The autos in Chennai are a law unto themselves. They never flip the fare meters on and they zip through the tiniest spaces with careless abandon. They are colour blind to signals and prey on unsuspecting newbies who arrive in the city. You can't wish them away but they are still the best way to get around the city if you're in a hurry - and if you don't mind listening to 'hard luck' stories while you get scalped.


It's a 'school bus' for parents who can't afford the monthly payout of the regular school bus. It's the classic Indian solution to a problem. Not safe, not sure but a makeshift solution that gets to be permanent and soon, unremarkable enough to blend into the landscape. Until there is an accident


Park your car for even 15 minutes in T Nagar and you're likely to see it covered with these toys. The display goes up in less than a couple of minutes and goes off just as soon as you arrive back at the car. In the meantime, a couple of dolls may have been sold. I  haven't ever bought one, so I don't know how these people ever make a living  but full marks for ingenuity


Chennai is full of billboards or 'hoardings' as they are locally known. They mask entire buildings, climbing precariously into the sky piled one on top of the other at all major traffic points. Everything from movies to diapers to mutual funds are advertised.
In some ways, they act as a cover for badly painted or rutted buildings but there  are many places where they obscure the view  or completely  dominate the skyline. Since its an extremely lucrative business, they can come toppling down in a storm and simply spring up the next day as if nothing ever happened