Quintessentially : Representing a perfect or typical example of something.
Niche Idols: I have no idea what they are called, or if there is even a name for it, so I refer to them as ‘Niche Idols’. Simply because they are idols of Lord Ganpati placed in little niches.
These niches are not in temples. They are placed on the outside of the wall bordering independent houses and apartment complexes. Or near the gates.
If the house is in, or faces a bad direction, or if a road faces the house, or even a tree or alleyway is blocking it, that is when these idols are placed. They are placed at a certain angle as it is believed that doing so supposedly stops misfortune / bad luck from befalling on the house and its occupants. The idol placed inside the niche is a protector and supposed to bear the bad effects if any.
These Niche Idols literally safeguard the house and correct the alignment of it.
What particularly amazed me was each of these Niche Idols has a priest to care for them. So early mornings, and sometimes evenings too, see the Lord Ganpati in these niches bathed, dressed in a change of clothes, adorned with fresh flowers and a garland with a lamp lit in front of it. I can’t tell you what a pretty and soothing sight it is!
Autos of Chennai: If you haven’t already heard stories of the notorious Auto Rickshaw Drivers of Chennai, let me tell you some. These Auto drivers will quote an astronomical price for a ride which would of course be unacceptable to you. You might haggle, they will not. As you move away from them they will shout out to the auto drivers nearby ‘this person is not going to pay, don’t waste time with them!’.
They are also known to take you for a ride, literally. By taking you around a long route to get to a place, so they could charge more. Of course, the advent of Google Maps, Uber and Ola Auto’s have managed to put a big dent on them and their attitude, but they still stand strong and are still notorious.
Fruit Shop on Greams Road: This place serves the freshest, and purest, juices in town. They have an exhaustive menu, with juices named ‘California Quencher’, ‘Glenn Turner Special’, Spitfire’. They started with serving only Juices and Milkshakes but have now added Salads, Desserts, Sandwiches Burgers, Meal in a Cup and Coffee to their menu. What is unique about Fruit Shop on Greams Road? All 17 of their outlets across town have the same name! Greames Road is an area of Chennai, where they opened their first outlet, hence the name.
Rose Milk: You will see sealed glasses or small bottles holding this delicious Pink Drink in almost every restaurant in Chennai. It is served chilled and I confess to having got addicted to it. I blame the heat for that.
You can find Horlicks on Restaurant Menu’s too, and it has takers, lots of them! Horlicks also finds its way into a Mysore Pak and that is popular as well.
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