Sunday, October 16, 2011

Good to be back? Uhm, NO!

This is something I had penned down in my diary in my hotel room after we came back to Chennai:

After the weeklong stay at Malaysia and Singapore, landing at the Chennai airport left me stunned for a while. The ‘indianness’ was suddenly so much more magnified and apparent. The sticky heat, the stink, the brownish-orange spit stains adorning the walls, the dirty floors.. I was aghast at the low standards of the airport because I was expecting it to be something like IGI, Delhi; which it clearly, clearly wasn’t.

And suddenly I realized the stark contrast between India and Singapore. It was immense! The dirty roads, the men urinating by the roadside, people throwing litter anywhere and everywhere, the bustling crowded, noisy places, the carefree cow strolling lazily on the highway. All these things became more pronounced. It gave me a glimpse of what the tourists and foreigners and NRIs must go through when they visit India. I stayed out of it for ONE week and this is what I felt. They must go oh-so-crazy! Mom and I were acting like sophisticated phonies and saying things like “Eww, so tacky, so gross!”  :P

After Agra, Singapore had felt like a dream. Everything there is made to perfection. It is shiny, sparkly and runs with such finesse and efficiency. We saw the iconic Merlion statue, we took a river cruise to visit all the prominent buildings; we took a cable car ride overlooking the majestic view of the city. Everything about that place will fill you with enthusiasm.

Sentosa was delightful. The colourful places, the attractions, the rides, the restaurants, the ambience, the music, the people, everything is enough to make your day! The highlights of the day were definitely the underwater world (witnessing sharks and the craziest looking sea creatures floating over your heads was some experience) and Songs of the Sea (a laser-light-water show on the beach)

(Cable car view of Singapore)

(Clarke Quay, Singapore)

(River cruise at Clarke Quay)

(The Merlion)

A place like this really makes you wonder what went wrong with your country and why it couldn’t achieve what Singapore could in such a short time. Population? Corruption? Illiteracy? Everything is interrelated I guess. Many times, over there, standing in a queue or in the bus, I observed all the people. Indians were very easy to spot. One, their colour, yes. But Indians everywhere always seem so tensed. Like they’re worried something bad might happen, like all the time. And they’re either eating or making noise. Mostly huge families together. Maybe that’s how they’re tuned to living. In crowds, amongst cheats, fighting for a small thing with so many people pushing them around.. that’s just how they’ve become.

Our hotel was magnificently huge. Large beds, a fantastic view of the city, pool and wifi. What else do you need? It felt so good to not see a single ant/insect/fly/mosquito/lizard/cockroach anywhere in that entire place whatsoever. Thinking of going back sucks. But there are a few things that I do want to do. Like talking to my friends and making long phone calls and eating aloo tikki and maggi noodles and blue lays’ magic masala favoured! And back there, one packet won’t cost 4 dollars!!


  1. Welcome back to reality my friend! I too feel the same each time I get back from abroad :D

    N yes, agree with you that population, illiteracy, corruption n poverty are inter related.

  2. You cannot really compare an old airport with a new one !

  3. India is India and you love it for certain reasons!!
    But you do wish that India cud be better. We can start with ourselves ... not littering when we eat out or travel etc. I try to do my bit

  4. Yes, we really need to do something about it. But, well, India is where we get all the chaat! :P


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