Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thirty minutes on the footpath

Posted by Varun | Thursday, April 16, 2009 | Category: , , , , |

Before anyone starts showing concern, let me make it clear that I still have my job and this is just a one-off case where I got to spend some time on the footpaths of Chennai. I got this opportunity when I accompanied my sister to the American Embassy in Chennai. Visitors are not allowed inside the premises and are not supposed to even wait outside the gate. Since the embassy is in one of the most busiest roads of Chennai, the only place a person can wait for their dear ones is the footpath right next it. One gets to see all kinds of people there. Luckily for my sister, she had a cute and handsome American citizen to accompany her. The little fellow made sure my sister came out in thirty minutes. The cute lil fellow is my nephew.

These thirty minutes gave me a chance to sit there on the footpath and observe. Observe people who were all vying for that all important American stamp on their passports. This also prompted to me to put my guessing cap on and to start forming opinions and frame conclusions.

I usually come to conclusions soon (most of them luckily turn out to be right) and that is what I did sitting there. I enjoyed guessing the reason behind people's visit to the embassy.

Here are few of those for you to enjoy;

1. A young girl being dropped off by concerned parents - She is probably trying to get a Visa to pursue higher studies. I came to this conclusion when I saw the worried look on her dad's face. A look that said, "Two million rupees for studies!, My daughter's gone mad"

2. An elderly couple being dropped off by their relatives - Couple's daughter or daughter-in-law is pregnant or has just given birth. They are going to USA to help their kids take care of their new born kids. This was easy. The couple looked happy and a little worried because they didn't want any problems during Visa stamping. They were checking their documents time and again.

3. A confident guy getting out of an autorickshaw and walking straight to the gate - Third attempt to get his Visa stamped. He knew which queue he had to join and where to get down from the autorickshaw.

4. A mid aged guy getting out of a chauffeur driven Toyota Corolla - A high-profile IT or a management guy. His company would have done all the paper work for him. He was there to give his biometric identifications and collect his visa.

5. Girl being dropped by parents and a whole bunch of relatives - Newly married and is probably trying to join her husband who's already in USA. Number of relatives, number of bangles and amount of jewellery she wore and no sign of her husband allowed me come to this conclusion.

6. Female looking like a beggar being dropped off by a decent looking guy - She is definintely going to be the next maid in Manhattan. I know I should not go by the looks but it was the shabby dress that made me think this way.

Would you have arrived at the same conclusions?

Apart from all these fun conclusions, there was one thing I noticed which was common to everyone who came there. Every person had a sparkle in their eyes. a sparkle of expectation, a sparkle of hope. A hope that things would only get better for them. I hope it does too.


Poetically translated: May all beings be fulfilled, may all beings be healed and whole, may all beings have their needs met, may all beings be protected from harm, may all beings be at peace, may all beings be free.

PS: Really sorry for not posting regularly.

Currently have 48 comments:

  1. Glad to know u r alive.. Gladder to know u were spending ur time on footpath... and those observations are quite bang on...

  2. You should have called me when you were here in Chennai ! Grrrr....

    Anyway, glad to see you back !

    LOL @ the observations.

  3. Heh heh heh,
    True, oh so true.
    Are you planning a visit or such to this place and doing some recon now?

  4. haha, nice one varun.. really enjoyed it reading :)

  5. HI dude...nice post and nice observations....

    But dude....the 6th caught my eye... Are you stating here the JLo dressed shabbily or the lady had wat JLo has????? ;-)

    Nice one dude..real nice one!

    -Luv 'n' Luk

  6. Hi,
    Extremely happy you spent those 30 minutes observing people. I am also glad you could recognise the sparkle in their eyes as it is 'The thing' which makes life what it is all about. Lots of love

  7. U seem to have disappeared.....

  8. Hey varun,

    Really had a nice time reading your observations and comments..Amazing one.

  9. Hey..good set of observations...thoroughly enjoyed reading them:)

  10. he he... cool judgements!! :) i wud have done the same if i were u... judging strangers and predicting their positions/present lives!! :D

  11. Helloo..kewl post...
    gud observation skill...

  12. Hope u r back for good this time...

    Will comment properlu only when u promise that you are back!!!

  13. Vee,Hahaha.. I was spending my time on footpath and another place called office :)....Zinda hoon mein...

  14. vimmuuu,You have never given me your number! Grrr back :)

    Am glad to be back... Thanks

  15. Vivek,Hahaha... I have no such ideas for the time being.

  16. Nandan,Thanks so much :)

  17. Arnab,Thanks a lot! JLo... Hahaha.. How I wish it was her in the queue! I used the title of her film for the lack of a better word :)

    What does JLo have anyway!? Is it the voice you are talking about? I didn't hear that lady sing ;)

  18. Anonymous,Thanks so much Appa!

  19. Divya,See! That prompted you to comment! Didn't it!? :) BTW, I am alive and back :)

  20. Anita,Thanks so much for such lovely words.

  21. Richa Pareek,I had to use your full name as I have another Richa in my comment list now :)

    Thanks so much! I am glad you enjoyed it.

  22. Archana,It is a wonderful hobby and a great way to pass time. Isn't it!?

  23. Rich,Good to see you! Welcome to my Digital Diary! Didn't know you write blogs too. I am now your follower. Do write about your Swiss trip too... And thanks for those lovely comments.

  24. Smita,I am here to stay!! Please achche se comment kijiye...

  25. people watching is one of my hobbies too! Loved reading ur take on it!

  26. having been to the consulate myself, let me say that i have actually seen these people too.
    loved the sanskrit sloka in the end. :))

  27. Hmmm chalo is baar maaf kiya :D

    Observing people and trying to imagine what is going in their mind is something which even I enjoy and I would have guessed the same as you :-)

    But that maid thing is so sad na....what ppl have to do to survive...

    Wonderful post!!!

  28. nice observations.. if i were left on the footpath like that i would have done the same thing.

  29. Glad you had a thougtful time. Come visit my blog and leave lots of comments!

  30. im blog rolling you, if thats ok :)

  31. Varun! You must have dropped a mail to Vimal or me or any of the Chennai bloggers!!! So, grrr to you! :D

    Idle mind devil's workshop - classic example? :) ;)

  32. Wow Varun that was amazing! I mean the smart guy n the beggar woman was fantastic.....Wel must say u have a good sense of observation!

  33. That was good Obsi... n college terms ..
    A ray of hope to earn in $$$

    I dont quite agree with last one, Maid in manhattan, perhaps she might be simple.. Looks might be deceptive dude..!!

  34. he he he... nice one man!!!

  35. Hi EISI,Thanks so much! It is a wonderful hobby hai na!

  36. Hi Anjana,5 years of Sanskrit learning made me write that Sloka :) Thanks for blog rolling. You have been blog rolled too..

  37. Smita,It is quite sad to see much people. But I hope that their loves would be better there than here. Thanks for commenting ;)

  38. Hi Oorja,Haha..Would you come to same conclusions too? :)

  39. Hi BHBC,Welcome to my Digital Diary! I am not aware of your earlier blog but the new one and the promise that you've made sounds interesting. Looking forward to reading your posts.

  40. Hi Apar,I know! My mistake. Chennai is not too far from Bangalore. I'll let u guys know when I visit it next time... For sure :)

  41. Hi Ashwin,Welcome to my Digital Diary! I can differentiate between simple and shabby. So I still stand by my observations :) She is for sure the next maid in Manhattan. And if not Manhattan, it will be some other place in USA :D

  42. Hi MadBlogger,Welcome to my Digital Diary! Thanks so much!

  43. THanks for following me!! It really means a lot to me!!

  44. Quite some observations! Look what blogging has done to us. Anyone else would groan at having to spend half an hour on the footpath!