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A summer in Chennai.

4 weeks to the day I arrived in Chennai, I left it quite confused, not knowing whether I was going to miss that place or not.

My dad works in Chennai, and because of the simultaneity of my brother’s and my summer vacations, we, that is our mom and us, ended up visiting him.

For a month.

I’ve done this once before, when we visited my father when he was in Pune (he roams around a bit).

From a shaky start in the beginning, with no television and a wobbly internet connection, to buying my first Raspberry Pi, moving around in foreign crowds, planned (and notified, through their local newspaper !) power cuts, getting up early to buy the newspaper from a vendor, roaming around every other weekend somewhere or the other, and properly eating South Indian food with my bare hands, served on a banana leaf, and to downright fun on the last few days, I have got to say, it was quite a ride.

Early morning on Thiruvanmiyur beach.

A classic Breakfast. Note the absence of any spoons.

Graffiti in Pondicherry.

This guy set up post in front of my balcony on our very first day. The white tinge is because of an old telephoto lens.

One that makes you think a lot. That is, if you’re that kind.

For one thing, I missed the UEFA champions league final (no streaming at 128kbps). I missed the ENTIRE Roland Garros, and three Grand(s ?) Prix. Just missed the PRISM scandal break out on Hacker News. Missed Black Sabbath’s ’13’ (it is insane, by the way). Hadn’t updated my Arch system for the entire time. Missed the Red Wedding Sunday night rage. Missed Google I/O, WWDC. And I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of other things I missed I haven’t put down.

But then one evening, I was thinking (I do that quite often) and I realised it didn’t matter. All the sports I followed through live commentary; though it didn’t matter – Bayern won, Federrer lost, Ferrari sucked through those 3 races. Every other event or news I got through Hacker News. Followed I/O and WWDC through Engadget’s amazing live commentary blogs. Just finished the Red Wedding rage myself, and haven’t stopped listening to ’13’.

I also realised that the world goes on. It didn’t stop for me, or for anyone else.

I got through a couple of books. I almost got my website up. I got bored of the beach. And I really got to know my A-37 well because of all the shooting I did every weekend, visiting nearby and new places. I loved their Rs 95/- only theaters – saw three or so movies.

I did a lot of walking, used way too many hand signs and gestures to get myself understood, and learned to love the time I spent with my family.

We managed to visit some place every weekend. In the four weekends there, we visited Pondicherry, Mahabalipuram, Thanjavore, and Tirupati.

Amazing view from the Rock Temple.

Rows of massive columns.

Looking up !

One of my favorites. The beggars actually managed to look at the camera and smile.

Full moon while coming back from Thanjavore. That’s my dad, clicking on his Samsung.

Model, to scale, of Aurobindo ashram.

Aurobindo ashram. They don’t let get nearer than this if you haven’t already booked a visit a few days in advance.

Sunrise in Pondicherry. Alas ! Too cloudy.

French influence in Pondicherry extends to more than just street names.

Graffiti in Pondicherry. Part 2.

Almost every street was named like this in the French Quarters.

Auroville, Pondicherry. Entrance.

Notice the dogs snoozing at the feet of the statue.

A well-earned sleep.

Fortune telling, with parrots. At Ganesha Rathas, Mahabalipuram.

What used to be a hand-carved statue of a god, Mahabalipuram.

Just look at the detailing.

A little history upon entry, The Five Rathas, Mahabalipuram.

The Five Rathas, Mahabalipuram.

The miracle rock, Ganesha Ratha.

Caves near the Ganesha Ratha.

And the rains came.

I tried thrice or so to go capture sunrise at the Thiruvanmiyur beach, once even in Pondicherry, but to no avail. The weather always managed to play foul. Still I got some.

Another personal favorite.

Quite a month, eh ?

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