Monday, April 1, 2013

My Observations in Chennai

These are my observations while I visited Chennai.  They are not criticism.  Just observations.
Girls/women are well dressed than before a few years ago.  Pleasantly surprised that they dine  alone in restaurants for breakfast/lunch/dinner.  I mean alone without any friends or relatives (male or female).   Kudos to them. This will not happen in USA.  Here they think if they dine alone, the society will look down upon them.  Either they will order “to go” or if they are staying in a hotel order “room service”.  My personal feeling is there is nothing wrong with a girl/woman dining alone in a restaurant.
I have written before that a few auto drivers ask “how much we are willing to pay him” when we tell him we want to go to a certain place (instead 0f telling us how much he will charge us).  It is changed now.  Instead of a few auto drivers, now most of the auto drivers ask the same question to us.  I always give my standard answer.  I am willing to pay you one rupee.  Now you tell me how much you want to charge.
We went to a movie.  Lot of young couple came to the movie after the movie began and left before the movie ended.  My wife is naïve.  She asked me why a lot of couple come late and leave early.  I had to explain her the reason about their wish to spend some quiet quality time in the dark.
In order to give security to the Chief Minister, they have daily deployed police in every main street in Chennai.  Thousands of them, one at every 50 feet.  I am told they are bringing police even from outside of Chennai for this.  Many of them  are women police.  The average woman police is about 5’3” and weighs 110 lbs.  They stand the whole day in the scorching sun.  They look like they are about to faint.  I felt sorry for them.
My question is this.  The Chief Minister is already having the highest security available in the land.  If there is a real threat for her, what can this 5’3” 110 lbs. girl can do to save the CM?  She does not even have a stick (lathi).
Gold price skyrocketed.  But gold jewellery shops are so crowded with buyers.  Everyone complains restaurants have become very costly.  All restaurants are very crowded.  The more Karunanidhi talks about his belief in atheism, temples are more crowded than movie theaters.  (Karunanidhi’s atheism applies only to Hindus.)
They now have call taxi.  This is very convenient for people.  We can even book a call taxi online.   They start the meter only after you sit inside the car.  But there is one major problem.  Most of the drivers are new to Chennai.  As soon as we sit in the taxi and when we tell the driver our destination, most of them ask “do you know how to go there”.  This is very inconvenient for the visitors.  Not all visitors know how to go from Point A to Point B in Chennai.  At least, these are honest drivers.  A few drivers just roam the city for ever asking for directions from a lot of people in the street.  The poor passengers will be paying extra rupees because of the driver roaming the city.
I am not an expert.  May be a car GPS with mapping software would solve this problem.
Funny thing is once I booked a call taxi to go from T.Nagar to Mylapore.  The taxi driver told me he has never heard of Mylapore.  I asked him how long he has been in Chennai.  He said 2 days.  I was LMAO.  What will you do if a Mumbai tax driver says he never heard of Nariman Point. Or, if a Delhi taxi driver says he never heard of India Gate.


  1. I am amazed to note that auto drivers ask “how much we are willing to pay him”!! I guess, answers like yours can only help!
    Oh! That's terrible state for the lady police and also they are not fit!
    True... though everybody cribs but still the jewelers do roaring business.

  2. Hi ...I think I would rather have the auto driers ask how much I willing to pay rather than charging their exorbitant prices....

    A take on the effective use of police controlled traffic was done in a Malayalam movie Traffic...try and watch it ...wish that happened more than once in India....

    Jewellery shops get more crowded but so is the increase in the number of chain snatchers in Kerala...I read that some jeweller in Delhi sends trained people by plane to do the snatching in Kerala...yet the mindset more gold....

  3. Thanks for your comments Shilpa. Yup, I took pity on those police people.

  4. Thanks for your comments Aparna. Chennai auto drivers are not benevolent. They are testing the passengers. If they quote a higher amount, they will agree to take the passenger. Otherwise, they will refuse.

  5. Poor police women.The politicians are protected here as they posses double soul.Well described.

  6. I wonder: Will the yellow metal ever fall? I mean, we have even seen the real estate fall, but the yellow metal seems forever increasing in value! I feel that a metal is a metal is a metal. But I guess, I am the only person to feel that way!

    Destination Infinity

  7. Thanks for your comments Sarala. Looks like nowadays heavy security is a status symbol.

  8. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. You cannot eat gold. It does not give interest. Then, I don't know why this craze. But this craze is only in India and China.

  9. Thanks for your comments Krishna. Yup. I agree and fully support.

  10. I too have noticed thin police women standing like statues in Kotturpuram road and other roads. As you said what would they do in a 'situation'!

    I have never eaten out alone. If I am too hungry, I drink a flaroured milk pack. Yes, I have seen some lone women eating alone, but not many.

    Yes, temples are too crowded and Pradosham and Kriththigai days have more. It was not like this earlier! Even Karunanidhi's family women can be seen in Alwarpet Aanjaneyar temple regularly!

    Auto drivers mostly fleece. Very rarely we come across honest drivers. I haven't come across much drivers who didn't knew the way.

    Jewellery...people think it as an investment here. So, the crowds!

  11. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. When I said a large number of drivers do not know the city, I meant call taxi drivers. Not the auto drivers. Auto drivers know the city very well.

  12. I never thought eating alone is even noticed, I always do it when go outside..

    VIP's security is a real bane, I feel nobody should be provided any security at all, why..there are enough replacement possible:)

    In India everything applies to majority only...

    More the problems..more the crowds in Temples...

    autos...god only can save us from them..

  13. Thanks for your comments Renu. I applaud women who eat alone in restaurants. If men can do why not women. Keeping a large number of people for security purposes and flashing red lights on top of their cars have become status symbol.