Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I have been away, to use an acronym from the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, AWOL! Have traveled a bit and had the last two Mondays as non-working. So life has been looking up!

Mathur got married. But I cannot write about marriages without writing a long piece about Namu's wedding. So will skip that with the remark that I have a few hundred rupees notes as sabashi for the incessant dancing, which has been ascribed the unbecoming verb of body-throwing in my specific context, on Mathur's Mehendi-Ki-raat. I think it might have to do something with the adulterated Limca that I laced my inners with! But thanks to this wedding, I got to see Lodhi Garden in Delhi. Beautiful place, one has to visit this place to believe that it is in Delhi. I think Delhi has many such treats to offer but one never gets down to enjoying them when he is around!

And then I visited the hallowed city of Rajnikant and his adoring fans. Stayed three houses away from Ms. Jayalalitha. She does have a huge house for a single woman of her age. Anyway it is always good to be back in Chennai (for a short while, I must add - just in case, there is a god and has a funny sense of humour). So I was there for a visa interview. People in U.S., no need to raise the alarm. This was more of a just-in-case visa and nothing to do with a visit in the offing. But the entire experience of getting a visa is very humbling or did-I-mean humiliating, indeed! Even the guards at the consulate treat you with a lot of antagonism. The Consulate in-charge gives the most condescending of lectures on "how to handle your visa interview".

"Say Hello to you interviewer. What would you say?"


"I did not hear anything"

Some people mumble Hello.

"Did you say something?"

That does elicit a louder Hello! And he goes on to complete his set of instructions which are as helpful as the one that was just discussed. To add injury to salt (or it is the reverse), I got ripped off by an autowallah. I really hate being ripped off, especially by the autowallahs. Amma! They are still not using the fare meters.

This is the centenary year of Satyagriha. And Gandhigiri is all that our TV channels can think of. Seriously wish some channel has the sense to run a decent program. But I guess it is too much to ask for. Why burden your viewers with a program on Gandhian principles while you have the choice of inflicting them with the mangal-dosh in Aishwarya's horoscope and Shilpa's coup in Big Brother! I think an apt justification to this would be the market demand for the fatuous and a lack of appreciation for anything more purposeful. I really hope this is not the case!


Mo said...

You owe me a hundred.

And its adding insult to injury?

I will perhaps never understand why the Visa officer is treated like God in India.

Prateek said...

I still think in Hindi half the time. So jhakam-main-namak still holds good!

For many people the Visa officer represents the ray of hope that would enable them lift their standard of living etc. So yes, Some people will continue to treat him like god until there are adequate opportunities in the country. However, I cannot understand why he needs to act like one!

Mo said...

You are right - the Visa officer holds the fates. With one stamp, lives can "supposedly" change.

It would give anyone a God complex.