The India trip started on a rather eventful note on the tiger airways flight itself. The guy sitting next to me was a foodcourt stall owner in geylang and we hit it off immediately. The guy was waiting eagerly for drinks to arrive and when it did arrive, ordered a vodka. It was a smirnoff 50 ml small bottle. I had juice as i was already hungry and didn't want to aggravate it by consuming alcohol. He had 2 more vodkas and he kept asking me so i decided to have a can of tiger beer (Tiger airways don't keep real beer, they only have tiger beer). By the time i finished my can, his vodka count was 4. He then ordered another one and got me another can and won't even allow me to pay for it. Lucky day, i thought to myself. It wasn't finished yet. In all he had 8 vodkas, all on the rocks and i had 3 cans of beer (all OC). He desperately wanted a smoke and somehow managed 2 drags in the toilet. I went in after him in to the toilet. The air hostess banged the door and asked me whether i was smoking. I politely asked her to wait till i was done with what i was doing before she started banging. Once i came out, i told her i didn't smoke and when she asked who was before me, i said i don't know. You don't betray guys who buy you beer, even if it is only tiger. We exchanged numbers and he reminded me atleast 10 times to call him while in singapore. I did tell him that i don't forget people who buy me alcohol.
The very next day, i went to the airtel super singer junior show shoot at AVM studios in vadapalani. Of course i wasn't performing. Just went along to cheer one of the contestants. All right, i went to check out Diyva. The sets are quite cramped though they look quite wide on TV. They were shooting the unplugged round with a young guy as the pianist. He looked marginally older than the kids and was quite brilliant. There were other senior musicians on the cello and drums. Divya however was nowhere to be seen. Just when i thought my luck had ran out, she appeared. She looks chunkier in person than on screen and when she walks, the stage creaks . But she has a charming demeanour and is quite pretty. The lunch at the studios was awesome. Met some of the kids. As we were finally leaving, got a chance to meet up and get a snap with divya. (Yes Ganesh, i can see you beaming with pride for your bro!) Mission accomplished. Unfortunately no time for any chatting. That has to wait. And by the way raagini sri of SS senior fame was also there. People who are following all this will understand. For the others, it wasn't meant for you guys anyway.
Tamil new year was celebrated with vada payasam and arundhati (the anushka movie) on TV. As with most of my chennai trips, went for a temple tour the next day. After a quick darshan of Kanchi kamakshi, travelled to the hottest place in all of TN - Vellore. The golden temple in vellore is housed in the centre of a sprawling complex. The entire temple is gold plated and is quite a stunning sight. It was so bloody hot that when we had to walk barefoot for a few steps from the car to the covered walkway, it felt like walking on hot coals. On the way back to chennai, stopped at the dhanvanthri arogya peedam in walajapet. Dhanvanthri is the celestial doctor. The place is essentially a temple but not like a normal temple. They do all sorts of yagnas to supposedly cure ailments. There was a big circular mound with 27 different shrubs each corresponding to one of the 27 nakshatrams. Mine was sengkarungali (long pepper). The temple had the coolest diety. The dhanvanthri statue sported a trendy watch and a stethoscope. Got a sacred thread alongwith a herb tied to my wrist for 200 bucks. Unfortunately it didn't prevent a sore throat and blocked nose while on the way back. Some one quipped that just tying the thread without any faith in the process doesn't help. I had to concur. Along the way learned that 'kondai oosi valaivu' is the tamil equivalent of hairpin curves.
The chennai trip ended with the worst ever sandwich i have ever tasted at the chennai airport. And it cost 50 bucks. There were a couple of nice gujju chicks as the flight was enroute to ahmedabad via mumbai. It made up for the sandwich aftertase even though none of them sat next to me. That's all for now. Will return later. Here's hoping for a Chennai-Mumbai IPL final. Will be happy whoever wins even though my ten bucks are on Mumbai.