Thursday, August 11, 2005

The India diaries II - Swish of silk

Madras (yes, I'm old school, not used to changing names of cities with ease) - what can I say about this wonderful city? From the moment we landed at Chennai Airport I had flashbacks of my time in the city: a month each summer (home to my grandfather, two aunts/ uncles, four cousins and numerous family friends), half of class 4 & 5 at Harrington House School (when it was in a big leftover British house) and the first year of my career between 1996 and 1997. I'm no authority on Madras and although the weather puts a dampner on things, my memories are all happy ones - walks on Marina and Elliot beach, shopping for vegetables in Pondy Bazaar, eating ice cream at Chit Chat, visiting the Ayyapa temple, Anjeneyar temple, eating in Sarvana Bhavan. I won't expound on it's virtues and instead encourage you to look up some interesting blogs on Madras (OK, OK it's Chennai) to get the low down on the city, such as Under the fire star, Chennai Spot, nimbupani

These 5 days were spent celebrating my cousin A's wedding reception, my aunts 60th birthday (very big deal in the realms of the Malayalee's) and generally enjoying the company of my parents and extended families. We are 6 first cousins and this is the first time in 10 years we have all been in the same place at the same time. We spent every evening just chatting, catching up on news that telephone conversations and emails do not do justice to. For V it was his first intense interaction with my cousins and their spouses. He enjoyed it, methinks.

On the shopping front my agenda was to get some silk and this I achived by going to Sundari Silks. Unlike shops where there are massive crowds jostling for space to get a dekho, Sundari Silks is a haven where one can take time, mull over the numerous choices and make one's selection. Situated in a spacious showroom over two floors what I wanted to take home was the beautiful tiled floor! (3300 sq feet each on the ground and first floors) the range has become much wider. With that much choice it was a very difficult hour; trying to eliminate the wonderful colours, textures and huge variety and be sensible can be sooo tiring. After much contemplation I settled on a beautiful silk skirt for myself, and a saree each for my mum, nani and my mum-in-law. The swish of silk is the magic of Madras.


  1. Anonymous2:09 AM

    Hey 30,
    Aren't the best times beginning post birthday?
    Well to have dinner next to the person most admired India...what can one say? "Sachheeen" is how we refer to him at home.
    Sad that he is the only hero of the last two decades in the Indian subcontinent.The absolute last of the 'duty and responsibility' tradition maybe???

  2. Anonymous2:29 PM

    Hi there..I was searching for Harrington House School Alumni online and found the link to your blog on google...I was 30 in 2005 and I was in both class 4 & 5 at Harrington:)...couldnt find your name anywhere on the blog tho so Im not sure who you are...this is Yeshwin Thomas: - e-mail me back at if you remember me..and even if you dont..would love to get in touch with old HH alumni..

  3. Anonymous2:51 PM

    No other school compares with Harrington House and I still have some fond memmories. I will never find friends or teachers as dear to me as in HHH and I've been in Harrington House since Lkg through class 4 and 5.
    Those were the best years of my life!!
    Sadly I'm not in touch with them and would like to know where they are...

  4. same as anonymous at 7:29, googled ol HHS and this popped up. but i was in grade 5, in maybe 94 or 95. not your time, but nice to see some hhs folk about.
    i love that school!
    if anyone from that period is around, or otherwise, since it's ol hhs and all, i'd love to get in touch.