It is amazing how people's perceptions and opinions remain unperturbed and undisturbed in this, info-age. At first I thought that this is only true in case of senior citizens, and, since I never answer back to that species of human (my mom is a year shy of that tag, she assures me), I always smiled politely and moved on. Of course in recent times it has become rather clear that age is no bar. Children (somewhat pardonable that a child would assume that snow and snowmen can occur only in the United States), middle-aged folk, and my personal favourite, old people, are party to this.
Visiting an old person in Chennai, thankfully not tied to us by any easily discoverable blood lines (we should have spent another fifteen minutes, the vibrant photo of Venkateshwara in his home surely meant that we would have found that elusive common link). I told him I was there for just a day, from Mumbai. Despite not being of English stock, I commented on the weather at that point.
Hmm he said. At least you have escaped the Mumbai heat for a day.
I thought this was a huge joke, and was going to cackle politely till I realised he, in all seriousness, thought that Chennai was a cool haven in comparison with big bad hot Mumbai. Oh well. Why should I be so surprised? Don't I have relatives, who exclaim virtually involutarily when I say I live in Mumbai,
OH! Bourbon biscuits are so expensive there.
(I remember, I visited once, in 1960..).
My husband is a good one to have at your side at these junctures, I am just too polite and smiley faced to disagree. So yes peoples. Elders have said. Mumbai is the hottest place. The biscuits are too expensive here. And people all live in 'flats'. I will not even bother to tell them that just today, in a leisurely walk around here after a Rava Dosa breakfast, we think we saw: The Blue Kingfisher, Koel, Coppersmith, Magpie Robin, and, possibly, a Sunbird, in addition of course to armies of crows and mynas who are our neighbours (all as recognised by expert friend, not me). And no, we did not sweat although its nearly April and we were walking around at 11 am.