ஒரு அமெரிக்கரின் இந்திய அனுபவம்

சேலை என்றால் என்ன?
A sari is an Indian women's garment made from a single, unstitched, 6-meter-long piece of cloth that is wound several times around the waist before being thrown over the shoulder and held in place by its own weight. It is worn over an underskirt and a short top

லுங்கி?
I have also been fitted for a lungie (pronounced LOONghee), which is a traditional men's garment here. It resembles a wraparound skirt— a single piece of cloth stitched together at the ends to form a tube about four feet across. You step into it, pinch it at the waist, and fold the excess around to the front. Then you secure it by rolling the waist around until the hem is off the floor (there's about a foot of excess length as well). Mine is blue plaid.

வேஷ்டி?
There is also an variant called a doti, which is similar except it's white with gold thread at the hem. This is considered a holy garment and is used for religious festivals. I may wear one for tomorrow's harvest festival. The lungie is mostly worn while relaxing at home, but I have also seen them on the street. There is also a knee-length mini version. It works nicely as a bathrobe and I have been using it for that for morning tea before I take a shower.

கோலம்?
Many people draw geometric designs with rice flour on the street or sidewalk right outside their houses

சந்தை?
market
1. Start with "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" at Disneyland.
2. Add 5,000 people.
3. Add cows and dogs in the street.
4. Add other people on the sides who have laid various objects in the dirt and expect you to pay them for them.
5. Shake liberally.

சாலைகள்?
We quickly found out that no two streets are parallel here for any length, and the streets are not well marked.
More on Bangalore traffic. As I said earlier, the streets of Bangalore can be very harrowing. You have cars, buses, trucks, taxis, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, and autorickshaws all mingling together within inches of each other. The last are three-wheeled motorized taxis painted yellow and black. They are heavily utilized by tourists but the locals use them as well. They are little more than overpowered golf carts, and about the same size. They are always squeezing between cars and beeping their little horns. They resemble giant bumblebees, making a nuisance of themselves as they wedge themselves into every nook and cranny.
Traffic as a whole is barely controlled chaos. Especially terrifying to me is seeing women dressed in saris riding side-saddle on the back on the motorcycles, holding on for dear life with one hand while their husbands drive like maniacs in front. One slip (and sari fabric can be made of silk or satin and quite slippery to the touch), or if she puts her feet out too far, or if the voluminous sari gets caught in the machinery of the bike, and she could get seriously hurt.

வாகனங்கள்?
Cars drive on the left here, and all the cars have right-hand drive. It was very odd to sit in the left-front seat and have nothing to do. Cars, bikes, mopeds, and pedestrians all weave in and out, within inches of each other, with little obvious pattern. The traffic lanes, when they exist at all, seem to be merely rough guidelines of lanes that carry little meaning. Horns sound constantly.
continue to be astonished at how anyone manages to drive from one place to another without getting killed, especially at night. A Cadillac or Lincoln Town Car would be impossible to drive here.

பாஸ்ட் புட்?
We had dinner there at an Indian fast-food restaurant. I should mention that the word "fast" seems to have an entirely different meaning here. Out "fast" food took a good 15 minutes to arrive. It was very good, though.

பான்?
we had a very interesting confection called pan. It is made from a variety of ingredients, including betel nuts, fermented rose hips in honey, and others, wrapped in a pan leaf and eaten in one bite. It was very good.

விலை?
The price for both fabric and tailoring is ridiculously cheap— far less than what you would pay in the US. ………sandwiched between two chapatis (like Indian tortillas), fried, and served with ice cream. It was delicious, and more than enough for the five of us. The bill: 1,063 rupees, including a 10% tip. Converted to dollars, this was a little under $20! In the US, dinner for five at a nice Chinese place would easily run over $100. I was thunderstruck. It was some of the best Chinese food I have ever had.

கடை?
She knows all the merchants by name, and they know her well enough that if she doesn't have enough cash on hand they don't mind if she comes back the next day with the rest. They even bought us tea!

சென்னை?
Overall I like Chennai better than Bangalore, despite the hotter climate and the mosquitoes. Chennai just seems to have more charm and personality than Bangalore. In Bangalore, the atmosphere is one of unrestricted expansion. Chennai is more sedate and sophisticated. The traffic is more organized as well— most cars stay more or less on their own side of the road.
It strikes me as much more cosmopolitan than Bangalore. If I ever come back to India, I want to come back to Chennai. I wish I had time to see more of it.

சென்னை-மகாப்ஸ் சாலை?
-'s dad drove us about 40 km south along the coast road to the little town of Mamallapuram. The road is the best I have seen in India. Part of it is a toll road and so is in very good condition. This allowed traffic in excess of 60 mph. This could get very scary after a while; driving habits do not change with the increase in speed and all the hair-raising stunts that drivers pull in the cities are now done at 60 mph. I think I grew a few new gray hairs on that road.

எதிர்காலம்?
We have enjoyed every minute of our trip. India is an amazing place. It is developing rapidly and has great promise for the future.

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