Thoughts from Tirupati

Today I am at my pretentious travel-writer/blogger best, showcasing my thoughts to the world:

  • If you listen carefully, really carefully…among all the din and chaos in the temple chambers, one sound which stands out is of little kids and babies howling and sobbing. Poor things have just had their hair shaved off for the first time, scalp burning in the midday heat (anytime of the day heat for that matter) and are being jostled about in their parents arms in a crowd which might just be able to compete with the ones found in Mumbai’s local trains.
  • Outside the temples as well, there is one sound that stands out. The vehicles in these parts have the most awful horns….like wailing banshees. And they don’t shy away from honking either. I sense the culture is that you honk to announce your presence: ‘I’m here, so now clear the road dammit’.
  • Posters for movies are plastered all over the place! They aren’t that omnipresent in other parts (or maybe I haven’t travelled all that much) but you’d be hard pressed to find a large wall without multiple ‘Superstar’s’ or ‘Megastar’s’ starring on it. I find the lack of reality, the larger than life depictions (which I gauge from the posters and stray viewings of Soundhindian TV channels) well for lack of a better word, interesting. Movies seem to be a fantasy or an escape from real life. While a lot of us who’d be categorised as urbane and who’ve been bought up on a staple diet of Hollywood fare tend to appreciate that part of Bollywood which goes for grittiness and realism. Someone should do a project in BRM/SRM for Prof. Israel and look at the correlation between standard of living and preference in movies.. If only I knew SPSS :-/
  • Everyone seems to drive like a ‘Mega-star’ as well, with buses, autos and everything else veering dangerously across the roads in a manner that’d leave Jason Statham at his Transporter best with a complex.
  • I know this is very…umm, regionalist (?) but are some languages just easier on the ear than others? Somehow even 2 people having a normal conversation seems like an angry argument. And even what I assume is ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying’ seems like someone has snapped at you.
  • Vegetarian food in Andhra Pradesh is restricted to idli’s, dosa’s, uthappa’s, vada’s, rice (curd, tamarind, lemon etc) and vegetarian biryani. Bas.
  • Despite spending 80 bucks on a guidebook, a 10 minute gesticulatative conversation with the hotel receptionist and straining my neck all day to try and read the haphazardly arranged boards which tell you about the story behind the holy temple, I am yet to understand the Legend of Balaji. So Google it’ll have to be…

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