A long sigh home


Well, here I am – an H4 visa holder in the US, which basically means I have had to give up my job in Chennai and any hopes of resuming my career here in the near future. I have been a housewife for the past four months – a situation which has added to my homesickness.

I miss the traffic, the chaos, the blaring loudspeakers, and the colours and scents of home.

I miss wayside temples and nonchalant cows on the road.

I miss the familiar faces at my neighbourhood auto stand.

I miss my cheerful maid.

I miss my friendly istri-wallah.

I miss my family doctor, a lady whose conversational skills match her diagnostic ability.

I miss Gangotree, Murugan Idly Shop, Surya Greens, Adyar Sangeetha and Grand Sweets. 

I miss Eloor Library.

I miss Fruit Shop on Greams Road.

I miss Odyssey and Landmark.

I miss my fabulous office with its gorgeous view of the Bay of Bengal from the 10th Floor.

I miss my team at work.

I miss tea-breaks and gossipy chats.

I miss my huge extended family and the impromptu get-togethers we always had.

I miss my mom and her overprotective fussing.

I miss bonding with my nieces.

I miss long conversations with my sister at Cake Walk and Jelly Belly, and walks on Elliots Beach.



9 Responses to “A long sigh home”

  1. 1 Pradeep

    Hmmm, I miss all of these too. Just replace Fruit shop with Star Rock @ Nungambakkam. 🙂

    PS:I’m a first time visitor. Nice blog! 🙂

  2. OMG, this is so like me! First time on the blog and won’t be the last time, I swear! Good job!

  3. Nice one.
    But dont you miss Chennai’s atmosphere….I mean its Kool atmosphere during summer..??

  4. Fantastic! Guess you missed Canteen Sekar’s cutting chai, “Sales to Delivery handover meetings”….rupa’s “shocking” 🙂 well..well…

    We turn more ‘Indians’ when we are out of India…particularly the first few months are so terrible that we used to watch even ‘Vayalum Vazhvum’ !!

  5. 5 Subbu

    beautiful writing, Very few copy writer who love writing like i love painting. excellent. missing your school of writers bigtime.

  6. And rather than add to your what-you-miss list, decided to share some snippets from a column a friend of mine wrote for the Timeout magazine. It was titled, Nostalgia, My foot… or something to that effect. Here goes:
    1. Brindaavan express pronounced “brindvan” express
    2. Booking a vespa and waiting 8 years to get it… and going and seeing one Mr. Ramasesha Iyengar to see if you could get it earlier on medical quota
    3. Trying to get GLAXO baby food for Arun and Ramu… each brother talking to one Mr. Basavalingey Rajappa Gowda apiece to get it now itself.
    4. Waiting for kerosene vandi to come by…usually in the blistering hot afternoon… running with empty tin to get in line
    5. Going to ration shop and asking “what has come?” (eyn bandhidhe?)
    6. Practicing that 5 am winter cough that milk-buyers waiting in front of Jayanna’s shop used to do and that I heard and learned to imitate … and getting amma irritated by practicing it at home … without any warning
    7. Someone having a Car! (note cap)
    8. Someone Going Abroad! (n. c.) … even more awe-inducing…someone RETURNING from abroad (only for avvisit though) and being told that he/she gets “for each month 1 lakh rupees salary” (maasaththukku ORU letcha roobaa sambalOOOHm)
    9. Getting squashed by mobs in front of R.A.N.Stores (Jayanagar), G.K. & Bros. (G’bazaar … tell him you are Babu’s brother), etc. trying to get text books before supplies were over … and always, ALWAYS, having to go back several times … “Ariii,9thStandardSanskritBookBandhidhyaa?” Shopkeeper peremptorily waving one away after one had asked 83 times.
    10. NO ONE using deo!
    11. Being excluded from really interesting gossipy conversations because you were “too young”
    12. Waiting for at least 30 minutes to cash a cheque for Rs. 35/- at Canara Bank… as the cheque passed from person to the next … often carried by an extremely pissed-off looking peon.
    13. Gazetted Officers’ signatures. (still in practice)
    14. Being sent to “mishin” to get rice POLISHED, paruppu maavified, and just plain to ask when we could bring the red chili to be powdered.
    15. Going to KALPATHARU SUPER BAJAAR, Infantry Road, and gawping at the well-stocked shelves of PRE-cleaned/packaged food stuffs.
    16. Having to buy refills for DOT PENS! (ball point? never heard of it)
    17. Having to endure the mostest absolutest dreariest FILMS DIVISION documentaries before the feature film.
    18. ALWAYS having to Know Someone for even the most mundane things…using ‘inflence” (minus the “u”)
    19. NO public toilets AT ALL.

  7. 7 Arjun Kondamani

    Hey, nice blog! You captured quite a few of the things that have a place in nostalgia lane. I have been out of the country but I miss a few of those things still, like Elliotts beach, St Patrick’s, long walks in IIT, and best of all never putting on weight because you either sweat it off or burn it off!!!

  8. Hey!

    Found your blog from your FB info. You write really well. To add to your list, I’d like to list a set of things I miss after returning home from the US (inverse nostalgia, if you please!):

    – Hot coffee from Pete’s along with a toasted blueberry bagel and low-fat Philadelphia cream cheese.

    – The wide open spaces of Northern California.

    – New Year’s Eve at the Embarcadero in SF.

    – Real orange juice – naturally sweet without added sugar.

    – Home Depot

    – That wonderful universe of bright, cheerful, chic stuff available at darling prices – TARGET

    – Mapo tofu with brown rice at P.F.Chang’s

    – Enchiladas,Chile Relleno and Mexican food in general

    – Pavements you can walk on without stepping in dog/cat/cow/buffalo/human poo. In fact, pavements!

    – Cities and countryside that are clean, well-maintained and not an eyesore.


    Happy Blogging!

    – Paddy

  9. 9 Vyjayanthi

    I did not know the existence of this blog. Are you going to continue it:)

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