Expats are a restless lot. For most of us, minds are here, but hearts are back home. No wonder, the song, “Country road, take me home, to the place I belong..” is popular.
Anyway, may be visiting Chennai/Mumbai/Bangalore in three months. This brought random thoughts about Chennai.
• Have been inhaling the foul smell of the Cooum river since I was born. It hasn’t changed until today, even though I have become a teenager now (hey, allow me to bluff). That Buckingham canal could have been one of the most popular water transport facilities of the world. But lack of political will saw to it that it never happened that way.
• Know what? I am shocked by the pay scales in the city. I thought my wife with her award winning experience would land a teacher’s job easily. The jobs did come, but the pay offers never exceeded Rs8,000 ($1 is what Rs48?). Approached an international school in the city. The principal was kind and the children were mostly foreigners. She was selected, but the pay again was same. And the principal summed it up: “Go to the city, check out and return in a week. I will wait.”
• I had watched a Malayalee shopkeeper selling cigarettes and stuff like toffees for children. His shop must be less than 60 sq. ft. He has been standing there and selling like this for nearly half a century (Ya, ya heard this from my dad). And his dressing style has not changed. Same white dhoti and white shirt. Looked quite satisfied after all these years. Want to interview such great people when I return for good. What say?