Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bittersweet Home

It has been a month since I left Chennai (the greatest city on Earth) for a job in Gurgaon (read Gud-gawn) and the city has already put me through a whirlwind of emotions. Being a spoilt Chennai vaasi the distinct flavor of the North was appalling at first. The common man’s bladder sets off at the sight of a wall. The lack of color is made up for by the salivary coat of paan and tobacco. I do not deny the existence of such artists in the South but I haven’t seen as many. If you have travelled in a share auto you’d imagine that, logically, the maximum allowed capacity of the vehicle is 8.But I have had the opportunity, misfortune rather, of travelling with 15 other co-passengers! The guy who smokes his beedi no matter who is around, the woman who has three children and is barely in her twenties and the ‘chick’ who sits on your lap are regulars in the auto. Traffic rules have been done away with and the roads have descended into complete anarchy. Road accidents and the fights ensuing them are a common sight. Pollution levels are so high that a stroll on the street will result in the deposition of a thick black layer of dirt on your clothing. These glaring imperfections irked me for over a week and I was sinking deep into a state of depression.

And one evening when I was hunting for paying guest accommodations (which was, back then, a part of my routine) my entire perspective about moving to this crazy city changed. An old couple, who ran the paying guest accommodation which I wanted to enquire about, coaxed me into having dinner with them without asking if I was going to move in or if I was even interested !All this because, I’m far away from home! I knew for a fact that they were not feigning to lure me into taking up their accommodation, because they are very well to-do. Due to other circumstances we couldn’t move into their place but that meal opened my eyes to the fact that no matter how disparate North India and South India are the undeniable truth is that we are all part of one large country with common traditional values. All the time when I was cribbing about how wonderful Chennai was and how different Gurgaon is from Chennai I had been overlooking the fact that we as people are the same. We have always welcomed our guests with open arms. (We overdo it by extending the hospitality to terrorists and refugees but that is a different story) I realized that people define cities and not its infrastructure. Of course there are a few people here who are unpleasant but practicality suggests that it is better to be grateful for the good and ignore the rest.

So, the city now seems to be a lot cleaner. The share autos are not crowded; the way I see it, they’re running at ‘optimum’ capacity to save fuel for our future generations! And everyday I have pointless conversations with total strangers because I’ve learnt that people here love to talk and are totally uninhibited, which I personally love.

There is always home away from home. We just have to look for it.

9 comments:

Instinct said...

dei food than da ur weak point... ore oru velaiku sapadu pota odane theivamnu solite!

maddy said...
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modish said...

the you expressed your thoughts in words is simply good..

The Eternal Seeker said...

@ avinash
machan ppl here are very money minded da..naan meet panna owners la ye oruthi thaan soru potta da athan matter

@ modish
thank you da..

Malesh Ponnusamy said...

Interesting post.
I read a sci-fi story a couple of years back. A spaceship leaves earth on the look out for a habitable planet. They find one but it is not like home. The ship gets stuck and they are not able to get back.
so people end up living in the ship and completely shun away from exploring the planet. after a generation or so while the ship is still being repaired, a new generation of people go out and explore the planet. And they happen to like it though it is not like earth but still they can feel life out there. eventually the ship gets repaired and the ones who dont want to explore head back home while the rest left behind feel at home :)

its good if you get an opportunity to explore. Make the most of it! Being a seeker guess that is ur birthright ;)

The Eternal Seeker said...

@ malesh

thanks for stopping by :)

The Eternal Seeker said...
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sharadha said...

very true!! everyone has to get atleast one chance to stay away from home .. its a wonderful experience .. in the beginin we wil never stop complainin abt the place ppl etc etc but as time moves on u wil start likin the place u are in and enjoy everythin around u .:)

The Eternal Seeker said...

@ Sharadha

Yours is an exceptional case. i suspect if u complained about being away from home in the first place!! ;)