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Viewing Post from: Elizabeth Varadan's Fourth Wish
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An author muses about many things as well as the writing life.
1. Virugambakkam, Home Away from Home When We're in Chennai

When we go to Chennai, we stay with Rajan's eldest brother, Ranganathan, and our sister-in-law, Soundara, in an area called Virugambakkam, and we visit other relatives from there. (Chennai is so huge and sprawled out, that areas or districts have names of their own, almost like mini-cities.) Imagine street after street after street that looks like this, going on for miles and miles. And to get a real feel for traveling in the city, go to this site. 

As soon as Ravi and Ranganathan brought us from the station, Soundara brought us good, strong coffee with milk and sugar. Let me say, there is nothing as heart-warming as South Indian coffee. (And I speak as one who loves the coffee in Spain.) There's a special technique in making South Indian coffee and combining the hot milk, pouring it back and forth and then serving it, and it was just the thing to shake off our travel weariness. 

(There is also a special technique to drinking this coffee in such a way that the cup never touches one's lips. Everyone makes it look so effortless that I once tried it, sure that it was easily done. Well, it is not. I got coffee all over me!) You can learn more about making it and serving it and the utensils required at this blog site. 

Ravi (our nephew) had to go to work after he dropped us at the house. Later in the morning his father (Rajan's 2nd brother) came over, and the morning was spent with the brothers visiting and other relatives telephoning to set up times for visits. Later in the afternoon, Soundara and Rajan and I walked over to visit with Kalyani's family three streets away. (Raghavan and Kalyani -- another brother and sister-in-law -- live in Pittsburgh, but they own the house at Virugambakkam.) A couple of weeks after our return from the trip, Kalyani's mother passed away; it's a time of sadness for them all, so I will wait to post about the paintings Renukka (Kalyani's sister-in-law) does. This just isn't the time.

Each time we go to India, by the third day I feel I've been there forever. Time seems to stand still there, and India has a way of just seeping into

16 Comments on Virugambakkam, Home Away from Home When We're in Chennai, last added: 3/15/2012
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