I think I was on the topic of palm sugar chocolates. Just off Parry's Corner there was this little, almost dingy shop run by some co-operative. It sold the most amazing palm sugar chocolates. The very name makes my mouth water.
Any city you live in creates a lot of memories. I remember the yoga classes I used to take once, the teacher gave me sheets of pencil sketches of yoga postures. There was a house my best friend and I would walk past everyday on the way to school. It had a long flight of stairs leading up to the front door, ivy up its walls... ever since I have dreamt of building my home in the same manner.
The people who ran the school I studied in were closely associated with the Kannada film industry. For the annual school day, we would have film stars as guests. One year Bharathi had come down and we had all marveled at how beautiful she was. The son of the school principal had sung some Kannada songs and we had all missed home.
School was great fun with Sandra miss, Mythri miss and the rest. It was here that they decided I was intelligent for my age and gave me a double promotion. I never studied fourth standard! We had gone on this picnic I remember where we were shown the Bay of Bengal. I had marveled at how the edge of the land looked, just like in the maps we saw.
This school had a number of Sri Lankan refugee kids studying here. I met my best friend, a Sri Lankan here and made friends with the rest of them.
And then there was this one time when my parents and I got stuck in a cyclone. It was December 04, 1992 and we had this very important appointment we had to make it to in Vellore. We were totally unprepared for the rain, neither did we know what a cyclone would be like. We ended up wet, cold and irritated. I was supposed to get a little trophy in school for some competition I had won that day. I ended up not being able to collect that either.
Memories are like a Pandora's box. You open it up and out falls more memories than you thought you had. That is how it is for me. Madras has some lovely memories for me. The roads on which my friend told me of the horrors of the war and the terror of Sri Lanka, the walks down the beach, Marina and Elliots, the little church by the sea, the then posh Sea Rock restaurant near Elliots, my first taste of a piece of chicken, the uttappams, shopping in T Nagar, the majestic Mount Road, the calm and sophisticated Besant Nagar, the filthy and congested Parry's Corner.... Then there was this blind person who ran a telephone booth whom I used to help out, two girls who would wear just one dress everyday but whose mothers had tons of jewellery (!), the little pleasures of life.... Hmmm....I take a deep breath here, a long sigh at how long ago all this was. Those were the years when I was going through a lot, but I also had interesting times.
Memories are many, one leads to another, one more special than the previous one. Madras will always be a part of my special memories. I cannot wait to go back and eat some palm sugar chocolates, say hello to the beach and pick up something new at Fashion Folks after eating uttappams at Veena's Fast Food!