I am also looking forward to meeting Kiruba Shankar. I have been reading his blog for quite some time and found it very interesting. And after an email exchange and telephone conversation, I think this is quite a wonderful man.
Spent some time poking around a large shopping area in Chennai and traveling on the roads. Wheres the incessant beeping you hear in North India? The people asking you for 'rickshaw', 'change money', etc seem politer and gentler. The shopping plaza, Spencer's Plaza, we visited had some quite modern stores. Marsha and I spent some time browsing the supermarket for all the different products, some the same, some different, and some very interesting variations from Canada - how about Pistachio Chicken Salami.