After a week away in the sizzling Metropolis, its heavenly to come back to still silence. Not so still with a lot of birds chirping, the occasional vehicle honking and all the sounds of household living around.
But still removed from the madding crowd.
Enroute to Chennai, Coimbatore was baking away. I thought firmly I mustn't mention the weather. It happens every year and people do live though it. And I grew up in the heat. What's new?
Suddenly I felt sympathetic to poor NRIs who transplant themselves every holiday into all sorts of conditions they've grown unaccustomed to. And when they do complain, we give them beady glares which say ' so where did you come from'?
I do feel like giving a left hook to someone who says 'oh you have buffaloes on the road!' after having been away for a year or two. Maybe with time I will be able to forgive this too.
But, everywhere we went, people did talk about the weather. In a very British way, it seems to bind us together and form a very good topic of conversation. And we needed it. We were going around inviting lots of people to the wedding in between lots of shopping. Many were people we've never visited.
People do think its mad in this day and age to go around personally inviting people. But it seems a good occasion to connect. Otherwise, we hardly take the time and trouble to cultivate people whom we're just acquainted with. Even if they are relatives.
And since, its absolutely a gross mistake to ring up and find out if people are available (I learnt it the hard way ), one can gatecrash and see how people actually live. Its interesting . And easier on them too. They know you are there to visit for only 5 minutes so everyone is happier and warmer. Even if you've broken their slumber or favorite tv program.
Since in my family its considered uncivilized to do anything in a sedate sanitized manner, as many people as possible will fit into any car going anywhere. Which meant that 7 of us were traveling around the city on a hot day in a small car including one very small hyperactive child. So it took time for people to unload and load at each stop, lots of spilling of kumkum, loosing cellphones and other paraphernalia at different houses, counter instructions to the driver, arguments about where next,family gossip in full spate and generally what is considered a boring chore was never that.
The city does unwind one in its own way.