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Posts Tagged ‘Mahabalipuram’

Few things make living in Chennai seem consistently worthwhile. Its residents are so eager to camouflage their identities with silly colours and wanton tributes to socio-cultural diversity that nobody really knows what to make of us, Chennaites, anymore. Even product companies with their infinite market researched wisdom and soul-exchanging contracts with Satan can’t seem to figure us out.

Thankfully, a vast coastline, with tiny beaches suckling at its teat, snarling at the city from the outskirts is one of those silver linings that distract us. All the rubbish, the unruly derelicts and the annoying Hare Krishna foreigners quietly fade into the background, giving way to the glory of buttery chicken sandwiches, crumbling architecture, cigarettes, the sea, and good company.

She paints beautifully over my weekend’s canvas…

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More than a decade ago, the good people of Venugopal Avenue in Chetpet witnessed a Tamil Tiger rebel craft a dramatic escape from a few rotund policemen. I was one of them. During one of my trips to Pondicherry, I watched a bunch of auto drivers beat the skin out of an alleged child molester. I cheered and applauded at these acts of civil and federal liberation for their sense of chivalry. But ever so often, you bear witness to a sight so horrendously vicious that it offers no equilibrium to the mind to weigh the good and evil of it.

jagan surveys the brutality

jaganath surveys the brutality

This April, a bunch of us went to the Moon Rakers restaurant in Mahabalipuram. It was breakfast time, so our senses were eager for coffee and toasted bread. We ended up ordering a Masala Fried Fish, once we were done with the pancakes and cheese sandwiches, of course. No one dared to stick to a fork it, without respecting the sheer size of the fish. Oohs and ahhs preceded picking off the soft flesh. A dead fish was intimidating a bunch of 26-year-olds.

And then it happened. With a silent war cry, these guys launched at this aquatic beast, with their forks blazing and mouths watering. Jaganath led these fine young men into the killing field. The attack was merciless as he continued to poke and pinch through the fish with such viciousness that I could almost hear it’s comrades angrily swish about in the ocean.

This act had no sense of chivalry attached to it.

This was just plain barbaric. A brutally poignant moment when violence and hunger flirted with each other.

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