Do in Rome, as Romans do!

13 10 2005

I happened to be in Coimbatore last weekend. The company is on a recruitment drive and we ended up in Coimbatore for some brain searching.

First thing you take notice of Coimbatore is how laid back the place is. Its a stark contrast to Hyderabad. Don’t take me wrong, it has its own hustle-bustle but nothing compared to the mad circus that goes around in Hyderabad. It definitely is a welcome relief!

The next thing you notice is the dearth of good hotels in the place, you can count the number of better hotels on your fingers and don’t be surprised if you have 7 fingers to spare after the count.

Then comes the reality, no one talks in Hindi! 🙂 I heard it from others earlier, but I experienced it first hand on the streets of Coimbatore. You can not merrily use your favourite term – “Ek Chai Dena”. Staying in Hyderabad, I never had to learn Telugu, everyone here understands Hindi. In Coimbatore, you need to know Tamil or you should let go your street urges of talking in Hindi. So its “One Tea” then – for poor linguistically dis-inclined people like me! Plus points being that you can bitch about anything and everything with only the slightest trepidation of somebody understanding your ramblings.

The three days went off in a daze with candidates zipping in and out of the shady Hotel Surya Board Room. The place would not have been that bad if the hotel buggers had the couresy to chang the greasy tablecloths. But who can blame them they just (I heard) bought over by Taj Group for their upcoming Five Star hotel to come up in Coimbatore.

I would not be surpised if some Andhra-ites commit suicide in Coimbatore. There are very few Cinema halls and don’t get your hopes soaring by these few, as all of these except one play only pure, unadulterated Tamil movies. For multi-lingual freaks – hop right in! For those like me who find learning new languages as not an interesting enough timepass – feel dejected!

Before I even knew, it was time to head back, but not before vitnessing some incessant rainfall of the unpredictable Coimbatore climate. The roads were clogged with water, specially towards the airport. Not very different from Hyderabad in that respect though. The trip wasn’t very exciting as it was business all the way.

Somehow the city grew on me. Empty streets and easy going people. The first impression I have after the trip – a nice sleepy old town to settle down in. There is something in the Coimbatore air, you feel sleepy all the time.

Just a foot note on Autorickshaw!
This composite entity is broadly divided into two component parts:
1. Auto – A machine that runs on petrol in rest of India, but here I doubt if it was Kerosene. Siblings of this machine in Hyderabad, go 0-40 even before you can say “Oh My God!”, but in Coimbatore you would need to get down and push if you want it to go over 20 kmph. In Hyderabad, you would see a working tarrif meter on this machine, in Coimbatore please do not make a fool of yourself by asking the autowalas to “Go by meter”. Incidently, I did make a fool of myself.

2. Autowala – This is the grim-looking, care-a-damn person sitting inside the Autos. They do not understand Hindi – so spare the effort. They are walking talking tarrif meter, so bargain as much as you can. It is generally a good idea to know exactly where to turn in order to reach the destination because the final amount is bound to go up if you don’t – in addition to listening to Autowala’s take on the Petrol prices and unfair practices.

Anyway, I would be returning back in November (this time for a break) and I would get to explore the city a bit more.

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