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Friday, December 31, 2004


Had firmed up two very specific action plans on my Madras trip. One, I’d manage to fight sloth, nature and ennui in that order to try and stay awake awhile longer at night –the rather painful outcome of having attempted and failed at being a morning person. Second, I’d resolved not to dine in the palpable opulence of my hotel.

Like SCG with the toss, I have never managed to get my timing just right. Consequently, every single time I preen about my early arrival at the airport, I have found the powers that be shamelessly thwart my perseverance and so I travel well into the wee hours of the morning. Reached at half past two and hit home at one. Mission accomplished !

On the food front, it was an easier turn—Mount Road is full of good inns and with just a masterful touch of planning, settled on Saravana Bhavan’s and the Gyan Vaishnav Dhaba. A colleague’s kindly invitation for dinner was considered, pretended to be mulled over, a dithering act staged , and finally accepted. Delightful mooli parathas served up with dollops of butter, mint and curd. Disdainfully bested the Mainland China experience I was contemplating.

Weather better than most times in Madras. Felt better staying outdoors rather than cooped up inside—never thought I’d say that !

It’s been a veritable miracle that I’ve survived so many years eating out practically on the hop. The fact that I’m staunchly vegetarian, don’t eat paneer, mushroom or chillies would indubitably have been held against me to a much more probing extent had I not been in India. Jai Hind !

Am growing to marvel less at the Amul hoardings that I’ve seen ever since I was a child. Somehow, thosee folks effortlessly muster the creativity/perversion to link every current affair-pun intended- to butter, bread, eating , sharing . Will try to do that in the next year and match the results for myself !

Assuredly mixed year—a saving grace has been the array of authors that I have laid eyes on.
Derrida and Sontag gone.Marquez could, too

I’ll conclude with what could come close to being my question for the year

Lady to Waiter at Saravana Bhavan : Do you serve masala dosa here ?


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