First we discovered the Saravana Bhavan in Chennai Central, great place to have Veg food just before you get on or off the train. Then we discovered Saravana Bhavan all over Chennai, including my office campus!

On Friday, we discovered Saravana Stores in T Nagar. Ok, it wasn’t exactly a discovery…all the neighbouring aunties were singing praises of it ever since I told them I needed to do some more shopping (esp for furniture). It has no relation to the food chain, but like the food chain, this is where huge droves of the Chennai middle class go to have their desires satisfied. Whether it is to buy utensils, home appliances, furniture or just about anything material the mind can conceive, you can buy it here. Shanti aunty says, the folklore surrounding Saravana Stores say that you can probably find anything under the sun here, except for a Mom and Dad!

The furniture showroom is further off (on South Usman Rd), and they have a shuttle that takes you there (It’s actually walkable, but in the Chennai heat, they decided to spare us the trouble!). The sales people are knowledgeable, not too intrusive and are definitely more than willing to help you out with any questions or requests that you might have. My mom actually whipped out the dimensions of a few vessels at home that didn’t have lids and with a straight face asked the salesboy if there were lids to fit 15cm and 19cm vessels. The salesboy actually went and fetched a measuring tape and measured out the correct lids and handed it over to my mom. Now, that’s service!

I definitely recommend this store to anyone who’s setting up home newly in Chennai. I’m sure they do deliveries as well. We didn’t have too much on our hands, so we were able to take it along with us on the train back to Chromepet. SS is hardly a 5 minute walk from Mambalam station on Renganathan Street. No vehicles are allowed on this street. It’s pretty crowded without the vehicles itself! Mom was surprised by the crowds, but of course this was nowhere near a saturday evening in Mumbai (or for that matter, any evening in Mumbai :P).

The only inconvenience was here & there, were stretches of the street, full of keechad, forcing the shoppers to stick to the sides. And, the lime soda guy didn’t have the sweet version 😦 maybe, he just ran out of sugar…my tamil isn’t that fluent yet (but of course, I thought it a HUGE feather in my cap, when I could correctly guide the call taxi guy IN TAMIL to pick us up!!). Getting back to the lime soda, I wondered why the general public was lapping up what looked like softies instead of a lime soda…till we walked into the Adayar Ananda Bhavan (yes, we deicded to give Saravana Bhavan a rest!) and saw that the cost of lime juice – Rs.22, cost of a small cup of icecream – Rs.7 AND I remember reading in menu card at some previous restaturant, if you order the fresh juice without ice, you’re charged extra!!!! Reminded me of Marie Antoinette – if you have no bread, eat cakes!

So, back home with a diya I bought for a friend, some trendy looking containers for my chai and kaapi powders and the assorted vessels my mom thought was mandatory in the kitchen. I do hope I end up cooking, at least to make this trip worthwhile 🙂