Sunday, September 12, 2010

Madras Mail: Part 2

I have never felt this scattered in my life. In the past six months I have lived in three corners of the country, changed five beds (and sometimes with no bed at all), basically  living out of a suitcase. Madras has been more difficult than I apprehended. I have tried not to react, jump to conclusions, but it is a difficult city to live and set up a house in if you have no one you know. The common people, and by common people I mean shop keepers, auto drivers, bus conductors, pedestrians, co- passengers, the teeming hundreds you see around you are quite hostile to anyone who is not a local. The hostility is not very evident in the beginning. Over time you will start noticing it. Initially I had mistaken it to be the general nature of the language. People came across as rude even when they were not. But now I have realised that they generally have very little patience with anyone who does not understand their tongue - to an extent that they may not even want or care for your business. There is, of course, another class of people - the cooler English speaking, goatee/French-cut bearing upper class who you will find quite rarely unless you happen to move in those circles. However, there is somehow a scarily large chunk of people who are completely bereft of manners or general niceness, who are frankly uncivilised and scornful in away that shows a deep contempt for everyone who is somewhat better off.

1 comment:

  1. All people are the same at the bottom of their hearts, their loneliness, their sorrows and their joys are the same, no matter how different their outward presentation might seem. I share your views on Madras, not a place I would like to revisit often.

    The home and the life you are destined for are looking for you too, but if it were that easy to find, one would never value it. It is precisely the roughness of the terrain that makes the trek worth it. Do take care, and keep your spirits up.