Call me whatever you will, I don’t really like the IPL. I prefer watching Ranji, Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali trophies ( India’s regional first class, 50 overs and T20 competitions). Arundhati Sridhar travels around the country watching the IPL and blogs about it. She does write very beautifully.
On eating Telugu food at a restaurant in Hyderabad:
As I dug into the pulusu (the Telugu version of sambhar) in the thali, its bold coconut flavour painted a hundred memories of afternoons at my grandmother’s house, her wrinkled eyes watching as I took one helping after another with the deep steel ladle. The tamarind danced about my palette, instantly bringing back the low dining table that sprawled across into our drawing room, the prickliness of its jute-woven chairs. The Indian Railways may be all manners of wonderful, but they couldn’t have competed with the speed of a single morsel of anything on that plate in taking me home.
On travelling sleeper class to Uttar Pradesh:
As the train rolled through the simmering UP summer the next afternoon, gusts of suffocating loo filled the compartment, stifling every attempt at life and movement. As the afternoon got more pronounced, the heat seemed to come in uniform swathes, slowly mummifying every single person into the posture they held, lending the whole compartment an air of eeriness, as if it was occupied by the living dead. I too sat rooted to my berth, too afraid to move on what had become the equivalent of a hot tin roof, too afraid that any movement would unlock some new part of the surface that had not been made bearable by my body temperature working to tame it. Every few seconds I would feel a new droplet of sweat forming in a region I wasn’t even aware was capable of producing sweat. The question had, very conclusively, turned on its head : why would I ever consider a non-a/c sleeper in the middle of the Indian summer?