Friday, Oct 07, 2022
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A Tata In Tana

As a child, my mother tells me, I didn't know when words ended. We were D'Souzazas, I pronounced; and it was a jimpapa I wore to sleep after downing my nightly bananana. I remembered those words in mellifluously-named Antananarivo. Or is it Antanananarivo? Mercifully, the capital of Madagascar is just "Tana" to all. And Tana's buses are Tatas (not Tatatas). Yes, they are made by India's own Tata: they are also actually called that. "Take the Tata into town," the man at the Auberge de Cheval Blanc suggested, "you'll see what the city looks like." So I barrelled in every morning-past electric green paddy, up steep hills, through suddenly narrow streets, into the heart of Tana: a great milling conglomeration of Tatas. The main bus stand.

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