Thursday, May 29, 2008

On Leaving Singara Chennai

What I'll always remember about this city is the typical autodriver.

Me: Chennai City Centre poganumga.
A: Aan?
Me: Citi Centre, City Centre.
A: Mylapore?
Me: (relief) Haan... adhaan.
A: (expectant air) Polaam, ma
Me: (apprehensive) yevvlo?
A: (thinking furiously, settling down on an air of sacrifice) 100 rupees kudunga.. (gets into auto)
Me: Hundred a? Idho, inga irukku.. daily poren, yen kittiye solringle... 60 rupees kudukkaren, correct-a irukkum.
A: (sad shake of head) yaaru ma varuvanga... Yethhini signal irukku theriyumla... neenga daily poreenga, unglukke theriyum.. 80 rupees.. unglukkosram..
Me: (considering return expenses) 70
A: 75 rupees... vaanga, yerunga..

I'm leaving Chennai.
Maybe for good.
"Go to the UK", appa advises me. "Bright future."
Anyway. That comes later.
I don't know what to feel. I've never been outside of the city for more than 11 days at a stretch, and each time, I missed it even more crazily than before. There are endless things to take, clothes, the laptop, the mobile, everyday things I haven't given a second thought- toothbrush, paste, hairbrush, earrings, charger, money, oh goodness, lip balm-
"Don't think about it all at one go", says appa. "It'll overwhelm you."
Too late.

So, I'm leaving Chennai of the heat and the autodrivers and the Valluuvar Kottam and yelaneer and going away to Jharkand, to the small city of Jamshedpur. To study, to learn about life, prepare myself to face the outside world, delve into the intricacies of business, and- find myself.

I've always been a so-so. So-so at everything, a Jack of all trades (I refuse to say Jill). Music, acads, everything. So-so-ness becomes a way of life after a while, as it has with me. Complacency sets in, and I'm terrified to consider change, and rooted in my conviction of so-so-ness.

M says I have a lot to learn.

I do.