Travelogue - Mukteshwar  

Posted by Harish in , , ,


It was Dushera, which meant a welcome holiday amidst the long six-day work weeks at the factory. We decided to get away from civilization, which is quite a natural feeling when you are in the land of Forests and Factories - Uttaranchal. Our shortlisted options this time consisted of a Touch&Come overnight Dehradun trip or a drive to the picturesque forests of Ranikhet or the small temple-hill town of Mukteshwar about 85 km from Haldwani. Finally the Atheist in me lost and we decided to visit Mukteshwar.

Getting up at 6am on a Sunday is possible only when you have joined a coaching class at Dadar or for an exam at 7am in a B-School or when an interesting new place is lined up for travel. Thankfully this time it was the most pleasant one of the three. Leaving by 7.15am, we hit NH87 and took the detour off the Nainital road towards Bhimtal. Even the off-roads are great, which should come as no surprise if you have already entered Uttaranchal from UP. We drove for an hour and got a bit bored of the chilly weather making us sluggish. The car parked safely, we began a small, half an hour trek through the beautiful trees and the comforting sunshine.


With some warmth in the bones, we drove on for another half an hour past some breathtaking scenery devoid of any human beings in the entire horizon. Uttaranchal is blessed. Period.


We drove near the Bhimtal Lake where we had been just a week ago and headed to the small town called Bhowali. After a short breakfast stop at a very cozy place overlooking the valley, called George’s, we took the road towards Ramgarh which happens not to be the one from Sholay. Duh!


Enroute the hills, a sudden moment of sanity made us realize how fucked up we were with the Fuel indicator at one stick. Thanks to some pretty awesome ‘Crisis Management’, 7 Bisleri bottles (filled with a suspected 33% Petrol, 33% Kerosene, 33% No-One-Knows-What) were purchased for 100 bucks each just to Play Safe. Finally we reached the temple at 11am and expected to see a grand 350 year old Shiva temple. Reality as often the case is a letdown of epic proportions. Not choosing to capture the disappointment of the small temple structure, we captured this view looking down from the temple.



The rocky cliff seen above is the famous Chauli ki Jaali, where legend has it that women who take out their head out of some hole amidst the rocks is blessed with a baby. Of course we headed out there immediately, our reasons being only slightly different – Rappelling and Rock Climbing.




The cliff has a safe height of 20m fit for adventure after which it becomes dangerous. Spending about 45 min and Rs. 800 for two people for both activities, we drove away from the temple to explore the ‘main market’ of Mukteshwar which had exactly 4 shops and a restaurant. No trip to a hill station is complete without having Maggi, and this one was no different! We drove past the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) where we came across a rather interesting sign board.


Since there was not much to be done on the way back, we decided to stop randomly at places, clicking and enjoying beautiful sceneries like this one below.

When the mood gets a bit cranky, nothing like Chocolate to get things back. A European styled shop claiming to offer local made chocolate at rates upto Rs. 1800/kg made us salivate and sure enough we bought the costliest chocolate at the store.

 

After driving on for a further hour, we finally stopped at a ‘Tea Factory’ sign board which lead us on a half a km downhill detour through some of the most amazing Shire-like (LOTR) homes. The factory was not in operation that day but the shop and the Tea Gardens were open to visitors (possibly just the two of us in the whole day). Though the Himalayas aren't really known for its Tea plantations, the sights were just as pretty as the Nilgiri ones.


Already tired with the trekking, rappelling, rock climbing and the walking around, we decided to drive to Bhowali and then through Sattal, yet another lake in the Nainital district. Though nothing extraordinary, the lake was again pristine with just one other gang around. On the way back, for the first time in the day, navigation on Google Maps ditched us and the path shown ahead turned out to be a non-drivable, walk-only road. This resulted in a 15 min extra drive and we reached Haldwani at 7.30pm.

The day had just got more interesting for my partner-in-crime as Firefox had opened an outlet in Haldwani barely 24hr ago. With her long intended Firefox Target 21 speed All Terrain Bike being available, Rs.20,000 quickly exchanged hands and the result was one beaming kiddo. The night was then aptly concluded at midnight continuing from its early morning temple start, with the roadside Ramleela at Kathgodam. We in our metros can never challenge the sights and spirits of a small town where the whole family enthusiastically turns up in their festive attire to watch the same 3hr Ramleela year after year. Perhaps our materialistic world would do well to ask itself some of the questions we have forgotten to ask ourselves over time.  Why do we exist in the first place, for example.. The answer that we find out, might well be - Traveling!

Photos: Galaxy Note 2

The Blue Mascara  

Posted by Harish in , ,

Genre:   Fiction
Mood:     Oh! Pune
Song:      Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya (Will You Come To Me Across The Sky)
Quote:  There Is No Distance On This Earth As Far Away As Yesterday. Live in The Present.



Quick Note: Reality is often, far too Stranger than Fiction


Love, Intimacy, Failure, Endgame.. [L-I-F-E]  

Posted by Harish in , , ,

He was an innocent looking kid. Amir was a studious ninth grader studying in the famous boarding school in the foothills of Darjeeling. She was a cute little girl. Shaili studied in the tenth at the girls convent nearby. As with all the romantic convents of our times, the two schools shared nothing in common, but a wall. Shaili was famous; more so in the Boys school. Boys used to fight amongst themselves, to self proclaim a right to be the first in her ‘list’. Like all the girls of the sweet sixteen, she ignored the hormone laden wannabes who craved for her attention. Who gave these idiots the right to create the numbered list which was now famous in both the schools? She could never relate to silly things like love and infatuation. These are for people who are not in control of themselves. In fact, she hated such people.

Amir had never really ventured into the world beyond his mundane school. That was until he saw her across the road one fine day on the way back home. She noticed the all-too-common stare on her and just walked on. Amir could not sleep that night. He remembered the pretty face, the sharp eyes, the perfect nose, the curled lips, the flowing black hair, the flawless curves. The next day he waited an hour past school at the same cross. She did arrive and again noticed Amir blush away. Not one more fool, she thought. That evening she went to her aunt’s place behind her house. He was already taking his tuitions inside the house. He gave a shy smile and looked down into his note. She was surprised at the coincidence. Her mind always worked in weird ways. Was he really ‘stalking’ her now?

For two long years, Amir did not have the courage to look at Shaili in the eye. She knew it vividly by then what was unfolding at his end. He crossed her path all too often. Around school, in front of her house, at the tuitions, everywhere, with the same innocent and timid look. But he never initiated it any further. Anyways, she always knew the answer she had ready for anyone and everyone, the rock strong person she was. Eventually it was time for the story, if ever there existed one, to end. She got a seat in one of the most prestigious colleges of her state. She went away from her home for the first time ever to the city of Joy. Living in a hostel was so much fun. Her fiercely independent nature easily facilitated staying away from her parents. Besides, Calcutta was quite different from her Darjeeling and she always loved changes in life.

At the end of the first semester, she returned back to Darjeeling for her holidays. She went back to her school to meet her friends. Amir was now in the final year of school. Destiny though, had carved a different script for Shaili when she happened to meet him at the same road cross. He flinched and walked away in the opposite direction. Shaili stood numb. She retuned back to Calcutta a day later. But she could not forget Amir’s weird reaction. She thought about him that night, through the next day, in the college, in the hostel, the next morning, the next and so on. Soon enough, Amir preoccupied her mind. She wanted to forget him, but she just could not. How could anyone make her feel this way? She had to be her own favourite, not someone else, definitely not a freak called Amir who stayed miles away. Yet, when you are in love, you can only delay the inevitable. She waited for a whole year for the hormonal infatuation to subside. Obviously, it never did. Finally, at the end of the second year, Shaili searched for his Orkut profile and decided to mail Amir..

The love story set in as if it was decided in the heavens all along. Mails translated into messages, and messages into long late night calls. The usual 10p schemes by the mobile operators made Shaili change her number even though Amir retained his own. He meant everything to her now, and she found herself weak at her knees. She accepted that it was always meant to happen this way. With time, minor fights did happen, but Shaili was too smitten to let him go away. Stubborn as they both were, they would indeed fight over trivial things, and even stay without talking for days together, but in the end, it was Shaili who used to break the ice.

She found herself to be able to stay rational with everyone in this world. But with him, she often found herself emotional. She hated herself for this, but the love of having him in her life always overcame this self hatred. Matters of the heart are different she knew. Her best friend in school used to say that there is always that one special person in this world for whom you will go to any extent, lose all reasoning, and everything that they do, will seem acceptable to you. Of course, back in school, she used to discard this as being emotionally weak and susceptible. But today she knew, that one person in her life was always meant to be Amir.

Amir was now in Gurgaon. His engineering college was the best he could get into. From his side, he liked Shaili. Even though he had never met her properly all his life, he stayed true to her all through. His initial childhood infatuation had turned into love. But the way he understood love now was distinctly different to her way. Shaili absolutely revered him and would be ready to go to any extent for him. He had never been as expressive as her. He knew that he hurt her quite a lot through his subdued nature, but he liked it his way. Besides, their relationship had depended forever on the mobile signals in their hostel rooms; never did they have the face-to-face comfort. He did try to be more accommodating of her. But of late, the more he adjusted, the more she expected. Wasn’t she the one who initially used to talk long hours about the importance of space in relationships? He wanted Shaili to move away a little even though he loved her to the core.

Shaili on her part, recognised Amir that does not feel the same way he felt for her before. But she just could not let him go. So many had liked her before, but she had never even bothered about any of them. All she had done was hurt them. A few cases were extreme, but had she pacified herself deep inside that it was part and parcel of being born as the more attractive sex. You are meant to be bad to them, even if you don’t want to. But now life was turning it against her. She was now at the other end of the tunnel. It is always meant to be an emotional rat race, a hundred run behind you, but you run behind the one who never reciprocates to you. She brushed away this idiosyncrasy as a part of the human hypocrisy.

In the vacations after her graduation, Shaili got a job in a multinational and left for the city of dreams. Mumbai had a feel which even native Darjeeling did not. But some things can never change. Atleast that is what she thought. In the winter of 2009, seven years after it all began, Amir decided he could take it any longer. Staying in a far off new place, Shaili expected that extra bit from Amir. After all, he was the one to whom she could talk to about anything and everything. Amir counted 59 incoming calls in just one week, some even at times when she knew Amir would be in class. The pretty girl in the tenth grade he had so fancied was uncharacteristically irritating now. How could he even think about living with her for the next fifty years of his life when he could not even bear her for a few minutes on the phone every day? In all his practicality, he decided to deal with it right now and ask Shaili to stop fooling herself that they can go ahead together down the line. He decided to come down to Mumbai and make a surprise visit. Talking on the phone at this point would be unjust to the seven years that they have been together. Completely taken aback by his sudden visit, Shaili flung herself at Amir and kissed him for the very first time ever. Little did she know that it would be the last time as well.

 She was aghast. “I just don’t feel the same way for you Shaili. I know it has been 7 years now. But I am sorry. I can be rude like this. I did try to be more accommodative, but I was just not able to be my natural self with you. Whenever I talk to you, I have to change myself to suit your expectations. I simply don’t think this can continue on a long term. I don’t know when it got like this, but now I have taken my decisions. It is true that you are my first and only love till now, no one can take that away, but that does not mean I turn into an emotional idiot like you. Find your own life from now on Shaili. I wish you well.” He was gone with his friend who was waiting downstairs.

Life turned around, and how. The only person for whom she really cared about, didn’t want her anymore. What was she at fault? Loving him in the purest sense, without even an iota of physical attraction? Loving him a bit too much? Being ready to do anything for him in this world, anytime, at the instance of a single phone call? She had helped so many of her friends in such similar situations, played the agony aunt’s role to perfection, mostly advising them to call it off as a rule!  Today it was her turn to be in the spot. Rationally, she knew that she had to let go of him now. But somehow, she just could not. I am the world’s biggest hypocrite, she thought.

She got up in the nights holding up her intense paining head and often palpitating. Her asthma attacks were recurrent and intense owing to the state of mind. Her Herpes resurfaced after years. She wanted her higher education to work out. But somehow, she managed not to get herself through. Should she blame it on herself or on Amir, on simply on the situation? She tried hard. She indulged in heavy drinking. She started smoking packs a day. Do those really help those in stress? She found out the answer to be in the negative. Her work place was in a mess. Her colleagues just moved on to bigger things, while she just stood watching. Her life was in a mess. She was truly living on the edge now.

Often she found herself transferring all the hatred to her parents back home, who had no clue whatsoever about anything. She hated herself for talking to her parents the way she did. She hated herself for still loving him so much, for still believing that one day he will be back to her again. Above all, she hated herself for simply not being able to hate Amir. He was responsible for turning the practical and rational Shaili into the emotional fool she was now. A moment later, she blamed herself for getting so attached to him in the first place. Twice, she was thought of ending it all. She feared returning to her flat after office. Every night she would imagine herself jumping off the balcony. The thought of how her parents would react, and how Amir would react when he came to know of her death probably made her change her mind. On second thoughts, Amir might not even feel a tinge of guilt, she thought. Probably he would feel that it was her stupid decision to die, where does he come into the spotlight in this. But she always knew - Her parents surely deserved better..

She had to change. She made new friends, a bunch of them. Being alone truly scared her. They drank, they smoked, they partied. Each one had their own story to cry over. But she liked it here. These new friends, they stood by her, even though none knew what exactly had gone wrong. She wanted to show Amir that she can indeed live without him. That she was still strong from inside. On his birthday she wrote a long six page mail about what she was going through and about her stupid suicide plans of the past. She spent nine hours at a stretch writing the mail, finishing at 5am. She ended apologising; she will never ever consider such a step again in her life. Frankly, she did not expect a reply. Strangely, she did get one, a short one, “Ok. Tk Cr.”

“That is all? Just 3 words for the long mail explaining my condition after you left me for no reason”, she wrote back. This time, she was right, there was no reply. She was not surprised anymore. In the summer of 2010 Shaili resigned from her job in Mumbai and returned back to Darjeeling. She died while crossing the road cross in front of her school. Atleast that was what Amir heard on the 23rd of that particular month from a common friend.

Later in his life, Amir adopted a baby girl and named her Shaili. Against the wishes of his family Amir decided not to marry all his life. The number 23 stung him forever. But he knew that he had to bear the grim reminder attached with the number, every single time he encountered it. He could never be at peace, and in a way, it was not wrong. What Shaili went through, in the past year because of him, he had to go through it for the rest of his life. Life is indeed fair, sometimes tragically so.

Did she lie to him about never again thinking of suicide? Or was she killed in a genuine accident? Then why exactly at the same road cross where they had first met? Because Shaili always considered only him to be her very own, would things have been a little different if he had made just one phone call after that mail, encouraging her to come out of the depression? Amir must never have these answers all his life..

Quick Note: Written on 3rd April 2010, this story is based on two real life stories of people I have known, with certain creative liberties being taken, which peak at the climax!

Last Day In Infosys..  

Posted by Harish in , ,



/*******************************************************************************
Last Day In Infosys Mail
'*******************************************************************************
' Author:                  Harish Thangaraj
' Emp. No:                92339
' Date Created:        21/05/2010
' Code Name:           Summary of my Infy Life
' Description:           Bored of the way Last Day Mails are/were written
*******************************************************************************/


#include Mysore.h                                            /*Include the experiences from Mysore*/
#include Chennai.h
#include Pune.h

# define TRAINING_MYSORE 4                          /*Define training period in Mysore as 4 months*/
# define BENCH 2.5
# define PROJECT 26

void main ( )
{
                void Training.doc ( )                               /* First 5 stanzas indicate my own experience*/
                void TheGoodBad&Ugly.doc ( )
void Acknowledgements.doc( )
…………………………………….
…………………………………….
…………………………………….
…………………………………….
void ContactMe.doc ( )
                void YourDecision.jpg ( )

}

/*******************************************************************************
The End
'******************************************************************************/

Have a Happy and Hale Future Everyone. Keep in touch! And if possible, Do Remember me!

Thanks and Regards,
Harish Thangaraj

Training.doc


Note: Today (21st May) is the first anniversary of this tragic bus accident. This blog is a narration of my Mysore experiences and more importantly, a tribute to the ones we lost in the accident. Read further over here:



TheGoodBad&Ugly.doc
The Good:

The Bad:

The Ugly:


As with every sphere of life, there exists the odd black sheep here and there. Choosing not to wash dirty linen in the public, I have approached the relevant people with the concerns. Hope they will be addressed; as it is entirely in Infy’s best interests to do so! All the Best Infy, I will always remember you..!!

Acknowledgements.doc

In my exit interview, I have listed Peers / Co workers as the second best thing in Infy after the Mysore training. Having worked at some point of time in all of CTTJL, BY, GM/TM, Mobility, I have had a chance to work with a lot of like minded people.


Starting from the Night Shift gang of 2008, I want to thank Aditi, Ankit, Arpit, Jinesh, Nishant, Premal, Puneet, Shishir, Shruti, Surujit and others. They made the transition from the student life to the professional life quite smooth indeed.

Mobility team shared a great cubicle and I want to thank Amrita, Mona, Nilesh, Puja and Sachin for all the good times we had back then! Although we virtually have a new team in CTT now, I have been lucky to have worked with Ankit, Anup, Divya, Gavin, Raghav, Ritesh, Sahil, Yogesh and many others!

Thanks to all my college-cum-room mates in Pune. The list is long, but each of them matter just as much. Aarti, Ambrish, Amit, Bharti, Darshita, Deepa, Hemant, Khushboo, Parag, Pooja, Surujit, Salil. You guys made Pune, the next best thing to Mumbai! Not to forget the training pals – Kaushal, Madhura, Prasanna, Piyush and Siddharth.

It’s ‘The Party Rockers’ who have made me explore this city like no other. Our escapades will truly be cherished years down the line for obvious reasons! Abhishek, Anup, Arpan, Garima, Nachiket, Nishant, Rohan, Sahil, Sheetal. Are we guys crazy or are we mad! WE ROCK!! :P

Barring a particular manager who is no longer with Infy, I want to thank most managers I have worked with. Special thanks to Atul, Ravi and Partha for the consideration of leaves after filing my E-Sep.

In The End, It Always DOES Matter! Thanks Aarti, Amit, Garima, Nishant and Sheetal for being the people that you are and to Aditi for being special.

ContactMe.doc

The world is indeed round (Don’t trust that Friedman guy always). Either walk around the globe once so that we can meet again or simply use any of the following means to keep in touch!


http://harryfication.blogspot.com (My Publishing Zone)
Facebook
Orkut
Twitter
Linkedin
YourDecision.jpg


Quick Note: 
1. I quit Infosys on 21st May 2010. While my stint was not without its fair share of Crests and Troughs, amongst its comparable peers, Infy is easily the best IT company to work for in India.
2. MBA @ IIT Kanpur got changed to MBA @ Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

Mad-U-Rai  

Posted by Harish in ,

Genre: Critical Analysis/Satirical Humor
Song: My Immortal, Evanescence

Madurai, my birthplace, is called the City of Temples. Till the early 2000s, there used to be a temple every 50 steps on its lanes and by-lanes, which used to scream obscene film songs through the loudspeakers every other night. After a huge anti-encroachment drive, most of the unauthorized temples were taken down (surprisingly without much resistance from the public). Now you end up with a temple every 100 steps; the most famous of them being the magnificent Meenakshi temple.

The roads are quite narrow. As with most of India, two lane roads are conveniently used as 4/5/6 lane ones. The roads are dominated by cycles, autos and TVS mopeds/bikes. Cars are still a luxury here. For the people here ‘Lexus, Skoda and Daimler’ are Latin translations of ‘Love, Sex and Dhokha’ (Ok, that was for exaggeration; but did you remotely hope that Tamils understand Love, Sex or Dhokha any better?) The electricity wires zigzagging around the city totally ruin whatever traces of landscaping existed in the first place. Houses are unorganized in construction with most buildings being 1/2/3 storeys tall. Cut-outs of politicians and film stars (only males) lace the nook and corner of the city. Roadside Idli shops make up for 33.33% of all shops in Madurai. The other 66.67% are equally divided between Jewellery shops and Silk Saree shops.

People here are very down to earth. No airs, no ruckus; very pleasant, friendly, absolutely devoid of attitude, but sometimes irritatingly so. Sometimes you get the feeling how can people stoop so low in front of strangers; why don’t they respect themselves more? Fashion, Lifestyle, Partying, Eating-Out, Pride, Show-off, Shrewdness are nonexistent terms. Family, TV, Devotion, Education, Job are terms of paramount importance in everyday life. Eventually you find more happy people here than anywhere else, because 'Happiness' is seldom defined by the former terms.
The average Tamil child is made to believe from a very early life that his sole purpose on this earth is to get educated and slog his ass out for a lifetime. Whoever thought the purpose of life is to carry forward the cycle of life to the next generation. Boys and girls are not supposed to interact with each other. In my cousin’s Engg College, the guy was expelled and the girl fined heavily because they were caught getting intimate with each other. Actually they had held hands outside the college premise. After a huge protest, the punishments were over turned. For a typical student in TN, the day starts by heading off to school, coming back and heading for tuitions and then completing the homework and sleeping off. It is this upbringing which makes Chennai the city to send the highest number of students every year to the IITs. It is also interesting to note the high occurrence of abortions in the state in the age of 20-25 i.e. the age when students move out of their homes to work after college. When you repress the hormonal instinct for 10 years, this is what you get when the cages are opened.

The normal Tamil housewife wakes up early in the morning, sprinkles the place outside the main door, casually makes a highly ornamental rangoli as if making it is comes naturally to everyone from birth, sends off her hubby and children, and then makes sure her day begins at 11am. From 11am to 11pm, begin the ultra-mega serials of the Tamil television. Our housewife will follow every character across every serial, across every channel religiously, and relate to the stories as if they are happening in her own life. Majority of people in TN have shifted to Sun Direct (DTH Service) which provides 55 Tamil channels (who watches news/sports/hindi/cartoons/edutainment channels anyway?) for a monthly rate of Rs.75 which directly targets this type of households.

Films constitute a huge proportion of the very little fun quotient in Madurai. The release of a Rajnikant/Kamal/Vijay/Ajit/Surya movie is a day of festivity throughout the city. A first day first show of these movies is an experience in itself. The movie halls conveniently hire goons with lathis to manage the testosterone-only crowd. 80% of the halls still do not have an AC and the tickets are Rs.30 for stall and Rs.40 for balcony. Multiplexes are unheard of in the city. Heroes are dark, fat and sometimes even bald, and always from this state, while the heroines are fair, slim and sexy and often imported from the north. Such is the culture here. My own girl will not be allowed to go out of home, but I will fantasize the ones thrown to me from outside.

Such is the world here that people are least bothered about what is happening in the neighbouring state. A train crash in Delhi is pitied upon in a humanitarian way, but the feeling that someone from my country is dead does not arise for some reason. At the same time, the anti-Hindi and anti-India movement of the 1960s is totally lost for good now. People here are fanatical about Tamil language. Tamil, being declared as ‘A Classical Language’ by the Center after years of struggle, the TN Govt is celebrating this event across the state on 23-25 June. Schools, banks and Govt offices have been given a 3 day holiday. TVs play out Rahman singing in praise of Tamil language. There is a fervorous atmosphere here right now, yet it is distinctively different to the one back in Maharashtra. People will never bash up people for not speaking Tamil, never will they even demand that non-Tamils learn their language. Such is the tolerance for others, even though their own pride in Tamil is unparalleled.

Tamil Brahmins are a different species in themselves. Even though they constituted just 3% of the total state population, till the 1980s/90s they dominated everything from education, arts, politics, government, business, everything. Society was heavily influenced by the caste system and Brahmins suppressed others across all fields. Today, obviously they have opened up, but their networking skills till date are mind-blowing. On the train to Madurai, I met this 60 year old man, who had 2 children working in Infy, now settled in the US, having a million relatives in every country across the world. He has been to 5 IITs himself, knows a 100 other people who have passed from these IITs/IIMs, knows people from the place we lived in, knows people from my Dad’s workplace, knows about my school, knows my Principal, studied in my Junior College, knows my Engg college, has stayed in Pune, knows every lane and by-lane in Madurai/Mumbai/Pune. In short he knows about every god-damn thing that I talk about! Brahmins occupy the top posts across business, politics and anything related to money and power. As from ‘Two States’, music and dance forms are very important to them. Some of my Brahmin friends have now learnt singing for 20 years non-stop now. Every Brahmin child will be trained in atleast one of classical/carnatic singing and dancing.

The idiosyncrasies of the Tamil wedding are as intricate as the handiwork on the Kancheepuram silks adorned by the female clan at the wedding. A woman gains an average of 8-10 kgs once she dresses up for a wedding. Two kilos of Gold (3-4 Necklaces, 2-3 chains, 4-5 pairs of bangles, 3cm long earrings, 6/8 rings, all purposely made in 20carat gold so that it gives an at-your-face kinda color of yellow), 6-7 kilos of pure Kancheepuram silk draped around her body and one kilo of talcum to give a make believe tint of fairness to the tanned dark skin. On the other hand, the husband and her son can be expected to wear anything from a shirt costing Rs.180 (Rs.100 for the material and Rs.80 for the tailor) to a silk shirt costing thousands. But the point is, they will just not be noticed at all, whatever be the case. The man can as well walk naked to the wedding along with his heavily clad wife, and yet everyone will inquire about the wife's sari and jewelery!

As was mentioned in ‘Two States’, people here are supremely under confident in everything. Shifting out of Tamil Nadu or even to Chennai truly scares a lot of people. Coz their world is too protective and suppressive of them. True to the book, they are amongst the hardest working people, yet they will back off from lime light and not take credit even for the work they do. They also have a sense of inferiority complex when they mix from people outside of their state. The culture back home of being too nice and pleasant to everybody fails when people need to take on the outside world.
To summarise, this is a world within itself which is today being forced to open up because of globalization setting in. People want to resist the change, but deep inside they understand that opening up was long overdue, and doing so will only bring them better economic opportunities. In the decades to come, sadly, the unique culture of this state will be soon destroyed and as the cities turn cosmopolitan, the essence of being from Tamil Nadu (Nadu=Country) will soon be lost. Yet, the new identity will be that of hailing from one of India’s most crime-free, female-respecting, economically advanced, literate, open minded and progressive societies.

Quick Note: This is a highly subjective analysis of my native state. This post at best describes just the lower 80% of the state. In a way, I have played 'Slumdog Millionaire' with the state by not portraying the upper 20% which is better than most other Indian states!