Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Chennai Tidbits

Couple of weeks ago, I had to print something.  Since I don’t have a printer at home, I was looking for a browsing center to print my stuff.  I asked a policeman who was standing in the street.  He pointed to me where the browsing center was and I thanked him and started to walk away.  But he wanted to prolong the conversation:
Policeman – Where do you work?
Me – I am not working now.
Policeman – Where did you work before?
Me – Telephone (It is not a lie. But wanted to give a vague answer)
Policeman – In Chennai?
Me – No
Policeman – What was your salary? (I think he assumed I worked for the Government)
Me – What can I say about my salary!  (Again wanted to give a vague answer)
Policeman – You are correct. Us government servants are paid very poorly.  You are better off. At least you work for the central government.  (I have no idea what he meant.)
Last night, midnight, I had to go to the Chennai airport to receive someone who was coming from Frankfurt.  I waited close to the door where passengers are coming out after customs.  I saw there were about 5 guys wearing suits also waiting there.  One of the guys came to me and we had the following conversation:
Suit Guy – Sir, this is a restricted area and you cannot stand here.  You have to move to a different location.
(I looked at his badge and it said “Westin”.  I immediately recognized he is a chauffeur from Westin Hotel waiting to pick up a passenger.) (I was very calm and quiet.)
Me (in a soft tone) – Are you police?
Suit Guy – No
Me (in a harsh tone) – Then you shut up and get out of my face.
The suit guy walked away.
Stay tuned for more.                                                                                         


  1. hahah! both cracked me up! some pple in India have this habit of starting nonsensical conversations with complete strangers! lol!

  2. Not many people come and talk to me, like this. I face great trouble initiating conversations. The police conversation with you was very strange - they don't ask about work/salary unless you've been caught violating some traffic rule and they are not sure how much to demand!

    Destination Infinity

  3. This really sounds strange...
    And at the same time, I have found that several elderly people (50+) have always shown interest in knowing our salary. Give some vague answers and they are happy...

    Come on and chill!
    All Indians are our brothers and sisters and it is completely ok :D

  4. Thanks for your comments Ankita. I find these hilarious.

  5. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. You may be right. May be he was "phishing".

  6. Thanks for your comments Satya. I found the conversation with the policeman was hilarious. But I was pissed off at the suit guy at the airport. He is not a law enforcer.

  7. Lol..
    But the way you answered the suit guy, he really deserved it.
    Stay tuned for more?
    Is it gonna b continued?
    If yes, update is soon, I really wanna knew what happened next:-P

  8. .Usually what one sees in others what one experiences.He may be a CRP getting a megre salary.He found in you a bird of the same feather.Interesting to read.

    Ok we will stay tuned for more.

  9. LOl:)..both conversations very strange..

  10. yes, it happens sometimes. Some random people on the road or at public places like in railway station initiate conversation and start asking some personal questions like age, work place etc.

    The second instance,perhaps the westin staff had come to receive a dignitary and so throwing their weight to make way for that person. It happens many times when dignitaries visit. The security staff shoo the public around and it is a pain for the public.

  11. Thanks for your comments Lonely Soul. And, welcome to my blog. I am sorry I was not clear. Stay tuned means I thought I meant stay tuned for more tidbits and not continuation of the same story.

    LS, please visit here as often as possible. Thanks.

  12. Thanks for your comments Sarala. You are correct.

  13. Thanks for your comments Renu. First one is strange. Second one is arrogancy.

  14. Thanks for your comments Asha. He is a driver for a hotel. He is not a security staff. He did not receive any VIP. People in India think they can boss over other people. But he met the wrong guy.

  15. The last line was hilarious, Could say the guy was trolled, next time he would definitely think over again befor bossing at another person :D

    Glad to Know you are in India . Reading your posts after long time, and that meant reading all your Chennai experiences Lately.
    'Belated' Welcome to Inida . Lokking forward for more such chennai Experiences

  16. The second one is hilarious!! Loved the way you handled him :D The police man must be thoroughly bored and/or fed up to strike a conversation with a stranger! But asking salary is way too much!

  17. I am one of those people who start conversations with anyone. Though I do not go into salary details etc., most of us are not really bad :-)

    At the time of writing out Constitution, a three-way division of stuff was made. These were called subjects. There are 3 lists: centre, state and concurrent. Concurrent means both the centre and the states can make laws on them. 'Law and order' is a subject in the state list. So, states have their own police force. Like Tamil Nadu Police, Punjab Police etc. Different states have different salary structures. Almost all states pay less to their employees as compared to those at similar ranks at the centre. This is what the policeman told you.

    Btw, Punjab is one of the states that pays great. But still state government employees here are like those in other states. Makes me think if salary really is everything.

  18. Thanks for your comments Revathi. Long time. No visit here. What happened? Must have been very busy. I am glad you liked this post.

  19. Thanks for your comments Shilpa. I am glad you liked this post.

  20. Thanks for your comments Karunesh. And, many thanks for your explanation. Now I understand what he meant.

  21. We had a neighbor who was very rich as he had married into a rich family, that is his wife was rich. He used to work in Merchant Navy, and he himself was quite well off. he was a very nice person in every other way, and his family too were very nice on the whole.
    However, he was always interested to know how much Ananth(my husband) was making. He shifted to madras, and whenever he would come to Bangalore, he would never forget to ask us again how much we earned.
    And my husband is really a man of very few words, to get any word out of him ( especially such silly questions)would really tire people a lot.
    But somehow the kept on this banter, with no one giving up.
    It was fun.

  22. Haha. Welcome to the place where people still have time for random conversations with random strangers rather than being hooked to their phones. And good that you gave it back to the chauffeur!

  23. Ha haa haa :D Enjoy your stay in India, you may miss them back in US :D