Move over, all ye four wheelers!

Indian roads are one big chaos. Once dominated by the high and mighty, the four or six wheelers (sadly the majestic sixteen wheelers are not in India as yet. Where is the place??), today the pedestrians rule the road. More often that not, they are the sole cause of any traffic snarl. This is an observation made during my month and half tryst with roads in Chennai.

Not a two wheeler, not a cyclist. Its the common man on foot. Indian rules are lenient enough to permit them to cross the road at any damn place, hell even stop traffic and move across even when vehicles are zipping across at full speed. Entirely oblivious to the presence of something called a traffic signal (forget the zebra crossings). Its not uncommon to hear screeching brakes at traffic signals just missing a group of pedestrians crossing the road at their own free will. No longer are the pedestrians wary of the traffic. It is the other way round. The other day we just crossed a traffic signal when a group of ornately dressed women crossed the road. Cmon! Look left, right and left again. Whatever happened to all that??! We screeched to a halt, coming four or five inches away from the lady clad in a plastic silkish saree, carrying half a flower-show on her head. Unabashedly, she moved ahead stopping three odd buses and a truck which also screeched to a halt. All the drivers did swear and raise their voices where as all she did was giggle and move ahead with her friends. In any case, if anything were to happen, who would the blame fall upon?? Of course, it is the privledged motored party.
I also noticed once, two office workers standing on either side of the median in Adayar at 8:30 in the morning when traffic is the heaviest. Not on the median, but on either side. That puts them in the lane of the fastest traffic. They invited angry looks from all the people driving to work, but hey they stood there! Not a care in the world. I noticed they were well-dressed and apparently laughing about something. This was the educated India. Did they miss out a few crucial lessons on road behaviour ?
Two wheelers are only marginally better. They are not afraid to travel in the lane reserved for four wheelers and trucks. Once, they were scared of being run-over. Despite that possibility holding good, I fail to realize where the extra rashness has come into existence. They are the frequent reasons why traffic never moves fast thanks to their meandering in and out of traffic.

One morning, after taking hour and half to cross just two odd kilometers, I was extremely agitated at knowing the reason for the inching traffic. An auto had almost scraped the sides of a man’s two wheeler sending him into a rage of sorts. Again, the man was obviously in the lane meant for cars, all this not-noticing, he parks his bike there itself, bang in the middle of the road and stops the auto (same place). This stops traffic for kilometers behind them leaving one small path open for vehicles to go through. The funny part being, no one had time to ask them to leave the argument and let the traffic pass. It took one hour for a traffic cop to get there and sort the matter out. (When i crossed the place, the cop had just arrived!)

So, owning a vehicle gives no control or advantage over the roads these days. Frankly, if the public transport system had been better, I wont mind doing this exercise as well. Its loads better than driving these days.
Believe me!

The demise of the gastronomic realms

The planet seems to be moving towards the new order of the day. DONT EAT. Everywhere I go, I end up meeting people who take excruciating pains to calculate the calories the next bite of food will induce into their bodies. Worse, they even sleep-talk about how probably the notion about groundnut oil being good is debatable and ghee is almost equivalent to poison.

Sigh.Where have the people like me gone??? Coming straight to the point, where are the foodies? Where have the connoisseurs of ambrosia gone? Probably out of work. Now they are replaced by dieticians and models who choose to write diet books as to how to remain stick thin for life. (read Yana Gupta).
Okay, being flabby aint good. One must be healthy. The age-old concept of eating right, exercising blah blah still holds good. But hey, eating is not a crime!! Talking about food is perhaps the latest ice-breaker in glum gatherings. Mention weight-loss, and voila! the whole place erupts with suggestions and recommendations.

Being on the wrong side of the weighing scale myself, I am often subjected to long and irate tirades of how one must not eat at night, eat just 300 calories a day! (seriously! am I supposed to count??) and probably the next thing ‘d be told is to just sniff food from a distance or resort to converting solar-energy into food. Frankly, it has been ruining my peace of mind as well. Any dinner with friends (girls) ends in a salad being eaten by six people and some weird juice like lemongrass or aloe vera. (YUCK!) Supermarkets are filled with zero-fat and zero-sugar stuff which tastes like a load of just pure crap. Whatever happened to good meals ?

If you havent guessed by now, I am a complete foodie, bordering on the verge of gluttony. I think bad meals in college have something to do with it as well.I would love tucking into a nice wholesome south indian meal replete with ghee and other condiments unlike the saffola cooked-microwaved food, or else taste nice hot brownies sometime with real chocolate unlike the sugar free brownie which tastes like chewing cloth. I love to explore the limits of the gastonomic world tasting everything (vegetarian) from everywhere cooked well. I am frankly sick of looking up labels on everything I pick up.

The newspapers and periodicals are full of low-calorie recipies and tips on cooking food without oil. Channels show case the super-slim people and how they got to that. ( I am almost thorough with what Kareena Kapoor did to become that size zero!). Endless interviews about what one should do to lose that extra weight. ( Hell, the browser window on facebook aslo shows me “tips to lose that belly fat”)

For all you know, the rebel in me might be squished and I might join the brigade of the half-a-lettuce-for-lunch people. Its sad, good food is out of fashion.

I admit, I am sooo jealous of the people who gorge all they want and still remain stick thin. I wish!

The mid-vacation standstill

I love adventure, I love being challenged. I love working and sweating to the point where my mind refuses to take in more and I collapse on my bed into a deep, dreamless sleep. I hate over-sleeping. I hate being jobless. I hate just staring at my computer screen with my cursor blinking on the adress bar of the mozilla browser, waiting to be directed, some site name waiting to be written.
The past week was exactly what I didnt want it to be. Long hours of waiting, hours of a seminar I did not relate to much. Tons of boring papers to go through and most importantly, just having no work.
I guess a mid-vacation crisis has struck. What began on a hectic note what with the GRE preparation (which began from scratch), the swimming, the walks this n that sadly have lost steam. The pool is under maintenance, the occasional showers convert the tennis courts into a marshy swamp and the GRE has also been taken.
I know that the next few months are going to be hectic, what with two projects and the whole university application procedure to be started, CAT preparation and the placements, but I hate being jobless.
IM SO BORED. This post is so whiny, because I am in a mood to crib about my vacations to anyone who would empathize with me. ( To most, I know being jobless is something dreams are made of).