Archive for February, 2010

Where everybody knows your name…

I was born in Mumbai and lived there for a grand total of eight months, which was also the amount of time it took my parents to get to the airport from the hospital in Mumbai traffic. Even today, when you’re on the western express highway, if you look out of your window, you can see soiled nappies strewn all along the side.

Since then, for the 25 years or so of my existence, I have lived, laughed, passed, failed, loved, lost, been heart-broken, gotten drunk, gotten sick, been hungover, and recovered, all in the wonderful, glorious (EFF OFF, Lonely Planet) city of Chennai. Yep, the longest continuous stretch of time I’ve been away from here during this period is four months. And now, I’m leaving the city without a clear return date.

I’m moving to London on work and I don’t know how long I’ll be there. As far as I can see right now, this will be my last week in Chennai for a while. The next time I come here, I’ll most probably only be ‘visiting’. That just sounds wrong, even inside my head.

Yes, I know there are a lot of exciting things about leaving home and living on your own and all that, and make no mistake about it, I am pretty excited. But I’m also quite realistic. I’m not going, “GEE! I can finally pull girls in the club and bring them back to my place for sexytime! (wink)”. No. Just no. No, because frankly, I know that that’s only possible if there’s rohypnol involved and I’m pretty sure that’s frowned upon irrespective of whether my parents are in the house or not. In fact, the former might be preferable because they wouldn’t call the cops in on their own son. Hopefully.

In most western countries, a guy moves out in his late teens, mostly because there isn’t enough closet space at home for both his and his dad’s guns. Here in India, (going by the definitive guide to Indian society: Sooraj Barjatya movies) we prefer nice big happy joint families, and that brings us our most serious social ill, the Saas-Bahu conflict.

All joking aside, I even made a list of pros and cons about my upcoming move to figure out if I was getting a good deal. This is what I have so far:

Pro: I’m getting an opportunity to experience the famed ‘British culture’. Con: ‘British culture’ consists mainly of binge drinking, football hooliganism and knife-crime.

Pro: I can walk back home late at night without getting chased by suspicious street dogs who always seem to think I’m some kind of insane dog-hunter who preys on them at night. Con: I might get attacked by ‘youth gangs’, which are also an important component of ‘British culture’.

Pro: I can drink outside for a lot longer every night, have a wide variety of alcoholic beverages to choose from and a wider variety of pubs, with endearing names like ‘The Toad In The Hole’, to do this in. Con: Liver damage and early death.

Pro: I can go to the Emirates and watch Arsenal play every weekend. Yay! Con: No, I cannot, unless I want to be bankrupt and homeless very soon. Also, they don’t even telecast all the games on TV over there, so I’ll have to rely on shady internet streams from Iraq.

Pro: It’s not as hot there and rains more often. Con: It’s very cold there and rains too bloody often.

Pro: I can finally get out of my nerdy, loser-ish ‘quizzer’ image, and acquire a new, much cooler one, like ‘that bloody Paki dog’. Con: There’re no proper quizzes there. I want quizzes.

Pro: There are pub quizzes though! Con: Liver damage and early death.

You all get the picture, don’t you? After all this analysis, the truth is staring me in the face. There aren’t really any advantages in moving out and living on my own. I’m just going to be lonely, cold and miserable for the foreseeable future. 😦

Hopefully, now that I’ve made yet another effort to revive this blog, it shall keep me company while I feel homesick and reminisce like hell about Chennai. So, here’s to a new city and a new life. Cheers! Hic.


February 4, 2010 at 12:39 pm 16 comments

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