random shops selling organised rows of underwear.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Claim your free oxygen

"In Pondicherreee"

Would be my suggested final line to round of the rhyming sign. Which incidentally, is where the sign is to be found!

Friday, 7 September 2007

Pondy Bazaar

One of the best things about Chennai is Pondy Bazaar. I think it must be best possible shopping street in the world - where else in the world could you find a street lined with stalls, shops, roadside outlets - and even cars selling cuddly toys and tigers!!

anything you can ever imagine in stainless steel

All manner of fruits and vegetables, and even sugar cane

and don't worry if you don"t have a spot to sell your wares - just find a few bikes and set up stall on top off them.

I think you can probably get anything you could ever possibly need or want in Pondy Bazaar!