Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wait! And Smell The Roses

-->Isn’t it weird sometimes when someone you least expect opens your eyes to something you had failed to notice for a long time?
I have a new driver now. My old driver left for some personal reasons and now we have this guy who is new to Chennai and knows nothing about the roads, the routes and the traffic. Anyone who has been to Chennai will know what I mean when I talk about Chennai traffic rules. There ARE no rules. You find your way and go ahead, any way! It is hard to find a vehicle here which does not have at least one dent on it
So our new driver, who is used to roads of Dubai and earlier, Mumbai, is extra cautious about driving, waiting for all the vehicles to pass and going oh-so-slow. I mean, very VERRRRY slow!
It was one such time when he was crawling through the roads of Chennai that I lost my cool. I was returning home from a temple and had to get home and watch a movie. And by the looks of it, I wouldn’t have got to watch the movie for a long time!
‘Anthony! Why are you driving so slowly?? You’re letting all the vehicles pass us! Can’t you go a little faster?’
‘Yes Madame, ok Madame’
A minute passed and 10 cars overtook ours.
‘A little faster!’
‘Do you have something important to attend to, back home Madame?’
‘Not particularly, but it won’t harm anyone to go a little faster, would it?’
‘Madame, how many times have you taken this road?’
‘Loads of times. This was the road I took to college, for 4 years!’
‘How many petrol bunks are there on the way?’
‘2. Why?’
‘Ok. What about temples?’
Quite a few, around 4 or 5.’
‘Hmmm… and which is your favourite house on the ECR (east coast road)?’
‘Err… I don’t know… never looked so closely.’
‘Madame! You’ve travelled this road for 4 years! And there are so many beautiful houses on this road. There’s the one with a lot of bougainvilleas, the one next to the Muthappa temple, the one with the high walls surrounding it, the one with the tall trees... and you can’t even think of one?’
I was stunned. I knew Anthony had never been to the ECR before. And yet, he had seen all that I had never cared to see. What was I to do hurrying back home? Watch a movie filmed in some faraway land when I didn’t even know what was there in my own?
And then I was silenced. I saw the old woman selling jasmine strands next to the shop selling home décor and artificial flowers. I saw the women selling fish near the deserted bus stop, yelling at the top of their voices. I saw the lamps flicker at the temple and heard the bells ring. I saw a beautiful house, with a swinging chair in its balcony. It looked like somebody had just left the place; it was still swinging. I saw a woman spanking her kid who was covered in mud or what looked like mud! I saw a bunch of slum kids trailing a foreigner who was trying to dodge them and laughed at the poor lady’s panicked face. I saw a boy and a girl holding hands at the ice cream parlour and that made me smile. I saw a lot of things, and went home and forgot all about the movie.
Sometimes it helps to go slow and enjoy what’s on the way.


яノςんム said...


we need to look around ourselves and lucky u to have made eyes open..

Vinz aka Vinu said...


it brought a smile to my face..
nice write up, as usual..

and the last sentence was great..i had read like that somewhere before sometime back.. thanks for making me remind..

very true, its sometimes great to go slow..!!

Trinaa said...

whoaaaaaaaaaaa..some driver! good goin Anthony! :)))

palani said...

:) no comments... shud read it n enjoy it... tats wat i did...

Chronicwriter said...

he opened your eyes.. i need anthony to drive my vehicle now.. i have applied for a car loan...


the bank rejected my application

Mahul Bhattacharya said...

Very beautifully written buddy!

Really really awesome. I was touched.

HP said...

real life can be so cool ! :)

we chould start noticing it before it deserts us

very nicely written... :))

pisku said...

enjoyed reading this. All those little things that is life :)

Sarath said...

Good driver.. But tell him he has to go fast in emergencies..

Princess Mia said...

yes i guess in r daily rut of life we forget to appreciate the true moments of joy around us

comfortably numb said...


niceguy251 said...


How true! In our rush to get where we feel we will get what we are looking for, we forget to enjoy the journey. Life is full of little bunch of happinesses but in our hurry to reach the destination we overlook this.

Take care

PS : Looking for your views in my space.

Diana said...

Wake up before everything's gone....A very touchy post Divz.

Chennai is a beautiful place if noticed properly....I stayed at Luz Corner and travelled to Wallajah Road everyday at 6 a.m till 2 years. I used to look at the women selling jasmine, the Ganapati temple at Mylapore, women rushing to Kapaleswar.....people sleeping on roadsides...everything...Till my waited for the 21A bus to arrive, this was how I spend my time. And I loved every second of it as all of them had a story to tell.

Kartz said...

Revelations come when you least expect them to, don't they..? Even the simplest of them...

Peace. Be well.

Divya said...

@ richa

Divya said...

@ vinz
thanks buddy.. good to see u here again!

Divya said...

@ trinaa
hehe.. yeaaaah well, sometimes his 'frank' nature can get on one's nerves too :P

Divya said...

@ palani

Divya said...

@ chriz

hahaha! i bet they saw right through you..
ahem.. is it that you don't know how to drive???!

Divya said...

@ mahul
happy that it did :)

Divya said...

@ HP
yes!! and especially cuz I've been cursing life left right centre of late!

Divya said...

@ pisku
so very true!

Divya said...

@ sarath
hehe.. yep.. the slow driving still does drive me mad sometimes..

Divya said...

@ princess mia
yep.. more than that, we curse life for what it does not give us instead of embracing it for what it has given us so far.. at least i do it all the time!

Divya said...

@ comfortably numb

Divya said...

@ niceguy251

exactly! we miss out on so much at times.. and sometimes we are aware of it too.. but then do nothing about it.

Divya said...

@ Diana

that's sweet :)
Chennai is a nice place yes.. i used to hate it but now somehow, after 4 years i really like the place.. with its own traditional ways and its cultural heritage, Chennai has many a story to tell :)

Divya said...

@ Kartz

exactly my point!

♪♪HARINI♪♪ said...

yeah your right... but i would have left earlier and wouldnt have missed the movie :P
though i do look around at beautiful houses and people on the streets, i can never find my way through them.. :((

Arslan said...

I stayed in Chennai for 4 years, but I'm ashamed to admit, have absolutely NO idea about the city. Too bad I didn't have an Anthony to wake me up..

Great post! :)

Anonymous said...

yep... loved the last line divvy! :)

Divya said...

@ harini
haha! yes that's an alternative :P
and honestly, even though I'm trying to look around and see beyond things, Anthony can be irritatingly slow.. reaaaaaaaal slow!! :(

Divya said...

thank you Arslan :)
and yes, the city does have its charm, maybe not in the obvious hi tech Bangalore way or architectural Mumbai way.. but it does :)

Divya said...

thanks vinu :)

Priya Joyce said...

nice write up dear..

Shankz said...

Reading this post has actually made me wait and smell the roses!
Am sure you might feel the same feeling at this one!


i don't want to sound patronising but this one was really well written and you made a very poignant and oft forgotten point.

Pesto Sauce said...

As you go through life take time out to smell the flowers

Shruti SriHarsha said...

wow!!! nice one and soo true..we miss all the small and beautiful things in life...

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k.ø.c.h.ü said...

woooo i am bak 2 petalznpebbles...n dat was a refreshin post dat ive read..!! soothin one..!!!

Nautankey said...

Reminds me of how my neighbor made me realize there is a park in our locality..incidentally i have passed thru it many a times but knew that road as one with 3 speed breakers :)

go-phish said...

thats a really beautiful thought...hard to disagree with!


The Eternal Seeker said...

Nice :)

Divya said...

thank you priya :)

Divya said...

@ shankz
am glad it did!
nice prose!

Divya said...

@ chuck it in the bin
thank you :) hope i'll see you around!

Divya said...

@ pesto sauce

Divya said...

@ shruthi

Divya said...

@ kochu
welcome back! you come and disappear so often! stay now! :P and thanks :)

Divya said...

@ nautankey
first of all, love your name and the way you've spelled it :D
and yes, happens so often doesnt it?

Divya said...

@ go-phish
welcome here! and thank you :)

Sharad Sharma said...

nice post and bow to Anthony :)
yes, we do need to slow down perhaps and live for a change.


Bala said...


It was by chance that I landed in ur blog. But feel glad for that.

I just visualised the happenings that quoted here.Really enjoyed this post!!!

Sometimes, it's these small things bring us the real joy and even teach us great lessons too!

maddie said...

The best thought i have ever read in a blog..pretty amazed by the way you see things..looking for more..