Thank You Nilam

Forget Sandy. India, we have our own hurricane. And like all hurricanes in the US of A are named after women (why? can someone tell me please?), someone aped the big brother and our hurricane is called Nilam (with an I). Not very creative if you ask me. We had better options in Priyanka, Aishwarya, Sunita, Babli etc. Anyways so here I am in Chennai where I know exactly one person, apart from my office peeps. When I was coming here, I thought I would extend the day and hustle around for a business idea that I have been working on for last few weeks.

So I got over with my meeting, which went rather bad, and promptly decided to visit someone that I thought I could partner with. Little did I know that A, those guys are American and hence they shut down by 5 and B, there was Nilam, wrecking havoc in Chennai. I mean the impact of Nilam has been far from adverse - at max, we have had a few fallen trees, really wild winds and incessant showers. But we live in the era where media loves to exaggerate things and everyone I know plays it safe. I mean I asked atleast 5 people if they want to goto the beach and experience the true might of Nilam first hand but all of them chickened out. Guess not everyone is as frivolous as I am.

Made me realize that a city, a place is all about people. The fact that I thought I know enough people there and yet I couldnt get company, sucked! If I was prepared, I would have planned for something - I would have read about it, I would have carried a camera, I would have seen something that needs seen. Or I would have idled time, seeping in scenes and smells from the new city, like I do when I travel. But this time I was caught off guard and it sucked. There was nothing at all to do.

And this is when the idea man in me said, why not look for a place where I could sit and write. I immediately ruled out my hotel. Not a lot of reasons, but this time, I was booked into a hotel where the tiny 15" wall mounted TV was two miles away from the bed and there was a wash basin in the room. Ok I am painting a far worse picture but I think TV was indeed larger than 15" but I am not kidding about the washbasin in the room - I did use it to dry my shoes afterall. So my room was not really inspiring as a place and there was no table and I thought I could goto a coffee shop and write, the way I do when I am in Mumbai or Delhi. So I set course for a known and famous coffee shop. I think I left my office at 6 and by 8 the driver was still trying to find his way! Google maps was acting weird and all I could see around me was traffic. And when I did reach the shopping mall that housed the coffee shop, it was shut! Why? because someone had issued some advisory about Nilam!

By this time, I had lost it and I was yelling at everything that moved, including the cow munching onto I dont know what. The I-yelled-at-following list could boast of fancy names like the KFC till-man, the driver of my car, the policeman that was trying to man the traffic, the security guard, the gatekeeper at the mall.

I realized that I was pissed off for no reason. May be because I dint get to name the Hurricane or something! The thought about cities and what gives them life and what makes them important, endearing, mesmerizing, popular, safe, grand etc kept swirling in my head. And I had no answer. May be this is why I was angry. I tried to reason with myself and discover the reason for my anger.

And then like lightening, it dawned onto me. I was hungry! I had to eat! And thats what I did. I promptly went to a Simran's, had awesome Appams and went off to sleep, next to the wash basin that is.

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