If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Mar 15, 2012

When in Doubt .

St. Thomas was here. I doubt that. St. Thomas amidst neon crosses and plastic flowers ? A group of sari clad women gather around a casio keyboard practicing hymns. While large signs everywhere urge you to watch your belongings .The pile of footwear outside each entrance let's you know that this is Indian Christianity. There's little of interest here if what brings you here is curiosity and not faith. There are lists of parish priests of days gone by. Heavy grilles guard windows and doors. Were they to keep the newly converted in or the heathen out ? A sign tells us that St. Thomas's grave is accessible from the back of the church. A wrong turn somewhere between front and back finds us on Marina beach. More fishing boats in one place than you'll ever see. Nets dot the beach scape. Little shanties where card games fill the time between fishing. We cross the boats to get closer the the water. Only to invade on the privacy of kissing couples and toilet bound fishermen for whom the penumbra of the boat affords the only privacy. The leavings of toilet bound fishermen do not for a pleasant stroll along the beach make. So we move back away from the water. Dodging thru footballs and beach volleyballs. Thru tyres propped up vertically that make do for cricket stumps. Our cheering for a well bowled ball that hits the tyre draws puzzled glares. The batsman is only considered bowled if the ball goes thru the hole in the middle of the tyre were told. Just hitting the tyre isn't good enough. MCC ,Gully or Beach cricket, all with rules almost incomprehensible if you're not on the inside. The boats are starting to thin while the multitudes are starting to abound. Children atop ponies. The pony man running along side. Whipping at the ponies flanks. Trying hard to get the pony to break out of his sedate walk so that the children get a run for their money. A few meters of trotting before both horse and man agree to live and let live. Bedsheets stretched between bamboo poles and smothered with balloons. While from ten feet away airguns on the shoulders of wannabe QuickGun Muruguns and their lady loves in equal measure seek to burst their balloons. Cheers for their nominated shooter with every pop. The missus handles the guns while the mister keeps blowing up balloons to fill the emerging gaps on the sheet. Candy floss men abound . With floating clouds of pink and white in their wake. The couples walk with contrived nonchalance toward the boats. Coffee is pedaled from the backs of cycle and heads. To balance a hot urn of coffee on your head, dispense coffee into a minuscule plastic cup, collect payment and still keep scanning the horizon for new customers calls for a highly developed skill set. Kites abound. Without the violence of Mumbai kite flying. The peace loving Tamilians happy to watch their kite with it's long tail fly sedately in the evening breeze. With no wish to slice their fellow kite flyers kites and vanquish all that shares airspace with them. Families on the sand are huddled together. Odd. With so much space on all sides of them. Up close you see the bed sheet that all of them are trying to squeeze onto. Is it to keep the sand out or just to be near Amma who's doling out wadas and idlis ? The sun goes down to reveal the lights of the port in the distance. With the light house adding it's intermittent spotlight onto an ever-changing kaleidoscope. We don't have an Amma with us so we don't have wadas and idlis.
So we hop into a rickshaw venturing further afield in search of chicken Chettinad and dosas. Just like Amma would have made, had she been a Madarasi.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Clem. All well, I trust. Look forward to many more posts.

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