I don't like coffee. I'm really not a fan. But Chennai is obsessed with it. We serve what is known as Kumbakonam Degree Coffee, go figure! The morning breakfast here is idli, vada, sambar and one steaming cup of over-sweet, strong coffee.
However, I slip up on my I don't like coffee rule when I'm at Sathyam Cinemas, which has now also expanded to include the awesome Escape at Express Avenue. Their cold coffee is milky, coffee-y and sweet and goes perfectly with their cream doughnut. Top that off with a freezing movie theatre and a good film, I'd say its a great combo overall, no? Well, I think so.
Ok, that is just a digression here. I'm thinking of other things today. Such as the rain. See, Chennai is a humid, humider and humidest city. Add to those conditions some nice average temperature of 35C and you have such a lowelee weather that most of us bring out the sweaters and such like when the rains and "winter" happens. It's hilarious to watch really...
Take for instance, this little roadside stall adjacent to Ramakrishna Mission Boys School in T Nagar. The place opens only during the rainy season and stocks some garish woollens which concerned mothers buy their children and dress them up in it when they travel to school during this time of the year. If you're travelling on a motorbike, then you're probably wearing one of those weird, striped head dress type things. Sometimes I think it is out of place, but I realise that for Chennai anything below 30C is little bit cold wonly.
Despite our intolerance for lower temperatures, we love going to Ooty and dressing up in more woollen clothing. I'm mostly amused by all this dressing up.
I've been in a winter that I can remember (I spent the first three years of my life in Dharamshala, in Himachal Pradesh, Dalai Lama's town. Dad was posted there and amma is the one remembers the agony of being a mother to two kids in that weather, my brother apparently walked out of out our quarters in in his perfectly clean woollen rompers and right into the post-hail slush. not good.) once in my life, when I was 19/20 and studying @ IIMC, Delhi. The temperature that December was 2C and I had never encountered such weather. No humidity, no need to bathe at least thrice a day to get the grime off your skin, no over-oily skin. (how I loved my skin in the Delhi winter, no breakouts, nothing, just clear skin, I miss it)
The rain, which is the indicator of the change in seasons and also the harbinger of cold weather until January in Chennai, turns this city into one giant slush pit. The Chennai Corporation suddenly woke up one morning and decided that they wanted to re-do the cabling, etc, in the city, but forgot to cover it up and re-lay the roads. More importantly, the minute the North East monsoon hit the city, all the labourers left the worksites leaving huge pits of unfinished wire work and consequently tons of slush and other disasters. The seasonal cycloon that always is supposed to hit Chennai but bothers coastal Andhra instead hasn't happened this year. Last year the Saidapet subway was flooded and a 45A bus was under the subway when that happened. This year, I don't know what kind of drama will ensue. I only hope that those of us who walk the roads can walk on level ground and not sink under the many open manholes... (Some smart asses think that leaving a sewage manhole open is the best way to ensure that excess rain water will not flood the roads, but this is the effing monsoon, there will be too much rain, what makes you think it's a solution jackass!)