Tag Archives: Chennai

Chennai Rains

Chennai, this November, has recorded its highest rainfall in 10 years. News reports say close to 60 people have lost their lives this month. Livelihood of thousands of people has been affected.

How prepared is Chennai for such bursts of rain in the future? Are all the basic amenities/checks in place? How are other states which receive much higher amount of rain annually able to cope with it? These are questions that the TN authorities need to ponder upon. Personally, it was appalling to see pictures of subways filled with 12 feet of water.

We’ll leave the introspection for a later day.

Today, I share a few pics on Chennai rains in the form of tweets, from different parts of the city.

Photo Diaries Series #2: Day out with friends at Vandalur

My first memories of Vandalur Zoo date back almost 20 years ago, when our Class I teacher took us out for a picnic. I’ve been there 3 or 4 times since then. Last time I visited the beautiful place was in August last year with friends from College (Can’t believe it’s already a year, since then).

Remember Sayar Banerji (now a family man) taking 183 pictures of the same tiger to get the perfect shot (the shot worth 182 failed attempts).

The Zoo with an entry fee of Rs. 10 (or 20, I don’t remember), is an underestimated hangout destination among the youth of Chennai, mainly because of its distance from central Chennai. It takes about an hour form road if you’re lucky with the Traffic.

At Vandalur Zoo, with a few animals outside the cage.

At Vandalur Zoo, with a few animals outside the cage.

If you’re new to my Photo Diaries Series, you could start here.

Bombay Lassi

I stay in Kilpauk (notorious for the “World renowned” Mental Hospital present there). One day during my vacations, when I was engrossed into the world of ย Shantaram, I received a call from MP, my school friend. He invited me to have Samosas in a place somewhere near Mount Road.

Anyone who knows Chennai geography would think travelling from Kilpauk to Mount Road is a little too much for having Samosas. But having little else to do, I accompanied MP in his Activa, first to a Hard Disk Service Centre in Greams Road and then to the Samosa shop he was talking about. Thanks to the Chennai Metro work which was going on, we had to travel through the entire stretch of Mount Road and then through some gullies and small lanes that I had never been to before, to finally arrive at the shop beside the parking entrance of Devi Paradise Cinemas.

The shop was a humble 10×10 size and was run by 3-4 North Indians. The lane was too narrow for even a Tata Nano to pass through comfortably. There was a slum settlement just metres away and slum dwellers’ children were playing with each other, oblivious to the happenings around them. One elderly bearded man was frying hot samosas in a big “Anda” just outside the shop. The crowd was pretty huge considering the size of the shop. MP ordered a Samosa initially for me to taste. The piping hot samosa was easily one of the best I’d ever had. The semi solid paste inside the Samosa comprising mashed potatoes and green peas had a taste that was irresistible.

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With the little Hindi I knew, I told the guy in the shop, “Bhaiya, aur ek de deejiye!” (Brother, give me one more!). Even with the bearded man frying 30-40 samosas at a time, the demand far exceeded the supply. Hesitant to stop with 2 Samosas, I heard myself say, “Aur ek, bhaiya!”, and again, and again.ย ย 

I could have gone on to have a few more but decided against it.

In a few years from now, I am sure Bombay Lassi will have a number of branches across Chennai, like a Murugan Idli Shop or a HSB. That day, I’ll take credit for writing about Bomaby Lassi first.