The Long Goodbye

Banyan Tree

Originally uploaded by littlesaint_uk

My time in Chennai is nearly over. But the last 48 hours have been pretty amazing. On Thursday we had a rare opportunity for a couple of drinks. In Chennai, it’s a bit difficult to go for a quiet drink at the local bar. Strict licensing laws have restricted the numbers of places to drink – you can’t even get a drink with your meal in a restaurant!

The local bars are seedy “wine shops” dominated by men. The more female friendly alternative are the five star hotels, which serve alcohol in their restaurants and bars. So for my final night, we headed for the Residency Towers to their buffet restaurant.

We had envisaged just a small party: Charli, Shilpa and a couple of people from work. We ended up with around 12 of us, including six interns at NIE from England and Canada. After an excellent meal and several cocktails we headed to the bar, where a DJ was playing Bollywood themes to a dance beat. It was a good night.

Friday was my last full day in India. Charli and I headed for Besant Nagar to meet Shilpa. After picking up a couple of garments from Fab India we got in an auto and went to the Theosophical Society gardens. We saw a few parrots, woodpeckers and the magnificent Banyan tree – a huge tree with branches propping up the tree from the earth.

Because Charli and Shilpa had an assignment in Mylapore, we decided to eat there and went to a cafe they had sampled the previous week. Then, they went off for their assignment and I went for a very successful souvenir hunt in the Citi Centre shopping mall

.Charli and Shilpa’s assignment, a poetry evening, sounded… erm, rather interesting and eventful. I wish I had joined them and look forward to reading their account of the evening… watch this space!


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