My Adventures.

Posts Tagged ‘Andhra Pradesh

Today has been the most craziest day so far during my India trip. We just got back from Tirupathi. Each time we visit India, we always visit Tirumala at Tirupathi. We had finished our rituals and were trying to look for our driver near our hotel. It took us about an hour, we haven’t had anything to eat other than breakfast and prasadam (offering to God), and it was 3PM. We find our driver, next thing we know the Chief Minister of the state, Andhra Pradesh was killed in a helicopter crash. The chief minister of any state has the status of a President of United States in his state. That’s how powerful he/she is. My driver in deep tension, he tries to get out of Tirumala as soon as he can with an over packed car. Getting to Tirumala involves going up a a few roller coasters like roads but uphill. We had family coming from Bengaluru but they couldn’t go back because there no buses returning back. They hopped along with us. Hence, an over packed car.

As soon as we reach the Tirupathi, all the shops, restaurants, gas stations were closed in honor of the Chief Minister. We had almost no gas in our car. No food, only few packets of biscuits, hardly any water. And there were 7 people in the car. This is annoying because no body can do anything. Luckily we found a gas station that was open and they filled it up only 1/4 of the tank. Somehow this lasted the whole trip to Chennai. Luckily. We tried to get across the border to Tamil Nadu as fast as we can, that way we can avoid going through craziness, the violence. On the way to Tamil Nadu, we saw tons of pictures of the Chief Minister, some were used for worshipping and others just for honoring him. Then, we come across a village where the locals blocked the road with stones and trees. We found an alternate way, but it led to another road block. This time, the police came on time to argue with the locals and cut half of the tree. I find it really ridiculous. I mean is this how people mourn? For one person, the whole state HAS to mourn and forget about everyday life.

As our car stopped, the police were trying to get the tree out of the way. My cousin and I decided to take a picture of the tree and the situation. As we approached the tree, we were the only girls there, a middle aged gentleman looked us with anger and said in Tamil, “What are you doing here? Go!” I was scared that violence would break out and headed back to the car. This is another case of the male dominated country. There are literally way too many males. It somewhat feels like Georgia Tech except we are dealing with a more diverse population where education, language, and culture differs extensively. I honestly told my parents that I feel there are way too many men in India and that we need to produce more girls. Now, that’s another story which I will not get into. Our duration of the trip was doubled simply because of these nuisances caused by the Andhra locals. The road blocked with trees, rocks and arrogant people. Back to the story, we encountered about 4 to 5 more road blocks and had to find alternate routes. It was a hassle. We just wanted to cross the border. Oh wait, apart from that, we had absolutely no water, only few packets of biscuits. We were on road for 5-6 hrs. Luckily, we made it home safely around 10-11.

My cousin was telling me whenever a Chief MInister dies in Karnataka for example, the whole state would be shut down, people would mourn by blocking roads, shutting down stores, setting curfews and on top of that, creating problems/violence in a nearby state, such as Tamil Nadu(TN). In addition to that, hitting people, smashing cars, it really can be bad. Not only does this happen when Chief Minister is killed but if a famous actor passes away, the whole state shuts down for a day, including schools, colleges, work, transportation, food stores, everything. That’s India’s style of mourning. But if such a case would have occurred in TN, it’s even worse. Well, what can I say, this is India. Yes, the India where there are slums. Also, where it produces the most movies in the world. The home of Taj Mahal, the 7th wonders of the world. The home of yoga, IT outsourcing, where its all about the people, after all it’s a collectivist culture. It’s also where there are about 20-23 national languages and thousands of dialects. Each state has it’s own different culture and language. It’s almost like as if you are stepping into a different country. Also, a place with more 1000s of years in history.

I’m not trying to say post a blog and tell you about the problems in India. I’m only doing to make people around the world aware of what happens here. Some have absolutely no idea. I’m just telling you my experience. Basically, for me to remember and for you to know.

Other than the whole situation, my experience in india has been really good. Only 3 weeks left 😦

Road Blocked


Vinutha Prabhakar

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