P James is all over Chennai. I read his name in Kilpauk, Adyar, Saidapet, Egmore, T Nagar, Besant Nagar, RA Puram, Alwarpet, Chetpet ... untidy large black letters, advertising "P James Magic Show xxxxxxxx" (the number).
Did James himself wander the city with a paintbrush? Or did he pay someone to do it? Either way, is the magic business bringing in enough money to justify it? Or wait, did all this graffiti just appear by ... magic?
Send me a note if you're on the lookout for a magician (who isn't?) and want the number. Alternately, if you're in Chennai, just wander about. I guarantee -- or rather, P James guarantees -- that you'll see those black letters within 20 minutes.
What's with the "Marrybrown" Family Restaurant on Nungambakkam Road in Chennai? Where'd that name come from and what's it supposed to mean?
T-shirts that went by:
- She Smart and Original and auth. Personalized sevedage seams of the inside of gay origin trade mark THE L.O.R.
- Intelligence is insufficient BROCKLYNNNY for me to bo oxcellent.
Sign in large black handpainted letters -- not P James -- on Miller's Road in Bangalore: "NOT URIN HIRE".
The two women on the side berths on my train from Chennai pull out a number of books as soon as we get rolling, and I mean "as soon as". They also have a number of forms, or questionnaires, in Hindi. For hours, they pore over the books, consult each other in hushed Gujarati, then write things on the forms, filling them up and starting on new ones. Hours and hours. I catch the title on one of the forms, and get a little bit of an idea what this is about. It says, Mahavir Shabd Prashnavali.
Then they take out another book to consult, and this one is called Aapt Maniyaan.
Then they pull out a new form to fill, and this one is called Devendra Prashnavali.
In between, they lunch on sandwiches filled with some bright orange stuff; then snack on rotis and pickle.
At precisely 8 pm, they pack away their books and forms and start singing to each other.
In the next compartment, a young girl in Tshirt and pedal-pushers is reading Ayn Rand's "The Atlas Shrugged."