People- Where Art Thou?

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

One of the things I have always loved about the US is slowly driving me nuts. I am talking about the non-existent life and invisible people here! If you are from one of the busy cities in India, what the heck..any place in India you can sense what I am talking about. The one thing that greets you as soon as you land in the airport is the cacophony of sound and the hoards of people everywhere. I am from Chennai and whether is it shopping for sarees in Nalli, or walking (actually being pushed) along Ranganathan street or waiting to be seated in Saravana Bhavan, or just trying to cross the street- the one constant is people (lots of them), sound, color and life. Which is why having some quite and peace was a welcome change here!

But now with a 13 month old that I am trying to engage I am really missing home like ever L So irrespective of what time I leave for work whether it is 7 or 10 am I never see anyone outside. Irrespective of what time I come back whether 4 or 6 pm, I never see anyone outside. I either see parked cars telling me they are back from home, or none denoting they are yet to be back. I don’t even see lights or anyone inside eating dinner, are they all asleep at 6? All the lawns are always trimmed, all the roses always blooming, yet I see no one working on their yards. I don’t see even birds here, only a stray car going now and then which I run from one end of the house to the other to show V through the windows. It is summer now and kids are supposed to be on vacation, so how come no one is on the street playing ( very rarely I do see them). Is everyone traveling every evening, every weekend – I have no clue. I see people shopping in every store but how come very few in the parking lot compared to the # of cars parked. There is no postman that I see, no garbage man that I see, no delivery man that I see; but packages and letters that are magically at my door. People- where art thou?

I am ready to see some cows, dogs and hear the auto horn that was once so annoying. I am ready to be pushed into the throes at Ranganathan street or into the mad crowd at Pothys. I am ready to feel the fervor when a new movie releases and see giant posters everywhere. I am ready to be back in Chennai eating my amma’s meals and sharing nonsenses with appa. I am ready to complain about the sultry Chennai heat. I am ready to be back home.

P.S. Much as I like and enjoy and appreciate the US for what she is, I love India despite her drawbacks for it is she that I belong to.


Valli Doll said...

Nee 7 ku kelambina 4 ku return aagara, apdina 10 ku kelambina - 7 ku daane return aaganum. One hour idikkide :P

Portland ke ipdi sonna...kuk gramam Ft Collins pathi ellam enna sollaradhu? But, I do see ppl out there, with their dogs, even when it was really cold? Is it something specific to your area?

Meera said...

Join the club.. You can take a girl out of chennai but u can never take chennai out of a girl. Someday maybe...

youyemyae said...

Its like the storm is better than the calm :-) I know, i love Chennai!! the only city i connect well with - ranging from saravana bhavan to satyam theatres to narada gana sabha!

Anu Karthik said...

@mayur: quantity mukkiyam ille maa..quality thaan:) I do see people but very less and very quiet for the most part compared to India
@meera: never! nadakave mudiyathu :)
@uma: i agree 100%

Santh said...

Anu - thats a nice enjoyable article. Yes. we get people lag and sound lag in addition to jet lag, after our india trip. I am just concerned about the physical and mental health of our kids. we had lots to play , we were outside home, especially in the streets as Pasupathy says in Virumaandi "edupaar kaipullaya irundhen" :-). But people , relation etc illama, if the kids grow by watching computer games, they develop eye power of -6 before they attain +6 age. I consider our set / generation to be the luckiest since we were perfectly sandwiched between the right mix of technology and other human elements needed to live a life.

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