Home again.

I'm back at Truck and Barter after a very long time. I have been busy with exam horrors that have kept me awake for many nights on end. Now that I'm done, I thought I'd take some time to write a few entries on my trip back to India, and how things have changed over the last year.

I got into Madras last night after an excruciatingly long stopover at Colombo. Luckily, I managed to avoid a 42.5 degree (Celsius of course) heatwave, and landed up on a nice stuffy "almost about to rain" day. See, after spending a year in London, magical numbers like 42.5 have great significance. If there is one thing that I detest the most about London, its the weather. It's just too damn cold. Madras enjoys a warm stuffy climate with sweat drenching you on your first step outside the house. Man, can that be sweet after one year away!

The city has changed in many subtle ways. One thing I noticed was that the culture of "eating out" has become an obsession. Restaurants are packed with people taking time off after a stressful workday. A major contribution to this whole phenomenon of people stepping out of their houses after 10 PM comes from a new influx of young graduates that have arrived over the last year. The unfortunate dampner to this potentially vibrant nightlife is that everything has to close by 11:30. Bars, clubs, you name it, its out at 11:30. At first glance, time restrictions are not new to the world. In London, licensed bars and pubs shut down at 11:30 PM. However what keeps London alive are the clubs which stay open till early the next morning. The police enforcement, which is infamous for its random policy making (it sets the rules, though largely influenced by pressure from the legislature), is alleged never to have taken the effort to clearly spell out exactly what it's night time policy is.

One year after I left, Madras is still struggling to find it's identity. Will it choose to remain a culturally conservative bastion of "old is gold", or will it choose to embrace a city brimming with new citizens that are yearning to get out at night... keep reading this space to find out more :)

Seriously though, keep checking in for regular updates!


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This page contains a single entry by published on June 21, 2005 2:16 PM.

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